When I was a kid, I was read to by my parents. We had all the Dr. Seus books, I swear they were worn down and weathered by the time we had the house fire.
After we moved, we were still given books but, as far as school went, I hum-de-da'd my way through their library and found a few good books. Then I discovered great books. Then came High School...where textbooks sounded like their writers were on Vicodin or something.
I only remember two books they made us read. Black Boy and Run, Baby, Run.
I never finished Black Boy. I couldn't connect with it.
Run, Baby, Run was a true account of a gang member. I already knew to stay away from gangs so the entire book to me goes without saying.
I had to discover great books on my own. Like Catcher in The Rye, The Invisible Man, Into The Wild, The War of The Worlds, The Most Dangerous Game, Jumper, Johnathan Livingston Seagull, Catch-22.
Luckily, I already had a passion for reading so I sought out books for myself to read, without anyone guiding me. I read classic young adult novels.
But some are not so lucky.
Lowest literacy rate is in the country of Mali - 26 percent.
The highest is Andorra - 100 percent.
United states has 99 percent.
But I heard that Rhode Island has the lowest literacy rate of all. Their literacy rate is 27.3 percent.
It's true that our country needs to bump up in areas like science and math but I believe that reading is the most important one of all. If a child does not get inducted into reading with some good books under his belt, then there is very little you can do.
But, there is one website I support.
James Patterson has made one. Even thought I don't particularly like his writing style, he has made a way for parents to find out exactly what books their kids need by making lists of young adult classics through ages 1 to 10.
If you really want your kids to be smarter, happier and critical thinkers then give the kids what they want.
Go here - Read Kiddo Read to find out more. Who knows, maybe you can brush up on a couple of childhood classics you missed during your youth.