justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby March 5, 2014 - 10:24pm

I'm new, and not sure how this goes but here it is:

If you could rule absolute, the supreme being deciding curriculum for inner-city kids (7th grade to 12th -- 12 or 13 to 18 or 19) which authors/books would you recommend to help them acquire a love of reading? What inspired you to read as an impressionable youth? Who were your heroes/heroines and why? And a nerdy question, did any authors/books help develop or reinforce your values, your ethics; did any of them affect you so much they helped determine who you are and what you're doing now? Did a book or a teacher change your path as an adult?

I'm volunteering with our Literacy Council (which is not only for children but also for adults; in addition to regular reading classes I'll be helping with the  ESL classes--we have a large number of adults who are illierate or Spanish-speaking only). One of the speakers at the TED session I went to last weekend said she'd heard these children labeled "throw-aways." I know these kids. I was one of them. They are now, as I was then, the future for a city, a state, a country. They need to be encouraged, led, pumped up, so they can be the best they can be. Look at it this way: you guys NEED them if you're going to make a living doing what you love.

Books have made a huge difference in my life. I escaped some grim family situations with them, found out what is possible, and changed my life. 

So, I'd love it if you guys could give me some feedback, and maybe I can give a hard- or paperback to some kid who could make a difference in the world--as I think you guys are doing. Example: I'd never been a big sci-fi fan until my husband, a huge fan!, suggested I read "Ringworld" and "Childhood's End" when we met in college.. I was hooked!

Ok sorry for the long intro-- I'd love all or anyone's input. You are all so different-creative-fun! people.

The Bar is Open!