Starting this year, ILLINOIS READS is an annual, eight-month-long campaign to promote reading amongst all residents of the state, with an emphasis on reading at home and in classrooms. It will culminate in a “statewide celebration of literacy” on Family Reading Night. This year, that is on Thursday, November 21, 2013.
Throughout the state, public libraries, classrooms, school libraries, community groups, and bookshops will feature the titles of thirty-five books in separate age groups, beginning with read-aloud books for babies. The titles are a mix of hardcovers and paperbacks.
For 2013, the books to be read aloud to babies and toddlers (from birth to four-years-old), known as the Birth to Four list, are 1 Zany Zoo by Lori Degman; Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker; Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose by Scott Gustafson; Little Illinois by Esther Hershenhorn; My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann; and Bein’ With You This Way by W. Nikola-Lisa. The Spanish translation of the last book is also on the list as La Algeria de Ser Tu y Yo.
The books on the list list for children in Grades K-2 are Bugs and Us by Patricia J. Murphy, Tooth Tales Around the World by Marlene Targ Brill, Henry & The Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi, Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds, Another Brother by Mathew Cordell, and The Ugly Duckling Dinosaur: A Prehistoric Tale by Cheryl Bardoe. The books on the list list for children in Grades 3-5 are Everything I Know About Pirates by Tom Lichtenheld; Abraham Lincoln: 16th President, 1861-1865 by Mike Venezia; Secrets of the Cicada Summer by Andrea Beaty; Lowji Discovers America by Candace Fleming; Shipwreck Search: Discovery of the H.L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker; and Frindle by Andrew Clements.
The books on the list for children in Grades 6-8 are The Danger Box by Blue Balliett, Children of the Fire by Harriette Gillem Robinet, The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History by Adam Selzewr, Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein, Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer, and Dark Life by Kat Falls. The books on the list for children in Grades 9-12 Of Beetles & Angels by Mawi Asgedom, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, Is It Night of Day? by Fern Schumer Chapman, Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern, and Divergent by Veronica Roth.
The books on the list for Adults are Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, World War II, and the Long Journey Home by Gary W. Moore; The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin; and The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch. Playing with the Enemy is the story of how Gene Moore, who as a teenager was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers before the U.S. entered World War II and spent part of the war on the U.S. Navy’s touring baseball team, but the team was sent to Camp Ruston, Louisiana to guard secret German POWs – the crew of the U-505 (now on display at the Museum of Science & Industry) – and they taught the German submariners how to play baseball. Injured in the last game, Moore was unable to resume playing baseball in the postwar years, but found the wherewithal to become a business owner.
ILLINOIS READS is a project of the Illinois Reading Council (IRC), working with the Illinois State Library (ISL). Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State, State Librarian, and State Archivist, is Honorary Chair of ILLINOIS READS.
Lieutenant Governor Simon led the kick-off event occurred in the Old State Capitol in the state capital city of Springfield on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The project encourages Illinois residents to (a) read, especially to (b) read books by Illinois writers, and (c) to buy books in Illinois.
Note that some of the bookstores on this list are out of business, so I would call first before making special trips to visit any of them one does not know for certain are still in business. Waldenbooks does not exist anymore, nor does B. Dalton, Bookseller. Rain Dog Books & Café in Chicago, Novel Idea Book Exchange in Downers Grove, Bookstores of America in Lisle, Book Rack in Naperville, and My Book Exchange in Westmont are also defunct.
To combat the phenomena of summer learning loss, when students on summer vacation stop using study skills, which consequently grow rusty, and forget knowledge they don’t use, local IRC chapters throughout the state sponsored Family Literacy Nights. Several titles encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
ILLINOIS READS shares the address of the Illinois Reading Council (203 Landmark Drive, Suite B, Normal, Illinois 61761). If one signs up to be an ILLINOIS READS Ambassador, one will receive a promotional poster and bookmarks in the mail, along with e-mails about project updates, author interviews, and so forth.
Secretary White, who is now seventy-nine-years-old, announced today that he would run for re-election. He is one of the most popular office holders in the state, so it is likely he will succeed in gaining a fifth term.
One can support Facets Multimedia and the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival by shopping at any Whole Foods Market on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 when Whole Foods will donate 5% of sales from the Gold Coast store at 30 West Huron, the Lakeview store at 3300 North Ashland, the South Loop store at 1101 South Canal, the Lincoln Park store at 1550 North Kingsbury, and the Halsted & Waveland store at 3640 North Halsted. This year, Facets will hold the 30th Annual Chicago International Film Festival.