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Download the overview of Children's Book Week 100th Anniversary
Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated across the United States. The longest running literacy initiative in the country, this celebration of books and reading for young people is closely connected with the rise and cultural importance of children’s literature itself.
Leonard Marcus’ introduction in 100 Years of Children’s Book Week Posters, published by Random House, provides many fascinating details of Children’s Book Week and the cultural and social changes happening in America that made a celebration like this possible. The program began thanks to a passionate group of librarians, educators, booksellers, and journalists. The very first Children’s Book Week was launched in November of 1919 and was the brain child of Franklin K. Mathiews, librarian for the Boy Scouts of America. With the help of New York Public Library’s Anne Carroll Moore and Publisher’s Weekly editor Frederic G. Melcher, this national celebration had its start with an amazing poster created by Jessie Wilcox Smith and the slogan, “More Books in the Home!”
Since then, Children’s Book Week has evolved and changed in many ways – including moving from its original November timing to May – but the essence of the program has remained constant. At its core, Children’s Book Week is a wonderful opportunity for kids and teens to connect with books and book creators, and to give teachers, librarians, booksellers, and educators a structured but fun annual occasion to celebrate the love of reading that takes place coast to coast all in one glorious week.
A 100th anniversary only comes around once, so this is a big year with a lot of new partnerships, resources, and events happening throughout 2019. Every Child a Reader, the organization that has had stewardship of the program since 2008, understands the importance of honoring the past, celebrating in the present, and looking towards the future. This is a celebration for kids after all, whose futures are bright and shinning before them. That’s why this year’s slogan is: Read Now ● Read Forever.
100th Anniversary Highlights:
Join us as we honor this beloved program throughout 2019. Schools, public and school libraries, and after school programs are invited to sign-up as official event locations for our November week between May and September. Learn more here.
What is Children’s Book Week and how can you join in the celebrations?
Tons of downloadable bookmarks, activities, and more for 2021 Book Week events.
Promote your 2021 Children's Book Week celebration with these tools.
Resources for our May 3-9, 2021 Book Week.
Information about our partners.