Jim and the Giant Peach
As a high school English teacher, I am always amazed at how few students I deal with on a day-by-day basis that actually READ outside of school.  Maybe that's why this press release caught my eye.

FIRST BOOK, a literacy organization that provides books to kids in need, recently had an online poll to determine which book or series got adults "hooked" on reading.  The most popular result? NANCY DREW.  I was more of a Hardy Boys man myself, but Carolyn Keene (a pseudonym for several authors over the years) certain deserves props for introducing generations to the wonderful world of reading. (I wonder how many people read the controversial Clue In The Clock? Tsk tsk tsk... so many swears...)

To quote from the press release, "research shows that the single strongest indicator of a child's future reading ability is the number of age-appropriate books in the home. Yet access to books is almost non-existent for children living in poverty. A recent study found that in middle-income families there is an average of 13 books for every child, compared to just 1 book for every 300 children in low- income neighborhoods. First Book addresses this crisis at its root by providing new books directly to children in need through community- based programs already serving their families." Towards these ends, the program gave away 50,000 new books to the state of Oklahoma (winner of an online vote). 

OK, that's all well and good, but what does this have to do with THE OFFICE? The FIRST BOOK site interviewed a handful of celebrities and asked them what was the first book that "hooked" them.  One of the celebs? Our very own John Krasinski. 

Says John: "There were so many great books I read growing up. I was always a HUGE fan of all things Roald Dahl. Every book from James and the Giant Peach to The BFG to The Witches, nobody wrote more imaginative stories for kids. These worlds he created had the nonsensical appeal of Dr. Seuss, while at the same time, the characters were all written with wonderful complexities and enormous heart. It was a feast for any imagination! And with so many great books, short stories and poems to choose from, you could go on an adventure any day of the week!"

As for me, I remember reading the NARNIA and the OZ books when I was in first or second grade... I dug Encyclopedia Brown, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and lots of other great stuff.  The lesson here? If there's a kid in your life, do them a favor and buy them a book! They just might grow up to be OFFICE fans.

Category:general -- posted at: 7:01pm EST

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