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2010: Living in the Future
Courtesy of Shelf Awareness, “What will life be like in the year 2010? Daniel Sinker recalled one of his favorite childhood books, Geoffrey Hoyle’s 2010: Living in the Future, which was published in 1972 and, as Boing Boing observed, imagines imagines a far-off time when “we’ll all do our work and schooling and library-book-reading on ingenious video screens that can connect to each other from anywhere around the globe…. Wait until you get to the part about ‘a series of tubes.’”
What started as an intrepid idea from two bloggers has become an effective fundraiser generating new books for kids in need. First Book is pleased to announce that the “Leave A Mark” auctions featuring books “marked up” with notes from the author, have generated 369 new books for kids across the country!
This year’s auctions featured best-selling books by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Aprilynne Pike, Melissa Walker, Becca Fitzpatrick and Erica Perl. A huge thanks goes out to everyone who participated, from the featured authors and individual bidders to Lauren and Chelsea, the auction organizers.
Be on the lookout for the next round of charity auctions coming to the Leave A Mark site in Fall 2010!
Guests from the Pennsylvania Society and New York City enjoyed some sweet treats and celebration at the Second Annual Book Bash in December. Held in the Waldorf Astoria, more than 15 sponsors and more than 100 supporters of First Book raised enough funds to place 50,000 into the hands of children who need them most!
First Book would like to thank the chairs and special guests, and especially the creator of this special holiday event, Heather Steinmiller. Their time, talent and commitment to our mission are a true gift to the First Book community; with their support, we grow even closer to closing the gap in access to education for low-income children.
For more information on the sponsors and Host Committee for the Second Annual Book Bash, please visit www.bookbash.org.
Head of the Host Committee Heather Steinmiller and First Book President, Kyle Zimmer
Special Guests Brian Shactman and Joan Allen compete in a First Book SpeedRead Throwdown
Guests sign new books that will be placed into the hands of children in need
Just in case you needed any more reasons to be convinced why books are great gifts, our friends at the Association of American Publishers have asked some of the most popular and prolific authors to share their reasons why books make great gifts. Enjoy the video below and check out the videos featuring even more authors on YouTube.
The First Book blog team recently took a field trip to see Wes Anderson’s film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Read the team’s thoughts below as they share their likes, dislikes and opinions on how the film compares to the book.
Nisha:While the filmmakers may have doctored the foxes’ family dynamics a bit, Ash and Kirstofferson were the perfect charmingly blunt pair of troublemakers to keep audiences engaged. The book reflected a slightly different story, with four fox cubs and a far more shameless means of putting food on the table. In the book, Mrs. Fox places requests for supper, which Mr. Fox proudly obliges by stealing from one of the three farmers. The movie did however stay true to the spirit of Roald Dahl’s witty and imaginative world, including many direct quotes from the book itself. Told in Dahl’s characteristically windswept fashion, viewers are dragged along for the ride of a lifetime (literally) as the animals fight to outsmart farmers Bean, Bunce and Boggis.
Aesah:I loved it—and was pleasantly surprised that I did. The filmmakers kept the spirit of the original work when they expanded the story but also managed to sneak their own quirky brand of humor into the film. I had my doubts about an entire movie done in stop-motion animation, especially in this age of CGI and big special effects, but it was actually the perfect medium; the jerky motions adding to the story’s overall quirkiness and the simplicity of the settings giving it a hint of nostalgia. Wes Anderson’s masterful hand turned it into just another layer of the story. George Clooney and Jason Schwartzman were perfect choices to voice the Fantastic Mr. Fox and his son Ash, respectively. It has something for everyone and I will definitely be adding this movie to my collection.
Bonnie: With the opening scene playing the song “Davy Crockett – King of the Wild Frontier” – I knew I’d love this movie! Wes Anderson is known as a less than typical director, which fits with a Roald Dahl story perfectly. I especially enjoyed the choice to use stop-motion, and like Aesah stated with most movies are now using big special effects I was a bit wary but this difference in animation made the film visually interesting and it is still able to move along in a fashion that adds to the charm of the story. Wes Anderson’s first animated film is a goodie and I recommend it for kids and adults alike.
