Sunday, September 28, 2014

How Do Young Americans Use Libraries?

Here is some good news concerning young Americans and their reading habits.  Have a look.
Eighty-eight percent of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, which is more than older Americans, according to a new report form Pew Research. The report revealed that 79 percent of Americans 30 and older had read a book in the last year.
The research investigated how young Americans are using libraries. The report revealed that millennials are just as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past year. The report also found that this group is more likely to have used a library website in the past year than older Americans. While millennials admit to knowing where their local library is, many reported that they are unfamiliar with all of the services the library offers.
Here is more from the report: “Among those ages 16-29, 50% reported having used a library or bookmobile in the course of the past year in a September 2013 survey. Some 47% of those 30 and older had done so. Some 36% of younger Americans used a library website in that time frame, compared with 28% of those 30 and older.”

This is very good news, indeed and flies in the face of reports that reading as a pastime is flagging with American youth. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Take a Chance and Read a Banned or Challenged Book to Celebrate Banned Book Week September 21 to 27

My favorite banned book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  That's correct; one of the great books of the world was, in fact, banned.  Banned Books Week (BBW) is coming up next week and the American Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression is encouraging booksellers, librarians, authors, publishers and teachers to get involved.

unnamedLast year, the "Captain Underpants" series of children's books by Dav Pilkey was the most-challenged book of 2013.  Rounding out the top five were Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," "Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, and "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins.

Those five and more were challenged in 2013 by people or groups who sought to have them banned from libraries, schools or other institutions for being offensive because of language or unsuitability for a particular age or religious group; for drug, alcohol or smoking references; racism; nudity; violence; sexually explicit scenes or other reasons.

Conceptual BooksThe theme of this year’s event, which runs September 21-27, is the censorship of graphic novels and comic books. Booksellers are encouraged to promote specific banned titles. Here is more information on how booksellers can participate:
web Captain underpantsBooksellers have always played a key role Banned Books Week by creating displays that show customers that some of their favorite books are under attack. For the second year, ABFFE and Ingram Content Group are making it easy for booksellers to mount their displays by distributing a free promotional kit that contains everything they need. To qualify, booksellers choose 30 or more titles from 450 banned and challenged titles listed on Ingram’s iPage. They also receive additional discounts on initial and subsequent orders.

This author urges you to buy a banned book and give it a read.  A democracy such as ours has no place for the banning of books.  Yes, it is a parent's purview to help a child make good choices; banning books in a wholesale manner is not a thing that should be condoned in the United States.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ten Little Tricksters: Halloween Counting Picture Book from Penny Cole

Penelope Anne Cole
It is my pleasure to review a darling Halloween reverse counting picture book written by award winning author, Penelope Anne Cole!  It was published by Guardian Angel Publishing.  Her picture book is one of the cutest counting books I've read, and I hope you will give it some notice as well.

Illustrated by Kevin Collier, he puts just the right amount of magic and spooky stuff to frighten his audience in the nicest way possible!

Of the book, the Midwest Book Review says:

Ten Little Tricksters is a charming picture book sure to delight young children this Halloween! Little kids will learn to count from one to ten in the fun company of ghosts, goblins, monsters, witches, and other spooky critters.

Ms. Cole has taught at every elementary grade level.  She loves read-aloud stories and writes them for kids.  

When not writing stories or reviewing kids' books, Ms. Cole loves dog walking, gardening, church and choir and, of course, reading.  She is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), the Fremont Area Writers of the California Writers Club, and is a Certified Reading Therapist with Read America.  

Ms. Cole reviews books on her blog, found at:

Ten Little Tricksters is recommended for readers of 4 -7.  It is available on