A Striped Hat Off to Dr. Seuss: First Book’s “What Book Got You Hooked?” Campaign Reveals Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Books Got Kids Hooked on Reading
Online voters select Hawaii to receive 50,000 new books
WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 13, 2009 — The zany and lyrical stories of Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Books like Green Eggs and Ham and Cat in the Hat have resonated with thousands of Americans and gotten them hooked on books. First Book, a nonprofit organization providing new books to children in need, recently asked readers to share their memory of the first book that made reading fun as part of the What Book Got You Hooked? campaign. It is no surprise that Dr. Seuss’s stories were cited as the most popular books that have encouraged countless people to begin the whimsical adventure of reading.
Hawaii won the online voting which asked visitors to vote for a state to receive a special donation of 50,000 new children’s books, receiving more than 90,000 of the 290,000 online votes cast. First Book will distribute the books in early 2010, giving programs across the islands serving predominantly children from low-income situations time to register with First Book. Programs must meet First Book’s eligibility requirements, registering online at firstbook.org/register. When the books are made available, registered Recipient Groups in Hawaii will receive an email notification inviting them to apply for the books.
The top 25 books includes perennial favorites, the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, as well as recent bestsellers like the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.
“The What Book Got You Hooked? campaign appeals to everyone who remembers the magic of stories. So many children in need have few or no books and never get the chance to know the storybook characters and classics today’s adults grew up on,” said First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer. “Learning to love reading starts with having a book to read. First Book wants to reach each child who is waiting with a story they can call their own. We appreciate the record levels of voting this year, and thank everyone for their votes, their stories and their donations.”
Although voting for the 2009 campaign has concluded, visitors to the What Book Got You Hooked? Web site can still make a donation to help provide brand new books to children in need as well as share their favorite books and memories year round. More than 80 celebrities - including Morgan Freeman, Neil Patrick Harris, Bow Wow, Joan Allen, Patti LaBelle, Ed Asner, David Duchovny, Edward Norton, James Patterson, Judy Blume, Stephen Colbert and John Krasinski - supported the campaign by sharing their memories of the books that captured their imaginations as children. See their responses online here.
Research shows that the single strongest indicator of a child’s future reading ability is the number of age-appropriate books in the home. Yet access to books is almost nonexistent for children living in poverty. A recent study found that in middle-income families there is an average of 13 books for ever child, compared to just 1 book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods. First Book addresses this crisis at its root by providing new books directly to children in need through community-based programs already serving these families.
About First Book
First Book provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 80 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities. First Book now has offices in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about the nonprofit First Book please visit firstbook.org.