From The Beacon: Read with your kids for Children's Book Week

In my line of work as a children's librarian, Children's Book Week is every week of the year.

It is a continual delight to peek in the pages of our new children's books when they first arrive in the library. As I select books for purchase, I always try to pick ones I think children will benefit from reading. I ask myself, as I read the reviews, "Will children enjoy this book? Will they learn something from it? Will it make them want to read more?" Sometimes I choose well, and sometimes I am disappointed with my choice, but a book always is selected with the children in mind.

Well then, what exactly is Children's Book Week? According to the Children's Book Council, "It all began with the idea that children's books can change lives. In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children's books. He proposed creating a Children's Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers and librarians. Since 1919, Children's Book Week has been celebrated in homes, schools, libraries and bookstores across the country."

A major component of Book Week is the Children's Choice Book Awards. Each year, beginning in early spring, children and teens across the country have the opportunity to vote on books that have captured their interest and imagination. These have been some of the winners in past years:

2008 WINNERS

2009 WINNERS

  • Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year: "The Pigeon Wants A Puppy!" written and illustrated by Mo Willems;
  • Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year: "Spooky Cemeteries," written by Dinah Williams;
  • Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year: "Thirteen," by Lauren Myracle;
  • Teen Choice Book of the Year (the inaugural year for this award): "Breaking Dawn," by Stephenie Meyer;
  • Author of the Year: Stephenie Meyer for "Breaking Dawn";
  • Illustrator of the Year: Jon J. Muth for "Zen Ties"

The 2010 Children's Choice Book Award finalists can be found online at:www.book weekonline.com/finalists. This year's winners will be announced at the Children's Choice Book Awards gala on May 11 in New York City. The voting results will be online the following morning, so be sure to see what the children and teens chose. Next year's Children's Book Week will be held May 2-8.If your child or teen is interested in voting for his or her favorite choices next year, remember voting begins in early spring.

Every branch of the Beaufort County Library has many award-winning books for kids to choose from. The Children's Choice Book Award list is just one of many book award lists to help them get started in finding outstanding quality literature. One of the things that makes this list very special is that these books were chosen by the children and teens who voted. And, who knows better than the readers themselves what truly motivates and excites them about reading?