Thursday, March 6, 2014

#160 Welcome to Our Many Readers

     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:

1.     Australia
2.     Belarus
3.     Brazil
4.     Bulgaria
5.     Canada
6.     Chile
7.     China
8.     Croatia
9.     Cyprus
10.  Czech Republic
11.  Denmark
12.  Egypt
13.  France
14.  Germany
15.  Honduras
16.  Hong Kong
17.  India
18.  Indonesia
19.  Iran
20.  Ireland
21.  Israel
22.  Italy
23.  Jamaica
24.  Japan
25.  Jordan
26.  Kenya
27.  Kuwait
28.  Latvia
29.  Luxembourg
30.  Malaysia
31.  Malta
32.  Mexico
33.  Moldova
34.  Morocco
35.  Netherlands
36.  New Zealand
37.  Nigeria
38.  Papua New Guinea
39.  Philippines
40.  Poland
41.  Puerto Rico
42.  Romania
43.  Russia
44.  Saudi Arabia
45.  Singapore
46.  Slovenia
47.  South Africa
48.  South Korea
49.  Spain
50.  Sudan
51.  Sweden
52.  Switzerland
53.  Taiwan
54.  Tanzania
55.  Thailand
56.  Tunisia
57.  Turkey
58.  Ukraine
59.  United Arab Emirates
60.  United Kingdom
61.  USA
62.  Venezuela

    I want to pause to welcome my three most recent audiences from Mexico, Cyprus, and Egypt. The world-wide interest that I observe in children's literacy continues to amaze and fascinate me.

     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....



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