Participants in the Maryville Public Library's Summer Reading program received a special visitor Saturday.
"Princess Leia," a character from the famous Star Wars movies, made an appearance for the youngsters, an event that correlates with a book series dedicated to fans of all reading levels.
Library director Stephanie Patterson donned the costume for the event, which she said drew a large gathering from young readers.
"A lot of them like to show off their Star Wars knowledge," Patterson said. "They're pretty big fans."
The youngsters were able to answer a trivia questionnaire, and design their own droid, which are robots from the movies that serve various functions.
The book series targets readers, both reluctant and willing, by having compelling stories that happened amongst the six-part movie.
Kids were able to read from their favorite Stars Wars books during the event, mixed in with the contests.
Nate Sparks, Connor Nielson and Sean Ottman all scored 100 percent in the trivia contest, and Sparks was declared the winner.
The design your own droid contest was won by Sebastian Higdon, and Ottman was runner-up.
This year's Summer Reading program has drawn 320 youngsters, and Patterson hopes the number will increase to at least last year's 356 participants.
"The program has really grown the last few years," Patterson said. "We are hoping it keeps going that way.
"The Star Wars books have proven to be a great way to hook some of our reluctant readers, but our avid readers love them too. It was fun to meet so many young fans.
They are extremely well-versed in Star Wars lore."
The program's next event, Kids Can Cook, will feature Hy-Vee dietitian Deanna Bottoroff and is tentatively scheduled for mid-July.