“Regardless of what they love - for most everything in life today, to succeed first you need to become a good reader.”

Pam Allyn - Executive Director & founder of LitLife and LitWorld and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

Notable Articles

Reading and Its Rewards

By Maile Meloy - Source: New York Times

WHEN I was 10, growing up in Montana, I wanted a 10-speed bicycle, and my father made me a deal. I could have a new bike if I read 10 classic novels and wrote reports on them. I was a malleable kid with no negotiating power, so we went to the library and made a list.

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How About Better Parents?

By Thomas L. Friedman - Source: New York Times

In recent years, we’ve been treated to reams of op-ed articles about how we need better teachers in our public schools and, if only the teachers’ unions would go away, our kids would score like Singapore’s on the big international tests. There’s no question that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a student’s achievement, and we need to recruit, train and reward more such teachers. But here’s what some new studies are also showing: We need better parents. Parents more focused on their children’s education can also make a huge difference in a student’s achievement.

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Boys Don’t’ Read, Except When They Do

By Charles London - Source:

When I was young, I hated reading. Every summer through elementary and middle school ended with tears and tantrums over summer reading I hadn't done and refused to do. Sure, there were a few books I endured because I had to, and one or two that I sort of liked, but no one would have accused me of being a Reader. I'd rather have watched T.V. or played video games.

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HOW TO: Talk to Children About Online Safety

by Sarah Kessler - Source:

The Internet didn’t arrive for most of today’s parents until after they had passed adolescence. Online behavior was something they were able to approach with the disposition of an adult (even if some chose not to). Their children, however, were born into a very different situation. It’s not uncommon to see an iPad next to the crib, and 7.5 million children younger than 13 have Facebook profiles.

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Social Media Parenting: Raising the Digital Generation

by Matt Silverman - Source:

Who are your kids friending on Facebook? What are they really texting to their classmates? How much online time is too much?

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Book Lists

Caldecott Medal Award Winners

The Caldecott Medal has been bestowed upon over seventy books, distinguishing them as the best American picture books published in that year. The medal is awarded by the Association for Library Service and is the most prestigious awards next to the Newberry Medal.

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Newbery Medal Books

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year.

It is named for the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The purpose of the Newbery Medal is stated as follows: “To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children.” 2011 Winner: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool To see past winners:

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Notable Children's Books

Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.

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How Dogs Help Children Read

When therapy or service dogs come to mind, you're likely thinking about an animal that helps a disabled individual carry out everyday tasks like navigating through the world or warning of danger. Therapy dogs have varied roles though and can help children in largely, unexpected ways, such as, learning to read.

Fun Stuff for Kids

Shakespeare for Kids: Activities for Children and Families.

While working puzzles, answering quizzes, and learning new words, the user is learning about Shakespeare, his plays, and Elizabethan England.

Free Rice

A kids' vocabulary website that for every right answer donates 10 grains of rice through the World Food Program to end hunger.

Word Games

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are great for reinforcing spelling, word recognition, vocabulary and mastering context clues. Ride the wave to for an ocean full of language arts activities.

Word Search

Themed word search worksheets are perfect for word recognition and spelling practice. They are also a great tool to prevent the summer slide and to keep kids busy and engaged during summer travel. has lots of word searches and other worksheets to help kids keep their reading skills sharp.

Reading Resources and Organizations

What to read When

A book By Pam Allyn — Literacy Advocate & Education Expert

Pam Allyn is the Executive Director and founder of LitLife and LitWorld, two well-known literacy development organizations as well as the Founding Director of Books for Boys.

One of the keys to raising a lifetime reader is matching the right book to the right moment in a child's young life. With more than 8,000 children's titles being published each year, that “matching” can be overwhelmingly difficult—unless they have this wonderful compendium from Pam Allyn. More than a book, it's a “brass compass” to great children's literature.

Jim Trelease — author of The Read-Aloud Handbook

Read to Them

Read to Them is a national non-profit that promotes reading aloud and family literacy. Their mission is to create a culture of literacy in every home. The “One School, One Book” program encourages and enables families to read high quality children's novels together at home. Join the 750 currently participating schools and you too can create a community of readers at your school. “When a whole school reads a book, there's a lot to talk about.”

Lexile® — The Framework for Reading

Recognized globally as the most widely used measure of reading ability and text complexity, a Lexile® measure simplifies choices for educators, parents and children by helping them select books and other materials that are targeted to a reader's unique ability level and reading goals.

CBC — Children's Book Council

The Children's Book Council is the national nonprofit trade association for children's trade book publishers.

Looking for Book Donations?

First Book is a wonderful organization whose mission is to to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.

RIF — Reading is Fundamental

Largest children's literacy nonprofit in the United States dedicated to preparing and motivating children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. They inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice.

Big Universe

Read leveled and non-leveled fiction and non-fiction books online

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.

WorldCat — World's Largest Library Catalog

Find what you want in a library near you with WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections. Search for popular books, music CDs and videos — all of the physical items you're used to getting from libraries. Search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world.