Katie: All in all, I was delighted with the film version of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. I’d give director Wes Anderson three cheers for the vocal casting, soundtrack and the seamless additions of new characters. The casting of George Clooney and Meryl Streep as Mr. and Mrs. Fox was spot on, and it was fun to pick out recognizable voices including Jason Schwartzman as Ash and Owen Wilson in a cameo as Coach Skip. The film’s soundtrack added a rich background that complemented the visual animation. With artists as varied as the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and Burl Ives, this soundtrack includes something that just about everyone will like. Finally, I loved some of the charming characters – Kylie the opossum being my favorite – that were added in the film version. They brought a dash of whimsy that was a perfect foil to highlight the original characters from Roald Dahl’s story.
The clock is winding down, but there is still time for you to win your very own 2010 Book Lovers calendar by reminding us of your favorite author and their birthday!
Read more about the contest and share your favorite author’s birthday here. So go ahead – post a comment, help us remember all those fabulous authors who wrote the books that make us smile and take a chance at winning a 2010 Book Lover’s calendar!
Bonnie Jo Campbell, American Salvage
Jayne Anne Phillips, Lark and Termite
Marcel Theroux, Far North
Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
T.J. Stiles, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
David M. Carroll, Following the Water:A Hydromancer’s Notebook
Sean B. Carroll, Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species
Greg Grandin, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City
Adrienne Mayor, The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy
Winner: Keith Waldro, Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy
Rae Armantrout, Versed
Ann Lauterbach, Or to Begin Again
Carl Phillips, Speak Low
Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Open Interval
Guest blogger Tina Chovanec is the director of Reading Rockets.org: the authoritative online source for comprehensive and accessible information about teaching young children to read and helping those who struggle. Reading Rockets is one of four multimedia educational websites created by Learning Media, a division of WETA, the PBS affiliate in the Washington DC area.
“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve…You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” [Martin Luther King, Jr.]
Hearts and hands will join together across the country on January 18th, a day transformed from a “day off” to a national Day of Service to honor the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 18th is rolling in quickly. It’s not too late to help out on one of the projects your community has planned for that day. You can find an opportunity close to home by visiting Serve.gov, an online resource managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Some ideas are included after the jump. And it’s not too early to start planning a service project for next year: the site also has resources for individuals and organizations, including tips on fundraising, building partnerships, organizing the day, and how to be an effective team leader, as well as a planning toolkit, project examples, and more. Follow MLKDay on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook!
Get Ur Good On? Our partner, Youth Service America, sponsors a lively online network of blogs, photos, and videos that showcase the diverse voices of youth who are “doing good” in their communities. Jump in and join the conversation.
At Reading Rockets, we’ve come up with some reading-writing-and-book-inspired ideas for the Day of Service or for a year-round community project. Here’s our Top 12. Add your ideas to the list!
Autographed Shirt Benefits First Book
Check out the cool t-shirt that Amy Krouse Rosenthal and other New York Times bestselling authors created to benefit First Book at our second annual Book Bash celebration.
Six-Word Memoir Book Trailer
Stop over to the Olive Reader blog to watch and enjoy the latest “book trailer” (like a movie trailer, but for books!) for It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, edited by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser.
Bookstore Night in Buenos Aires Encourages Reading
Check out NPR’s story about Buenos Aires’ annual Noche de las Librerias — Bookstore Night. The city closes a main avenue, and replaces cars and trucks with sofas and chairs for people to lounge in with books from nearby bookstores.
Guest Blogger Mike Cowan is the Director of Marketing at Demand Studios, an online community of freelancers and copy editors who produce articles for several online outlets. Demand Studios is partnering with First Book this December to provide thousands of books to children in need.
I believe you are a lucky child if you grow up in an environment surrounded by books. Considering that my mother is a librarian, I feel that I truly hit the jackpot in this regard. In our family room we had a huge wall unit filled with hundreds of books and before my brother and I could read we had already chosen our favorites based on their size and colors. I was a huge War and Peace fan due to its sheer enormity while my brother was a fan of a book called Trinity by Leon Uris because of its green color. When we were actually able to read these books my brother was drawn to the fantasy of books like The Hobbit while I seemed to gravitate towards non-fiction titles like The History of Hockey and The Guinness Book of World Records. Safe to say that his choices won him a little more credibility with my mother.
Now that I’m all grown up, I’m lucky enough to work with the thousands of creative, literary people every day at Demand Studios. As one of the world’s largest communities of freelance writers and copy editors, we bring together more than 5,000 talented creators to produce top-quality articles for sites like LIVESTRONG.com and eHow.com. And just like me, they all have a story about how they first fell in love with the wonder of the written word.
