Father’s Day Press Release: How US troops all over the world can say ‘I love you’ to their kids back home

GHMILY Anniversary Edition Cover ArtPress Release: Bestselling storybook Guess How Much I Love You and nonprofit United Through Reading help deployed military dads deliver a special message to their kids, perfect for Father’s Day

Although millions of children in the US will be celebrating Father’s Day with their dads on June 21, for many children whose fathers are serving in the military, dad won’t be at home. But thanks to nonprofit United Through Reading and a very special storybook, there’s a way for every dad to tell his kids he loves them this Father’s Day – however far away he might be.

United Through Reading helps thousands of military men and women separated from the children in their lives during deployment to share in the magical bedtime story experience together, wherever they are in the world. And so service members all over the country – and the world – have the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to their children at home, whether it’s from a tent in Afghanistan, a base in Djibouti, Africa, or one of nearly 200 recording locations worldwide.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram is one of United Through Reading’s most popular book choices, especially for Father’s Day – its story celebrates the unique bond between father and child. The tale of Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare’s attempts to measure their love for one another has resonated with parents and children all over the world, and has struck a particular chord with military families facing separation. A global bestseller celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Guess How Much I Love You has become one of the world’s best loved picture books.

Guess How Much I Love You is one of United Through Reading’s favorite book titles,” says United Through Reading CEO, Dr. Sally Ann Zoll, Ed.D.  “Since it was written 20 years ago, we have been providing the storybook to service members near and far to record for their loved ones at home. The story is simple, but the message is a very special one, reassuring little ones at home that a Father’s love is immeasurable with the beloved line, ‘I love you right up to the moon and back.’ For service members who are away from home, the story serves as a reminder that their love can close the distance.  This book is a treasure!” ​

PRT Farah Completes United Through Reading Read-a-thon

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jennifer Kleve, left, a medic with Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Farah, helps set up a camera for U.S. Army Capt. Jacob Estrada, right, security force commander for the PRT, prior to his participation in a United Through Reading Read-a-thon on FOB Farah, Jan. 18. Participants in the program were encouraged to read to children in their families or to students at Birch Elementary in Idaho, to promote childhood literacy. United Through Reading is a non-profit organization that enables deployed service members to share their love and support with their children by reading books aloud on DVD. PRT Farah’s mission is to train, advise, and assist Afghan government leaders at the municipal, district, and provincial levels in Farah province Afghanistan. Their civil military team is comprised of members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Matthew Stroup/released)

Learn more: Deployed dads deliver #FathersDay message with @UTR4Military and #GuessHowMuchILoveYou

A heartfelt video especially for Father’s Day featuring military parents reading Guess How Much I Love You to their children back home in a United Through Reading recording. http://youtu.be/-PvcCmSkfZE



United Through Reading is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) public benefit organization that has been around for more than 25 years; it’s mission is to unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together.  United Through Reading offers service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to children at home which eases the stress of separation, maintains positive emotional connections, and cultivates a love of reading and early childhood literacy.  At nearly 200 recording locations worldwide, service members can read to the children who are special to them from units on ships, in tents in Afghanistan, on bases around the world, and at more than 40 USO centers worldwide.  Since its inception, nearly 2 million military parents, spouses and children have benefited from the program.



 IBSN:  9780763674489 $16.99 / $19.00    

Guess How Much I Love You is celebrating its 20thanniversary in 2015.Now available in a deluxe anniversary edition, Guess How Much I Love You is one of the most successful children’s books of all time, selling 28 million copies and published in 53 languages. Published by Candlewick Press, Sam McBratney’s timeless, endearing story of Big and Little Nutbrown Hare, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s watercolours, has charmed people of all ages. It has become one of the world’s best-loved picture books, and the phrase ‘I love you right up to the moon and back’ has come to signify a way of saying ‘I love you’ to someone special. You can find out more about this extraordinary book here http://www.guesshowmuchiloveyou.com/us.


Candlewick Press is an independent publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For over twenty years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia. The Walker Books Group has a unique ownership structure that includes all of its employees worldwide. Visit Candlewick online at www.candlewick.com

Jumpstart and Candlewick Press Partner to Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      

 National Early Education Organization and Children’s Book Publisher Join Global Movement to Shine a Spotlight on the Importance of High-Quality Early Learning with 2015 campaign book “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story”

BOSTON, MA (APRIL 28, 2015) Jumpstart, a national early education non-profit organization, and Candlewick Press, an independent children’s publisher, have announced their partnership in honor of the 10th anniversary of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a global campaign that generates public support for high-quality early learning and highlights the importance of building children’s vocabulary and love for reading.

