April 23rd was the anniversary of Shakespeare‘s birth and death. April 23 was UNESCO World Book Day. April 23 was World Book Night. What a perfect time to share the love of reading with a group of kids.
Yesterday, I joined 2,500 other volunteer book givers to carry out the World Book Night mission to share the love of reading by distributing 500,000 books in one day. Friend and fellow WBN book giver Mary Gottschalk and I chose to give our books out at Oakridge Neighborhood, home to 300 low-income families, many of whom are refugees.
Before passing out books, we held a lively discussion of reading and writing with teens and pre-teens in one of the Oakridge Neighborhood after-school programs. What fun to hear that these young people are writing stories and keeping diaries. They could be writing the books WBN gives out in the future.
I chose The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as my book to give. Mary chose The Things They Carried. The program leaders at Oakridge plan to have book club-type discussions of the books, using the discussion guides included in each specially printed edition of the books made just for this event.
Because there were so many young people with so many different interests – and so many good books on the World Book Night list, I picked up copies of several other authors on the list to distribute as well. We encouraged them to take a book, read it and pass it on.
The love of reading is contagious. What fun to pass it on!