That’s why we decided to reach out to First Book to create a program that would inspire our freelance community to take action and support childhood literacy. Our “Write for a Cause” program is simple: For every eight articles written and approved by Demand Studios during the month of December, we’ll donate a book on behalf of our writers and copy editors. We’ve challenged our creators to contribute their talents to the cause, and we’re targeting a total donation of 20,000 brand new books this holiday season.
We’re excited to put our scale to excellent use, by mobilizing our freelance community to play an active role in increasing childhood literacy. In partnership with First Book, we hope to rewrite the future for thousands of kids. Please visit our “Write for a Cause” information page to learn how you can help!
Guest Blogger Rachael Walker is the Outreach Consultant for Reading Rockets, a national multimedia initiative which aims to inform and inspire parents, teachers, childcare providers, and others who touch the life of a child by providing comprehensive, accessible information on how to teach kids to read and help those who struggle. Rachael began her career in children’s literacy at Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), has also served as a consultant to the NEA’s Read Across America campaign, and was most recently the Executive Director of Reach Out and Read of Metro DC.
A friend from college recently commented on my Facebook, “Rachael, I get the impression that you like to read.” She’s right. I like to read—and, as must be obvious from my Facebook profile, like to promote books and authors and the joy they bring me.
I am a big reading promoter at home too but manage it without the social media technology. It’s really very simple. I buy books or bring books home from the library and leave them around the house.
But not just anywhere around the house. The basket of library books is beside the couch where you can easily plop down and find something new. The bookcase that divides the living room and dining room has titles facing out in both directions so you can snag something to read while you eat or as you relax by the fireplace. Each of my sons has a bookcase full of favorites in his room but also a nightstand stack for bedtime reading. And you can’t enter any bathroom in the house without passing a bookcase.
We may have gotten a little carried away. A home library doesn’t have to spread to all corners of the house. Just having books in a special place boosts the chance that your child will want to read even more. Reading Rockets has some ideas for creating a home library or for organizing the one you have.
I like that reading is everywhere in our house though. Books are part of our everyday life and my kids have gotten the message books are important and reading is valued in our home. But if you have any suggestions for reclaiming the china cabinet, let me know.
Guest blogger Maia Haag is an author and CEO of I See Me!, publishers of very high quality personalized children’s books. If you purchase these award-winning personalized storybooks at www.iseeme.com using code fsj11435a at check-out, you will receive free domestic standard shipping and I See Me! Inc. will donate $10 per book sold to First Book!
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to live a charmed life and others seem to face problem after problem? Some of my friends are almost always happy, while others experience one drama after another. What makes the sun shine brighter in some people’s lives than in others?
I would argue that it all comes back to what we heard from our parents during our childhood. If a child is repeatedly told that she is special and can accomplish anything, she grows up believing that she has the power to overcome obstacles. She is willing to try new things, knowing that if she fails in her endeavor, it does not mean that she herself is a failure. Believing that she is in control of her destiny, she has a positive outlook on life which leads to greater happiness and success.
On the other hand, if a child is repeatedly told that he is not good enough, he will start to put down his own talents and abilities. He is less likely to try new things for fear of failure. When life throws challenges his way, he is more likely to feel as if he is a victim without the ability to affect the outcome. He easily becomes overwhelmed by the challenges of life.
Parents can make a significant impact on their child’s self-image through daily communications. How can you as a parent build self-esteem in your child?
Tell your child regularly how much you love him or her and how glad you are that your child is part of your family. Don’t assume that your child knows this.
When your child does something well, tell your child how proud you are of him or her. Describe what you thought your child did well. Use this opportunity to remind your child that he or she can accomplish anything with enough effort.
If your child does something that you do not like, talk about the fact that your child made a wrong choice rather than implying that your child is a bad person. This gives your child the power to make the right choice the next time and it maintains your child’s self-esteem.
If your child is nervous about trying something new, help your child envision success. If your child can see himself or herself completing the challenge, it becomes less daunting.
I strongly believe that parents can help shape their child’s self-image. As a parent myself and a children’s book author and publisher, I have made it our company’s mission to help build self-esteem in children through our books. Our storybooks are all personalized, made one-by-one for each child to make the child feel unique and special. Since reading at bedtime is a quiet time when parents can focus on their child, we have developed personalized storybooks that describe the child’s positive character traits.
