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Children’s Book Week has been celebrated nationally since 1919, in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes — or any place where there are children and books.
This year the dates are May 10-16. Visit http://www.bookweekonline.com for free bookmarks, information about scheduled events across the country, and suggestions for activities.
Educators, librarians, booksellers and families celebrate children’s books and the love of reading with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book-related events.
It all began with the idea that children’s books can change lives. Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country in 1913 to promote higher standards in children’s books. He proposed creating a Children’s Book Week, which would be supported by like-minded groups.
Matthiews enlisted two important allies: Frederic G. Melcher (editor of Publisher’s Weekly) and Anne Carroll Moore, who was Superintendent of Children’s Works at the New York Public Library and a major figure in the library world.
In 1916, the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association cooperated with the Boy Scouts in sponsoring a “Good Book Week.”
By 1944, the newly established Children’s Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children’s Book Week.
And in 2008, the celebration was moved from November to May. At that time, responsibility for Children’s Book Week was transferred to Every Child a Reader, the philanthropic arm of the children’s publishing industry.
Also in 2008, the Children’s Book Council created the Children’s Choice Book Awards, the only national child-chosen book awards program, which gives young readers a powerful voice in their own reading choices.
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