Monday, March 30, 2015

Malala's Fight To Read... To Learn

As reading month is about to come to a close, there are things to consider about this wonderful month of March.  Not only was Dr. Seuss's birthday celebrated early on in the month but the pure enjoyment of reading was celebrated as well.  How appropriate, right?  In the mix National Mystery Book month is thrown in for good measure as if readers, librarians and other types of book lovers need another excuse to celebrate this pastime called reading. 

  In just about every library around the country, there have been programs upon programs promoting reading for every age group.  To be perfectly honest, every month should be reading month but can't get greedy and claim all twelve months out the year.  Well, in this one instance it's not so much as greed as it is a passion for sharing books, stories and poetry.   With each word, sentence or  page of a book, t here is a possibility of finding a gem of knowledge or tale that will be with the reader for the rest of their lives.  Sounds pretty corny and hokey to say?  Probably,  but then again being a book lover brings that out naturally for any avid reader.

Wonder what would happen if parents started telling their children "You better read that book because there is some child in Africa who doesn't have a book to read!"  Almost every child has heard in one form or another that they should eat their vegetables because there is a starving child somewhere in the world who is going to bed without vegetables. It's the universal tug of war between parent and child to get healthy food into a child.  Parent tries every tactic, including guilt, to get the child to eat.  Child resists at every attempt.  Eventually, one of them wins and most often than not it's the parent.  Should parent use this same tactic to lure kids into reading?  After all reading feeds the brain, and children need a strong IQ in order to attain success in school.  Isn't this just as important as eating vegetables?

Consider this, there  are children who are starving (intellectually that is) for a book.  Or at the very least a chance to read and learn.  I Am Malala is a shining example of a young girl who wanted to read and learn and almost lost her life for it.   This ten year old  student, not only wrote a book about her experience, she also has become the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Young Reader edition is complete with exclusive photographs and materials.  Like the first release, the book demands that readers think about certain questions.  For example,  what would children in our country do if they were told they couldn't read or couldn't go to school?  Would they fight for their rights to read?

Malala's story is compelling for one simple fact:  she is young, intelligent and determined to find her place in this world.   It is not often that a young child comes along and reminds us all that the simple pleasures in life are worth fighting for, like the freedom to pick up a book and read.  That 's what is  being celebrated this month:   the reading enjoyment for all kids of all ages.  Pick up the book, either versions will be efficient to inspire readers for years to come. 

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