We enthusiastically support First Book’s mission because giving children their very own books and helping them learn to read builds children’s s
Looking for a gift that will last a lifetime?
How about a new book and a brighter future?
This holiday season, Verizon and Random House Children’s Books are supporting First Book to provide more new books to children in need. Join the Verizon Season’s Readings campaign by making a donation now through December 31, and you’ll help to ensure that underserved children have brand new books to read and enjoy.
And thanks to a generous book match from Random House Children’s Books for every $2 you contribute, one additional book (up to 300,000 books) will be donated to the Season’s Readings campaign, making your gift go even further!
Plus, with the donation of $20 or more, you’ll receive a FREE copy of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Available while supplies last.
Celebrate the season this year with First Book at the Second Annual Book Bash! Please join us at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City on December 11, 2009 for delightful desserts while we ring in the holidays and help bring new books to kids who need them most.
Join special guests Joan Allen, Brian Shactman, and Steven A. Smith as you watch Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia square off against Mayor Ravenstahl of Pittsburgh in a Speed Read Throwdown, or cheer on U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. in a Carol Singing Competition. Browse our fantastic selection of silent auction items, including:
A basketball signed by Michael Jordan
Tickets to such Broadway hits as Hair and the Addams Family Musical
A two-night stay at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa
and a private lunch in the U.S. Senate dining room!
For more information or to purchase event tickets, please visit www.bookbash.org.
If you are a Federal civilian, postal or military employee, please consider making a pledge to support First Book (CFC #10189) to share the gift of reading to children in need this holiday and throughout the year!
Pledges can be made for 2009 CFC campaign season through December 15th. Find a CFC fair near you, or make your pledge online today.
What’s the perfect gift for the mother of your brother-in-law? What object could you press into service that would tell her both “Happy Holidays” and “I’m glad that we’re now related through marriage?” A trendy lime green toaster? Are bath salts too personal?
If you’ve ever faced a conundrum like this one, please rest assured that First Book has a solution to this holiday dilemma: make a gift in his or her honor to help bring new books to children in need. What present could be more perfect for anyone you care about than enriching communities across the country by providing access to education to low-income children?
So congratulations! You’re only minutes away from crossing those last few gifts off of your shopping list. To make a donation in honor of someone special, just visit www.firstbook.org/donate and click on “Donate in honor of someone special.” Send an e-card or print one out to let them know that you helped make literacy possible for one more child.
Every March we celebrate the birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss. Classrooms everywhere read Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and kids parade around in those classic red and white, striped top hats. It is a day of fun for all.
This year, we are wondering, why stop at celebrating the birthday of only one of our favorite authors? Let’s kick off the next decade of books and fabulous authors yet- to-come by remembering the birthdays of our favorite authors!
And as an incentive, we are giving away 10 copies of the 2010 Book Lovers calendar, complete with author birthdays, stories about our favorite classics from Sails for the South Seas to Of Mice and Men, and pictures that every booklover wishes they could hang on their kitchen fridge! Plus, each copy helps First Book provide new books to children in need.
Want to get your own copy of the 2010 Book Lovers calendar?
Here’s how you can: post a comment mentioning your favorite author and their birthday by 11:59 pm ET on December 28th. Ten participants will be chosen at random to receive their very own Book Lover’s 2010 Calendar.
Post a comment and help us celebrate all of the authors who wrote those books that make us smile!
“Leave a Mark” online auction – Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl
The latest offering in the “Leave a Mark” auctions benefiting First Book is a marked-up copy of First Book staff member and author extraordinaire, Erica Perl’s Vintage Veronica. Bids are accepted online through 11: 59 pm EST on Tuesday, December 22nd – cast your bid today!
Kids’ Book Boasts The Best Words, Real Or Not
Listen to this interview with Daniel Pinkwater about a new release of an old book Ounce, Dice, Trice by Aleister Reid, an book for children that is full of words — both real and made-up.
A few years ago I decided to read only holiday-themed books for the month of December. I had so much fun that it’s now one of my annual holiday traditions. There must be a lot of people out there who share in my tradition because every December I find myself fighting for my place in line on the library waiting lists.
I mostly prefer the holiday mysteries such as those by Mary Higgins Clark, Anne Perry and dozens of others. The best is when they combine mystery and food such as Joanna Fluke and Dianne Mott Davidson. I’m also a sap for a good heart-warming story such as The Christmas Shoes and the holiday books in the Cape Light series by Thomas Kinkade. I’ve also read some good comedies and last year I found a holiday/vampire novel that I strangely enjoyed.