On October 22, 2015, children and adults worldwide will take action by participating in the world’s largest shared reading experience, known as Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. Since 2006, the campaign has mobilized over 14.5 million people and has kept the world reading record for the most people reading the same book on the same day.

Each year, Jumpstart selects one children’s book as the catalyst for Read for the Record to bring together schools, libraries, communities, and businesses. Jumpstart is honored to embark on a new partnership with Candlewick Press and is proud to announce that award-winning picture book, Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, has been selected as this year’s campaign book.

9780763627638Jumpstart President & CEO, Naila Bolus, quotes, “During the first years of life, children from low-income communities hear roughly 30 million less words than their more affluent peers. Jumpstart is working alongside Candlewick Press to combat this word gap and increase every child’s vocabulary and love for reading and learning.” Bolus continues, “We could not be happier to celebrate this momentous 10th year with our partners at Candlewick Press and look forward to making October 22, 2015 a day to be remembered.”

Special edition copies of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story will be available through the Jumpstart website at readfortherecord.org. Each special edition features reading tips, vocabulary words, and extension activities provided by Jumpstart’s team of early education experts. Not Norman: A Goldfish Story will be available in both English and Spanish and pre-orders of the special edition are available now.

Karen Lotz, President and Publisher of Candlewick Press, says, “We are thrilled to partner with Jumpstart in this challenge to bring attention to children’s literacy issues and to connect with readers around the world in a global reading of Not Norman. The 10th anniversary of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is a time to celebrate all that the campaign has accomplished, and to look ahead to its future successes. Candlewick is especially proud to join forces with Jumpstart for this landmark year, as Not Norman also celebrates its 10th anniversary.”

To learn more, register for the campaign, and to pre-order your copy of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story, visit readfortherecord.org.


 Carolyn Swanhall



 Laura Rivas

 Candlewick Press



Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart provides language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children from under-resourced communities and promotes quality early learning for all children. By participating in Jumpstart’s year-long program, children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained 36,000 college students and community volunteers to transform the lives of 76,000 preschool children nationwide. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.

Candlewick Press is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For over twenty years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Visit Candlewick online at www.candlewick.com.

The Best of YALLFest 2014: 10 Blissful Highlights


YALLFest, a celebration of the vibrant world of young adult fiction, concluded its fourth, and biggest, festival on November 8 with an epic gathering of 60 of the world’s best young adult authors. Thousands of fans from all over the country, and abroad, capitalized on this unique opportunity to mingle and meet their favorite authors in charming Charleston, SC. Though the festival was compressed over the course of a just a day and a half, there were plenty of notable highlights to keep the buzz going until YALLWest (a new sister festival) launches in April 2015.

View More: http://davidstraussphotography.pass.us/yallfest-2014

Jonathan Sanchez, Margaret Stohl, Melissa De La Cruz

1. Margaret Stohl. Margaret Stohl. Margaret Stohl. Marget Stohl was hands down the hostess with the mostess and effortlessly and impressively led the festival with her energy and enthusiasm. How she was able to be everywhere at the same time, we’ll never know- but we’ll happily attribute it her superhero prowess and an abundance of coffee.


2. Jonathan Sanchez, owner of Blue Bicycle Books, was again crowned “the most beloved man in Charleston,” his dedication to literacy outreach is tremendous.  Mr. Sanchez, along with fellow board members Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia, Melissa de la Cruz,  Brendan Reichs and Pseudonymous Bosch, hosted a remarkable event that cast a coolness on reading, literacy, and YA.



View More: http://davidstraussphotography.pass.us/yallfest-2014


3. For future reference, Charleston, South Carolina is the premier location for basically any event anybody is ever thinking of hosting. It’s charming, beautiful, walkable and filled with nice people.


