Good writers often read good literature. For kids, reading quality books that model strong writing styles, figurative language, and creativity can help with writing tasks of their own. The skillfully-crafted writing they read will translate into their own writing endeavors over time, resulting in improved personal and academic writing. In turn, when children improve their writing and become confident in their writing abilities, they are encouraged to write more.
Where can parents turn for insightful reading recommendations to encourage their young writers/ readers? A good starting point is literature by Newbery Award winners. Each year since 1922, the John Newbery Medal has been awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. There are also Newbery Honor runners-up to commend other notable contributions to children’s literature. The American Library Association’s Association for Library Service to Children selects the Newbery Medal winners, who are announced each January.
For a complete list of Newbery Award winners, visit the American Library Association’s Newbury Medal Home Page at at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberywinners/medalwinners. Most public libraries and book stores have a section dedicated to Newbery Award-winning books for easy reference.
Many adults, including myself, also enjoy reading Newbery Medal literature. It is nice to share a love of reading with your children, and books make for great conversation pieces. Happy reading!
Christa Riddle, All About Writing, Howell, NJ, www.allaboutwritingconsulting.com