Why? It’s my favorite question.
Hopefully those shiny new resolutions you made on New Year’s day still have their luster. I love making resolutions, even if they don’t survive to see February. Resolutions are a way of affirming the things that matter to us, the people that we strive to be: Yes! I want to be that person! The one that always exercises, eats right and never yells at her children!
That we can never achieve this mythically perfect person, shouldn’t stop us from trying. To strive is human nature, and all that. But more importantly, painting a picture of who we want to be, through this Annual Resolution Rite, affirms the things important to us. Our raison d’etre.
In that vein, I want to talk about Ink Spells’ reason-to-be. Why, Ink Spells? Why do you exist?
Ink Spells is a place to talk about connecting good books to kids, especially advanced readers.
Reading is a vital piece of a child’s education, and I’ve been fighting the battle to keep my children well supplied with books ever since Dark Omen demanded I teach him to read (yeah, it goes down like that in our house sometimes). I grant no quarter to books that are inappropriate for my children, but have treasured tomes stationed in literally every room in our house. Because this is something I feel passionate about, this blog focuses on advanced readers, but it is by no means restricted to them. The fight to ensure all children have a chance to be literate is one I will gladly take on.
While parents are at the forefront, teachers and librarians are the heavily armed rear guard, providing the infrastructure to reach every child and connect them to books they’ll love, often far more effectively than parents. I’ve yet to see one of my kids turn down a book that a teacher suggested. So, parents, make sure these amazing people are by your side on this one. You will find them your most useful and trustworthy allies in literacy.
Finally, I believe children’s authors have a special responsibility to write books that will positively impact children’s lives. This doesn’t mean that writers should only write serious, preachy books. Good grief, we’d lose the battle right there, down in flames like a cranky twin-prop going up against an F-22 Stealth Fighter. I believe writers should write the kinds of books that kids of all kinds – boys, girls, fantasy-lovers, science-lovers, people-lovers – will be begging their parents to let them read. As a writer, that’s the kind of book I want to write. Fortunately, having legions of children yearning to read their books is pretty much the dream of any children’s writer. So, yeah. They’re on board.
Hopefully Ink Spells can help writers connect to readers, help parents guide their children to great books, and generally help keep children reading.
A lofty goal. Just as a raison d’etre should be.
In pursuit of that goal, I have reorganized Ink Spells to make it a little easier to find books. The list of Books I’ve Reviewed will continue to grow, and a link can be found to the right. I’ve also tagged book reviews by genre, so if your resident minor likes Fantasy, or Science Fiction, or Real Life books, you can check those tags directly. Finally, an unreviewed list of suggested readings, culled from a variety of commenters and fellow bloggers, gives you at least a heading as you sail off into the library looking for new literary conquests.
Question: My word, how much extended metaphor can I cram in one posting?
No, the real question: What genre of books do your children love to read? What strategies do you use to keep your kids reading?
More on strategies to come in this shiny New Decade . . .