All adolescents are reading less. There is a calamitous drop-off in students’ reading after age 13 and a downward trend in voluntary reading by youth at middle and high school levels over the past two decades.
And yet, students who I believe are determined nonreaders become committed, passionate readers given the right books, time to read, and regular responses to their thinking. The pathway to difficult reading begins with books they enjoy. Once they’re reading, together we can reach for the challenging literature I want them to know. Rich and rewarding reading lives are within reach for all teenagers.
However, as public libraries struggle for funding and school libraries close, today many students do not have access to books. There is only one book for every 300 kids living in poverty in the United States. We can change this. We have to.
The Book Love Foundation is dedicated to teachers who inspire a love of reading. We provide classroom libraries comprised of hundreds of books carefully chosen to meet teenagers where they are and lead them to the deep rewards of reading. We put those books into the hands of teachers who demonstrate a commitment to rich reading lives for all students.