So far this December, I’ve read The Christmas Secret, A Wish For Christmas, Dashing Through the Snow and Engaging Father Christmas (which had me sheading tears on the metro yesterday). Up next are The Christmas Cookie Club and Plum Pudding Murder.
So, fellow holiday readers, what else should I put on my reading list this year?
Today our blog celebrates a milestone – this is our 1,000th post! Over the past three years, we’ve talked up authors and publishers. We’ve touted the good work of our recipient groups and community volunteers. We’ve shared stories from kids who received their very first books. We’ve given experts and audience members a platform to engage and comment. But, what we’re most proud of is the thousands and thousands of smiles on the faces of children who received books for the very first time.
And while we can’t count how many thousands of miles we’ve traveled to bring books to kids, we know that we’ve made millions of books possible this year. And while our Help Team has answered well over 1000 phone calls, and our staff has shared a thousand laughs and memories along the way, we know that our work is only possible through the thousands of volunteers and partners committed to making reading possible for children who need access to books in their lives.
How many is a thousand? Today we know. 1,000 blog posts. To our readers, guest bloggers, volunteers, supporters and partners, we are grateful to you for engaging with First Book and we thank you for your dedication and support.
Guest blogger Evette Rios is regularly featured on the syndicated TV talk show, “Rachael Ray.” Evette Rios has also designed on camera for HGTV’s “Freestyle”, and TLC’s “In A Fix.” Evette Rios designs interiors through her firm Sitio, bringing experience working in several of Manhattan’s top interior firms. A graduate of Bates College, Evette Rios also attended both Parsons School of Design and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. Evette Rios also shares her design advice in spanish in “Siempre Mujer” magazine.
Walking into The Brooklyn Brownstone School, I couldn’t help but feel elated to see painted on the foundation of their building the following motto: “creating a community of lifelong learners.” It was a thrill to visit the class of precocious second graders! They were all very interested in my read-aloud of Mercy Watson to the Rescue. They even acted out scenes and tried to predict the ending!
We gathered in the library for reading time, I shared a bit of my history with the kids (after all, I’m a Brooklyn girl myself) and we made bookmarks shaped like a pig to tie in with the theme of the story.
My friends from Eight O’Clock Coffee and Candlewick Press provided two brand new books for each child with the help of First Book. They were heroes, donating 250 books for the school – two for every student! But, the real heroes were the children, who delighted in each word and enthusiastically participated in making crafts and story time. Once they received their books, many kids had them opened to chapter 6, the page where we last left Mercy in our read-aloud. They couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
It was a treat for me to join the students of the Brooklyn Brownstone School. I know we were able to make a difference in the next chapter of their lives.
What to Give & What to Get
More than 40 Penguin authors are sharing book recommendations for holiday gift-giving as part of Penguin’s What to Give & What to Get campaign. Check out videos of authors Nick Hornby, Kate Jacobs, Robert B. Parker and Frank Bruni who share favorite books on camera.
Bark for Books
A fun-filled, literary, family event with author readings, illustration workshops, and opportunities to buy books signed by the authors and illustrators (or “pawed” by protagonists) — just in time for the holidays! The books make thoughtful gifts for the animal-loving children in your life, and extras can be donated to the League’s Read-2-Me program, which provides humane-themed books to classrooms, school libraries and students.
Word Play: Going global Interested in more than what the U.S. children’s market has to offer? The LA Times shares new imports from British, Dutch and French authors.
This holiday season, your donation to First Book will get twice as many books into the hands of kids who need them most.
Donate before December 31st, and your contribution will be matched book-for-book by Random House Children’s Books. A donation to First Book is the perfect way to honor a loved one or simply end the year by spreading the Grinch’s message of sharing, inspiration and joy.
Today, we are reminded of how thankful we are for you, our readers and supporters. This thank you note is one of our favorites and captures the joy of reading that results from the millions of books we deliver to kids in need every year. Happy Thanksgiving!
Dear First Book,
Thank you for the books. I like them because they are interesting to me. They give me ideas to write in my own books.
I like to read because it helps me learn. I can’t wait to get more books. I have a library with them in it. You must be nice people to give out freebooks. It is nice you are doing this.