B. A. Binns here, back for Hearts and Flowers round with the genre-ista's.
My genre is contemporary, realistic Young Adult. My slogan is "Stories of real boys growing into real men...and the people who love them." I write for the eager and the reluctant reader.
I was always one of those "eager readers" as a child, young adult and now adult. Give me a book, almost any book, and I was a happy kid. I was the girl who began sneaking into the adult shelves in 5th grade (I'm old enough that they didn't have anything called YA back then and I had already gone through the kids stuff in my local library). Seriously, the unabridged version of the Count of Monte Cristo, all 600 plus pages, was one of my favorite books back then. (Can you spell N E R D?)
But there were always schoolmates who were left behind, who didn't like books, did not see reading as fun, and cracked the pages only when forced. They avoided books like they were hotbeds of the superflu.
Reluctant readersThese are the so-called "reluctant readers." Some have trouble reading and abandon the attempt to avoid looking foolish or feeling inferior. Some see no reason or value in reading. Most have never met a book that excited them and became the page-turner they could not put down. They don't realize what they lose. Because whether it's a paper book or an eBook, short stories, a novel, memoir, or biography, books give us something movies and video games do not. Reading exercises parts of our brains and helps us examine ethical issues. Becoming part of a character and following them through moral and physical dilemmas gives us a safe place to exercise judgement, make mistakes, understand consequences, all in the privacy of the pages.
Is there a book that says something about ME and MY life?Answering that question can help turn these kids around. Librarians struggle to connect the right kid with the right book. The book that will call to them and make them realize reading is worth the effort. Maybe it will show them a little of themselves and the people and world around them.
I have been invited to speak at Kent State University in the spring, and at the American Library Association's annual meeting over the summer. I will be discussing the sissue of reluctant readers, and ways to help turn them around.
P. S. I won't forget my 2013 publishing goals. In addition to releasing Being God (Goal #1), I continue to make presentations at schools, libraries, and conferences about multicultural literature and the needs of reluctant readers. I will continue discussing the problem with every school, teacher, parent and library I can reach, reach out to me and let's set something up. Books are fun, a ticket to understanding ourselves and the world around us. I want as many kids as possible to share in this.
ContestI am also running a contest this month, for people who follow my Being God blog tour. Leave a comment to be entered into a raffle for a $25 Amazon gift card. Check out my personal blog for more contest details including additional chances to enter AND to learn more about me and Being God.
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