Each pin on this world map represents one of the 62 countries that has appeared on the stats pages of this blog and/or my second one, ebooks4kids, since September 3, 2010.
The list of these countries is as follows:
When I watched the ceremonies and performances of athletes from around the world at the Sochi Olympics, I thought again of my own diverse audience of readers from around the world. Sixty-two of those same countries had exhibited an interest in children's reading. What a civilized world we are becoming!
Often the international television news is less than positive however, and I can only hope that children in troubled areas might find books to be an escape and comfort from their lives of daily misery.
This type of escape into the world of books is sometimes needed by youngsters on our own doorsteps as well. As a teacher, I once welcomed a new student to my second-grade classroom. He was living in a shelter with his mother, and resisted being physically close to the other children. If someone passed too closely to him, he would push them away or shout at them.
This child was bright but had retreated into his world of books. He became especially interested in a biography of Louis Braille, and his mother helped him request a packet of information about this inventor of writing for blind people. When he received it in the mail, he found enough confidence to share it with the class, and by the end of the year, he was even becoming something of a class leader.
I'm sure that books helped him to survive a difficult time in his young life, and the experience reminded me that books can mean many things to many different people.
Please keep reading, and appreciate all that books can do for us....