When I was growing up, I lived one block from the local library. Very few mothers worked out of the home at the time, and very few drove. If they did know how to drive, most families only had one car during the 1950s and 1960s. If I felt like getting out of the house, one of the few alternatives I had besides going to a friend’s house was walking to the library. Consequently, I spent many hours browsing through the stacks. My love of books and reading therefore led to my holding high aspirations of some day becoming a librarian. Although I never achieved that goal officially, my professional career has always tended to be in a research capacity.
According to the 2008 Kids and Family Reading Report by Yankelovich and Scholastic, despite 80% of parents wanting their kids to read for fun, most kids claim there aren’t enough really good books for their age group.
James Patterson has taken this issue to heart. A father himself, he knows that one of the main obstacles for young readers is a lack of books kids can truly connect with, those rare stories that draw you in and keep you reading until the very last word. We can all remember the joy of a great book from our own childhood; begging to stay up ten more minutes to finish a chapter, then hiding under the covers with a flashlight to read “just one more.” Patterson has made it his mission to give this experience to children everywhere and instill in them a love of reading.
To that end, he recently launched a new website in order to give kids of all ages access to truly great books. Whether you are still enjoying picture books with your baby or have an older child reading at an advanced level, ReadKiddoRead acts as a resource for finding the best books.
Each featured book, hand-selected by Patterson, includes a synopsis, related themes, quotes from critics, links to find the book in any number of locations (including local libraries), and even similar suggested reads. In addition, the website provides resources for finding book discounts and promotions, features interviews and contributions from authors and celebrities, and even allows members to connect with each other via a Ning community. Providing kids with a love of and appreciation for books gives them something that will remain with them throughout their lives, and this resource helps make that possible. Plus, if anyone can get even the most reluctant readers interested in great stories, it’s James Patterson.