Neighborhood Reads bookstore is celebrating two years in Downtown Washington with several special events Friday and Saturday, June 14-15.

The bookstore will host two story times with the Taco Dragon — a life-size version of the main character from the “Dragons Love Tacos” books.

Friday’s story time will be held at 11 a.m., and Saturday’s story time will be held at 10:30 a.m.

There will be drawings both days for prizes for the dragon’s favorite food — tacos -— from Washington Taco Bell.

On Saturday, a special make-your-own book jewelry bar from The Compton Co. will be in the store from 1-5 p.m. The bookstore will have drawings for books, refreshments and a sidewalk sale.

A special bookstore birthday coupon is in the June 8-9 and June 12 issues of The Missourian.

Dawn Kitchell opened Neighborhood Reads June 15, 2017, after renovating a historic home at 401 Lafayette St., across from the Washington Public Library. Kitchell’s background in newspapers and youth literacy inspired her to bring an independent bookstore to the community.

The bookstore features new books for all ages and genres — including books featured in The Missourian’s book columns.

In addition to books and gifts, Neighborhood Reads hosts author signings, book clubs, open mic poetry nights and classes on everything from creative lettering to flower pounding.

In June and July, Neighborhood Reads is offering Wonder Wednesdays — minicamps for Little Kids, ages 4-7 and Big Kids, ages 8 and up.

Beginning July 1, the bookstore will host its monthlong Where’s Waldo search downtown.

Neighborhood Reads is open seven days a week, and readers can shop online 24 hours a day through the website, The online link shows books currently on the shelves, books on order and lets customers place orders for pickup in store or to be shipped.

This spring, the bookstore initiated a popular a gift subscription program, called Page Pal.

The bookstore also reaches out to readers weekly through an emailed newsletter, Shelf Awareness, that highlights new releases, authors and book news. The newsletter features local reviews from The Missourian’s Novel Ideas, MO Books blog and youth columns, including Book Buzz, Baby Buzz and Book Sprouts.

A calendar of events for the bookstore is included in each issue.

To learn more about Neighborhood Reads bookstore, visit the website or connect on social media platforms Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.