What was your first book? The one that grabbed your heart and soul? The one that took you away to some amazing place or inspired you to live a bigger, bolder life?
For me, it was Charlotte’s Web and so many, many Nancy Drew mysteries.
Gone with the Wind? Ahhhh. I wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara one summer.
Those were books that made me love reading and stories and writing.
What if you didn’t have those books, those first books that opened your world? What if you didn’t fall in love with reading? Where would you be?
For many children, in our own community, there are no books to call their own, to fall in love with.
Only one in 300 children in our most vulnerable neighborhoods have an age-appropriate book. In Philadelphia, 13-thousand 3rd graders are not reading on grade level.
This is why I’m joining with my dear best selling author and illustrator friend Judy Schachner to support Treehouse Books. It’s a giving library in North Philadelphia. Children are encouraged to come in and pick 5 books to keep. It’s supported completely by donations and volunteers.
When Judy and I went on Saturday, we asked where her famous Skippy Jon Jones books were on the shelf. Our tour guide said, “Oh they aren’t here. As soon as we get them in, they’re gone.”
You see, Judy’s books are often that FIRST book that grabs hold of a child’s imagination like her new Sarabella’s Thinking Cap.
Today, we will stand together to help support Treehouse Books with an event in Philadelphia called Champions of Literacy.
If you’d like to meet a truly amazing New York Times best-selling author and help to make sure more children discover their FIRST book, the one that makes them love reading, please join us for a lovely evening at Slice Communications in Philadelphia.
And, if you miss this event, or don’t live in Philadelphia, but still want to help, check out programs that are available at your local library. There are so many great ways to get books into children’s hands who really need them.
Meanwhile, I REALLY want to know. What was your FIRST? The FIRST book you loved?