First Book, a nonprofit that provides new, high-quality books to children from low-income families, is asking the public to choose which iconic children's title they will give away as their 100 millionth book in November.
"In some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the country there is only one book available for every 300 children, unlike more affluent neighborhoods where every child has a dozen or more books of their own," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "This disparity is intolerable."
"We've chosen ten great books we think every child should own," Zimmer said. "Kids need books like these to turn them into strong readers and help them become success stories – in school and in life."
First Book works with a growing network of over 40,000 local schools and community programs acrossthe United States and Canada, as well as the publishing industry, to provide free and low-cost books to children in need – almost 100 million brand-new books since its founding in 1992.
To choose the 100 millionth book, they've asked supporters and members of the public to vote online.
Voters can choose their favorite from ten well-known and beloved children's books.
The top ten books represent some of the all-time best-selling titles available on the First Book Marketplace, a website available exclusively to educators and program leaders that work with kids in need.
- A Wrinkle in Time (Macmillan)
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Simon & Schuster)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams)
- Eating the Alphabet (Houghton Mifflin)
- Green Eggs and Ham (Random House)
- Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick Press)
- Martin's Big Words (Disney Publishing Worldwide)
- The Snowy Day (Puffin)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (Hachette)
- Where the Wild Things Are (HarperCollins)
Voting begins today, Oct. 29, and continues through Nov. 9. To vote, visit firstbook.org/vote.
The winning title will be announced on Nov. 15 at Martha's Table in Washington, D.C, a local nonprofit dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless and low-income children. It was at Martha's Table that First Book was born; the idea came to Zimmer when she and some colleagues were volunteering there 20 years ago and realized that the children they were working with had no books of their own at home. Children at the program will receive their very own copies of the winning title.
In addition, copies of all ten books will be available as a special anniversary collection to all of the 40,000 schools and programs that make up the First Book network.
Anyone who works with kids in need is eligible to get books from First Book. In addition to the First Book Marketplace, where over 3,000 titles are available at low cost, First Book also regularly distributes large quantities of brand-new books donated by publishers, free of charge.
To sign up, visit First Book on the web.
Ten Books Every Child Should Own