View More: http://davidstraussphotography.pass.us/yallfest-2014

Margaret Stohl, Sara Zarr, James Dashner


4. James Dashner owes Sara Zarr some money. Maybe even a lot of money: “The original version of The Maze Runner deserved to be rejected; it needed a lot of work. But my wife loved the story. She told me it was the best book idea I’d ever had, and she made me dig it out and revise it. So I did. Even though I hate the revision process, I knew The Maze Runner needed it, so I rewrote the whole thing,” said James. “Then I signed with Sara’s agent, Michael Bourret, and fired my agent. Michael sold The Maze Runner to Random House in three weeks. Without my wife and Sara, The Maze Runner wouldn’t be where it is.”



Adam Gidwitz Reviews Taboo Rules with Veronica Roth and James Dashner

5. Adam Gidwitz hosted a game of Taboo with James Dashner and Veronica Roth, and as if the anticipation for this epic showdown wasn’t enough, Mr. Gidwitz slipped in some hilarity with his shamelessly competitive example slide, which set the tone for a shamelessly competitive, hilarious game of Taboo.


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Psuedonymous Bosch, Margaret Stohl, Stephanie Perkins

6. Pseudonymous Bosch wore a croissant on his head for a whole day. A croissant, people.

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My Name Is  <Writer>  And I Am A  Basketcase Panel

7. The “My Name is <Writer> And I Am A Basketcase” panel. Winston Churchill said, “The price of greatness is responsibility,” the writers on this panel who candidly spoke out about their journey with ADHD, anxiety, and depression deserve tremendous admiration for their determination to use their platform to inspire and encourage others.


Daniel Ehrenhaft and Natalie Sandiford

Daniel Ehrenhaft and Natalie Standiford

8. Natalie Standiford got dared by an audience member  during the “Middle Grade Truth or Dare” panel to conduct a school visit, and she agreed with zero flippancy and lots of class.


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Aaron Hartzler Hosts Hollywood Squares


9. Aaron Hartzler was brilliant as the host of Hollywood Squares Smackdown. Hartzler stole the show with his genuine enthusiasm and clever banter,  a classic demonstration of why these authors are so likable.


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Varian Johnson and Rita Williams-Garcia


10. Don’t mess with Rita Williams-Garcia. Reading from her childhood diary, Ms. Williams-Garcia recited one of her early letters to publishers – “You best publish me.” Glad they listened.

Visit The Children’s Book Review for our full YALLFest 2014 Event Recap and read more about YALLFest at  www.yallfest.org.

Strategic Partnerships within Communities to Help Increase 3rd Grade Level Reading Proficiency


Image Courtesy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Research shows that a child’s reading proficiency by 3rd grade is one of the most important, if not the most important, predictor of high school and career success. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading reports that students who do not meet the critical 3rd grade level reading proficiency milestone are more likely to struggle in later grades and can compromise a student’s ability to master complex subject matter, which can impede self-esteem, drain school resources, and cause missed opportunities.

Though schools bear the weight of responsibility to help children meet reading proficiency, an engaged community is crucial in supporting this goal. One such example exists in Charlotte, North Carolina-Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library have entered into a new strategic partnership to support student success. The first initiative, which began at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, has a mission to supply library cards to students in Pre-K to 3rd grade. The program is off to a great start with approximately 25,000 participants. So far, 14,116 students have signed up for a new library card and more than 10,000 students with existing cards now have a better sense of how to use them to support their education.

David Singleton, Director of Libraries for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, notes, “We know that early learning is key to educational success, and this partnership means that all participating students and their parents will now have access to thousands of books, magazines, online learning, and other resources that support success in the classroom. We are grateful for the tremendous coordination in every classroom and all local public libraries that has made this project possible.”

“Our partnership with CMS to increase library card ownership among students from pre-kindergarten through third grade in Mecklenburg County reflects the latest research and the community’s wishes for libraries and schools to work together,” said Library CEO Lee Keesler. “Recent findings from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life survey found that 85 percent of Americans 16 and older believe that libraries should definitely coordinate more closely with local schools.”

CMS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ann Clark agrees, “Our teachers help instill the spark and the desire for learning, while libraries provide the opportunity for students to continue to practice those skills and obtain additional books and materials. When schools and libraries work together, the community wins.”

