Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Exercise your right to vote!

Last Wednesday, March 14, voting opened for the 5th Annual Children's Choice Book Awards here. This program is the only one of its kind. First, in 4 of the 6 categories (Book of the Year for 4 different age groups beginning with Kindergarteners and ending with teens), kids and teens select the finalists. Approximately 20,000 kids and teens from across the country participate in the part of the program. To select the Author of the Year and Illustrator of the Year finalists we review bestseller lists. Second, this is a national program where kids and teens select the winners. Votes have already been submitted by participants in every state in the country (and beyond). We are expecting to receive one million votes this year.

The program was developed 5 years ago by the Children's Book Council and the literacy foundation Every Child a Reader for a number of reasons.
  • It makes reading fun and gives kids an easy way to talk about their favorite books with their friends - yes, it makes talking about books fun for kids. 
  • It gives kids and teens a chance to express themselves and let book creators know what works best for them and what they love most. 
  • Because the majority of finalists are selected by kids and teens, it offers a peer-approved reading list.
  • It is an essential component of the strategy developed to instill a lifelong love of reading in young people, the mission of Every Child a Reader
If you have children in your life, please encourage them to participate in the amazing program. Read with them and ask them about their preferences. If the child in your life is a teen who has no desire to share preferences with you at the moment, consider reading what he or she is reading or read the Teen Book of the Year finalists and get a sense of what moves other teens. It might help you find a conversation starter. So get started. Click here to see the finalists and start reading!

Beginning tomorrow, each post (and, yes, for those of you doubters, there will be posts to come) will tie one of the thirty finalists to a parent/child issue or story until I've covered them all.

The winners of the Children's Choice Book Awards program, by the way, will be announced live at a gala event on May 7 in New York City that will officially kick off Children's Book Week 2012. The 5th Annual gala will be hosted by the award-winning and beloved creator of the Lunch Lady series of graphic novels (not to mention Punk Farm, Ollie and so many more!), Jarrett J Krosoczka. Awards will be presented by iconic authors and illustrators like Marc Brown (Arthur), Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House), Andrew Clements (Frindle) and S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders), Jack Gantos (Dead End in Norvelt) and Chris Raschka (A Ball for Daisy). An Impact award will be presented by National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers to Super Bowl Champion New York Giants’ Justin Tuck in recognition of the important work he has done connecting kids and books through his charity, Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy.  It will be an evening of champions! A video of the awards presentation will be available on May 8 so remember to tune into the Children's Book Week website to see it almost live if you can't be there in person.

Rest well, my friends, for tomorrow we start the marathon of Children's Choice Book Awards reading!

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