Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Read, Kiddo, Read!

Hey children's book fans- thanks to Mother Talk I've just heard about a great new site out there for those of us who aren't already tied into knots over our online commitments. READKIDDOREAD is a good source of book recommendations for the under 18 crowd, spearheaded by James Patterson, New York Times bestseller in both children's and adult fiction books. I have to admit that I'm not super impressed with the selection of picture books and younger books (and no Barefoot Books!), but the recommendations seem to fill a mostly empty niche: modern, edgy and relevant. There are many great books for young male readers, an audience often under-emphasized, from "Action/Adventure/Mystery" to "Just the Facts" (non-fiction). No book is off-limits, including graphic novels and fantasy genres. I've never been a huge fan of potty humor, but the Captain Underpants series has been unequivocably successful and not every kid can be expected to go straight for Odysseus. Patterson's mantra seems to be: if it gets kids reading, its good reading for kids. He's not alone in this sentiment. READKIDDOREAD has an impressive board of educators, writers and publishers of children's literature that influence the direction of this site.

Patterson isn't just thinking about kiddos; there is also virtual community associated with this site. The user-friendly discussion groups, open blogs and other features make the site more tantalizing for grown-ups than your average book-review (you'll find me there as Barefoot Tori). Though it's still in it's infancy, I hope READKIDDOREAD will grow to fill its niche as more people join, add reviews and discuss the joys of reading! I'm already on Goodreads and several other virtual communities, but the specific nature of this site drew me in. Encouraging kids to read seems to be the hot new topic among my friends, from My First Book to Books for Africa, there's a lot happening in the world of children's books! Kick your shoes off and dive in!

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