Every person their book

a man sitting outside on a bench or wall looking down at a book that is open in his lap.

This is a message I sent out to a mailing list I’m on, responding to the Scholastic Reading Report about kids and family reading.

“Most alarmingly, kids in third and fourth grade are beginning to stop reading for fun. It’s called the ‘Decline by 9.'” A few people on the list discussed their own children who didn’t like the books they were given to read in school.

I’ve thought about this a lot as someone in the library world where YA books that cover “issues” (for lack of a better word, but basically struggle and conflict and/or difficult topics) are often the ones winning book awards or getting selected for the statewide “$STATE_NAME Reads” programs. Our local Humanities Council, which I love and which I used to be on the board of, has consistently picked books in this loose topic area for the past half-decade. They’re good books, but they’re also fraught during a time when the world around us has also been a bit fraught. Continue reading “Every person their book”