For more information about this program, visit http://www.cmlibrary.org/studentsuccess or http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/News/Pages/Acardoftheirown.aspx

For more information about the importance of 3rd grade reading proficiency, visit:

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Literacy How | The Literacy Imperative

Education Week | “Study: Third Grade Reading Predicts Later High School Graduation


Sixty Acclaimed Young Adult Fiction Authors To Attend Fourth Annual YALLFest This November


YA Fiction fans of all ages will have an amazing opportunity to meet and interact with many of their favorite authors at the Fourth Annual YALLFest, coming up this November. The talent and energy at this event is guaranteed to knock your socks off. Perhaps best and most generous of all, the majority of events at YALLFest are completely free.  Learn more by reading the press release, below, or by visiting www.yallfest.org.


CHARLESTON, S.C- June 5,2014.-The fourth annual YALLFest, the largest and only author-run Young Adult (YA) book festival in the country, will bring 60 acclaimed authors, including 37 New York Times bestsellers to Charleston on Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8, 2014. An expanded format this year includes two days of interactive panels, signings and readings taking place at various venues in historic downtown Charleston.

The line-up at this year’s festival includes the best and brightest in the YA world. YA’s hottest author, Veronica Roth, whose breakout hit

Veronica Roth Image Courtesy of YALLFest

Veronica Roth
Image Courtesy of YALLFest

Divergent just hit the 20 million mark in sales, will return to YALLFest as a panelist. “YALLFest is a fantastic blend of raucous laughter, thoughtful discussions, amazing books, and of course, delicious pie,” said Roth.

An opening keynote conversation with internationally bestselling James Dashner (The Maze Runner, and forthcoming feature film adaptation) and friend Sara Zarr (National Book Award-nominated Story of a Girl) will kick things off Saturday, November 8, and a closing keynote will feature the internationally bestselling duo Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More) and Ally Condie (Matched trilogy).

Returning this year is the Middle Grade Storyball, where middle school kids will have the opportunity to write and publish their own story alongside renowned children’s authors. The festival concludes with the wildly popular YA Smackdown where all authors compete in storytelling games for the coveted “Golden Pie” trophy and the official YALLFest band, Tiger Beat, headlined by author Libba Bray, performs.

Psuedonymous Bosh Image Courtesy of YALLFest

Psuedonymous Bosh
Image Courtesy of YALLFest

YALLFest was co-founded by Jonathan Sanchez, owner of Charleston’s only locally owned and operated bookstore, Blue Bicycle Books, and Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia (co-authors of the Beautiful Creatures series). Melissa de la Cruz, (author of the Blue Bloods series) is the festival’s director of development,supported by fellow executive board members Brendan Reichs (co-author of the Virals series) and Pseudonymous Bosch (author of the Secret series.)

In addition to Roth, Dashner, Zarr, Dessen, Condie, Bray, Stohl, Garcia, de la Cruz, Bosch and Reichs, the festival is proud to welcome a diverse roster of bestselling panelists who include Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants novels); Kiera Cass (The Selection trilogy); Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush trilogy); Gayle Forman (If I Stay, and forthcoming feature film adaptation); Marie Lu (Legend trilogy);Lauren Oliver (Delirium trilogy); Kathy Reichs (Virals and Bones television adaptation); Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park); Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy); Scott Westerfeld (Uglies novels) and fifteen-year-old Maya Van Wagenen (Popular).

Newberry Award-winning Rita Williams-Garcia is a special guest of the festival, alongside many bestsellers and authors of note including

Gayle Forman Image Courtesy of YALLFest

Gayle Forman
Image Courtesy of YALLFest

Kwame Alexander, Jennifer Armentrout, Leigh Bardugo, Alexandra Bracken, Matt de la Pena, Jim di Bartolo, Lauren Billings & Christina Hobbs (as Christina Lauren), Coe Booth, Jocelyn Davies, Susan Ee, Dan Ehrenhaft, Sarah Fine, Adam Gidwitz, Ryan Graudin, Adele Griffin, Nikki Grimes, Lev Grossman, Michelle Hodkin, Ellen Hopkins, Varian Johnson, Michael Johnston, David Levithan, C. Alexander London, E. Lockhart, DJ MacHale, Sarah J Maas, Barnabas Miller, Sarah Mylnowski, Lauren Myracle, Danielle Paige, Stephanie Perkins, Morgan Rhodes, Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis, Kieran Scott, Jennifer E. Smith, Natalie Standiford and J.E. Thompson.

YALLFest’s mission is to improve literacy through great YA literature and it is quickly becoming the most highly anticipated annual event for booklovers of all ages. For more information visit www.yallfest.org.

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