Y’all…I LOVE giving books as gifts. My most consistent recipients are the tiny humans recently birthed by my friends. One of my favorite memories from my childhood is my sister and I each getting to pick out a book and Mom reading them before we went to bed. Ferdinand the Bull is one I would pick over and over just because my sister didn’t like it. 🙂 Other favorite children’s picture books I like to give are Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Snowy Day, and Chrysanthemum.
Need some more ideas? Here are a couple lists from the New York Public Library and WeNeedDiverseBooks. And if you want to explore options for adults (or yourself), here is a playlist from a youtuber I like named Rosianna. Scroll through for reviews, gift idea lists, and more.
But it’s not enough to start kids early! There are so many good books for older kids and young adults, and if they’ve gotten to a point where they say they just don’t like to read, maybe they haven’t found the right genre. Some people don’t consider themselves “readers” until their interest is piqued by a graphic novel or a biography about their sports hero or a manual on how to fix cars – all totally valid forms of literature!
Unfortunately, it’s not just a lack of interest that keeps young adults away from books. Sometimes it’s because they don’t have access, whether they don’t have the resources to buy books or transportation to go to the library. And sometimes it’s because they’re incarcerated.
To be clear, this is NOT a sponsored post. Liberation Library is just an organization I recently learned about that helps match books to youth who are in prisons in the Chicago area. As their mission statement says: “Liberation Library provides books to youth in prison to encourage imagination, self-determination and connection to the outside worlds of their choosing. We believe access to books is a right, not a privilege. We believe books and relationships empower young people to change the criminal justice system.”
I know a lot of people this time of year are looking for ways to donate their time or resources to a non-profit/charitable organization, and this one looks like it might be a good fit for all you book lovers out there! What I like about them is that they fulfill specific requests for books these kids are actually interested in. If this looks like a cause you would like to support, go check them out!