Celebrate Children's Book Week

9:09 AM Posted by Lori Calabrese

What children's book changed your life? Most of us have one book we have fond memories of, sparked a love of reading, or just gave us a good laugh. The idea that children's books change lives is how Children's Book Week came about, which is celebrated all this week (May 11- 17). In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children's books. He proposed creating a Children's Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.

With the help of two influential people in children's publishing, Frederic G. Melcher and Anne Carol Moore, Matthiews' proposal began to take shape. In 1916 the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association cooperated with the Boy Scouts in sponsoring a Good Book Week.

At the 1919 ABA convention, the Association committed to the organization of an annual Children's Book Week. Since then, Children's Book Week has been celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes-any place where there are children and books. Children’s Book Week encourages children to enjoy new authors and books, and celebrate children’s literature with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other literacy events in your school and community.

In 1944, the newly-established Children's Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children's Book Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week moved from November to May. At that time, responsibility for Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child a Reader, the philanthropic arm of the children’s publishing industry.

Throughout the week, the Children's Book Council will be putting on events in locations all over the United States. Click here to see if the events will be held in your area. However, if your city is not involved in any of the events, don’t worry — there are numerous ways to celebrate! You can test your skills with Children's Book Week puzzles, help authors finish their stories, download the official Children's Book Week bookmark, and more!

A digital toolkit, aimed at teachers, librarians and booksellers, provides suggestions for celebrating Children’s Book Week, as well as advice on how to hold a “Book Week Party,” “Read-In,” or “Book Exchange Day.” It can be downloaded at the Book Week Web site. Links to “Story Starters,” or the first few lines of stories written by children’s book authors, are also available for teachers to use with students.

But remember, it doesn't need to be Book Week for you to find great books: the Children's Choices list is available all year round. Kids across the country pick their favorite books each year, and about 100 books make the cut. You can find the lists from other years, too--so find out what other kids think are the best books of the past few years!
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  1. N A Sharpe said...

    Hoo-Ray for Children's Book Week! Great blog, re-tweeted under TheDestineers I would so prefer to see a kid engrossed in a good book than a video game, lol.

    I like the sports blog! Great info here....off to explore more posts

    NA Sharpe