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Resources to Inspire Young Readers

Ready to encourage more reading in your classroom, school, or neighborhood? The following diverse set of resources will give you plenty of ideas.

National Geographic

As part of its nonfiction literacy campaign, National Geographic launched the Book Club for Kids with a wide range of fun activities and free materials online. Books are categorized for the history buff, world traveler, adventurous explorer, and super survivor. Children can write and post book reviews, read book reviews from other kids all over the world, make their own bookmark, and look over study guides. In the special Reading Expeditions section, teachers have access to teaching notes, materials for student activities, assessment handbooks, and guides relating the materials to national standards. Visit National Geographic's Book Club for Kids at www.nationalgeographic.com/bookclub.

Spaghetti Book Club

The Spaghetti Book Club offers K-12 teachers a venue for publishing their students' book reviews, as well as related artwork, on the Internet. For $75 to $150 per year (depending on the number of reviews published and amount of assistance needed with posting artwork), teachers are provided with lesson plans on developing book reviews, publishing criteria, and consent forms. Instead of just posting students' reviews online, Spaghetti Book Club staff members read the reviews to make sure they meet the publishing criteria. If not, students are given an opportunity to rewrite their reviews. Similar to many state literacy standards, these publishing criteria challenge students to think critically about the books they are reviewing. Learn more about the Spaghetti Book Club at www.spaghettibookclub.org.

Braille Children's Books

To make sure your bookshelves have plenty of resources for everyone, review the American Foundation for the Blind's resources for children's braille books. The list is available at www.afb.org/info_document_view.asp?documentid=1249. Another great source is the Children's Braille Book Club, which offers a new print-braille children's book every month for preschool through third-grade students. Affiliated with the National Braille Press, this club can be found at www.nbp.org/bookclub.html.

Scholastic

For economically priced children's books and information on earning points for free materials, visit the preschool through eighth-grade book-buying clubs offered by Scholastic at http://teacher.scholastic.com/clubs/custsvc/tguide/index.htm.

Book Club Deals

If you are ready to dive deep into the world of book clubs, spend some time looking through www.bookclubdeals.com. Not only will you find great deals—like clubs offering five books for $2 when you join—you'll find book clubs in dozens of categories from children's to mystery to politics. There are even book clubs for early, primary, and middle school teachers.