Kentucky Press News Service
FRANKFORT – As a part of her ongoing reading recommendations initiative, first lady Jane Beshear Friday announced a special reading list for the 2015 Kentucky Literacy Celebration, March 16-20. The fifth annual celebration will involve several statewide events focused on improving literacy levels for all Kentuckians.
“Our goal for the Kentucky Literacy Celebration is for every Kentuckian to engage in a literacy event – whether it is participating in a school- or library-sponsored reading event, joining a book club or simply reading with your children before bedtime,” Mrs. Beshear said in a statement. “Literacy is especially important to celebrate with young people, because instilling the love of reading in a child will also inspire a lifelong love of learning and taste for knowledge. My 2015 Literacy Celebration reading recommendations are some particularly special selections that I believe will spark young minds and encourage them to want to keep reading.”
2015 Literacy Celebration Reading Recommendations
1. “The Book with No Pictures” by B.J. Novak (Ages 5-8) “Don’t let the title deter you, because this imaginative book will stir laughter in anyone who reads it out loud. The mishmash of quirky words devoid of illustrations brings a fresh take to the world of youth literature and is a sure-fire crowd pleaser for young audiences.”
2. “Queen of Kentucky” by Alecia Whitaker (Ages 12 and up) – “Set in small town Kentucky, this coming-of-age story will resonate with many preteen and teenage girls, as it follows main character Ricki Jo Winstead’s inner and outer struggle with popularity. After a serious incident happens on her neighbor’s farm, Ricki Jo is faced with what is more important to her: being a true friend or being one of the most popular girls in school.”
3. “What Do You Do With An Idea” by Kobi Yamada (Ages 3 and up) – “While geared toward young children, this story is truly for a person of any age who has ever had an idea or goal that seemed too big, too strange, or too impossible. It will inspire any reader to welcome their ideas, give them space to grow and the confidence to thrive.”
4. “The Dark” by Lemony Snicket (Ages 3-6) – “This award-winning book tackles an age-old fear had by almost every child: the dark. The story centers on a blue pajama-wearing young boy named Laszlo, and his terrible fear of the dark that lurks in his home. Read how Laszlo conquers his fear, when one night he has no other choice than to face it head on.”
5. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio (Ages 8-12) – “A No. 1 New York Times best-seller, this book centers around August Pullman, a young boy who until fifth grade was unable to attend mainstream school due to a facial abnormality. In a time when bullying is an ever-present scourge in our schools, this story brings a refreshing narrative and poignant perspective on the importance of friendship and staying true to oneself.”
6. “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein (Ages 14 and up) – “This book begins in 1943 with the crash of a British spy-plane in Nazi-occupied France. When one of the two female passengers, Verity, gets captured, she is faced with the choice of revealing her mission or being executed. Readers will be enthralled by Verity’s resolve and story of survival, as this book unveils twists and turns around every corner.”
7. “The Day the Crayon Quit” by Drew Daywalt (Ages 3-7) – “Can it be true? The crayons are on strike? In this imaginative and humorous book, yes it is. See how young Duncan appeases all of the colors and convinces them to work together again in this story filled with vivid dialogue and creativity.”
8. “El Deafo” by Cece Bell (Ages 8-12) – “The first day of school and the pressure to make new friends is difficult on any child, let alone one who has to wear a bulky hearing device on her chest. This story is a graphic novel memoir from author CeCe Bell about her struggles with wearing a Phonic Ear as a young child, and the humor and emotion it took to turn this affliction into her own type of superpower.”
9. “Are You My Mother” by P.D. Eastman (Ages Infant-3) – “This humorous and heartwarming read is a classic children’s board book that follows a confused baby bird who is simply in search for his mother. He asks cows, planes and steam shovels the ever-present question, until in the end he is happily reunited with his one, true mom.”
10. “Rain Reign” by Ann M. Martin (Ages 9-12) – “This story is told in the first-person by Rose Howard, a young girl with many routines and habits that are difficult for others, including her friends, teachers and father, to understand. When her beloved dog Rain goes missing during a horrible storm, Rose is forced to break away from her safety net of routines to go in search of him. Readers will root for Rose as she experiences many honest, humorous and heartbreaking moments along her journey.”
Mrs. Beshear will travel across the state during Kentucky Literacy Celebration Week to visit a number of schools, adult education centers and libraries to promote reading and learn about community literacy programs. She will be visiting several Kentucky cities including Florence, Glasgow, Hebron, Lexington, Louisville and Paducah.