With video games, television, and a thousand other distractions, it is often difficult to convince kids to read a book. Engaging kids in the habit of reading is even tougher, but College of Education professor, Margaret Hale, is co-directing a project to bring authors to meet area kids, and spark a love of reading.
The third annual Tweens Read Book Festival welcomed 22 published authors of books directed at adolescents. The free event drew 1,100 students, parents and school personnel, representing 22 Houston area school districts, charter schools and private schools. Attendance has grown phenomenally since the 2011 inaugural event, where 350 people attended. As intended, most of the attendees were kids from 4th-8th grade, all eager to meet their favorite writers.
“Overall, the day was a phenomenal success! The authors were all very well received by the students, and the students were prepared with fantastic questions of the authors,” said Hale.
Authors served on panels at which kids asked questions. Readers were able to buy new books, take photos, and get their books signed by authors. The event was held at South Houston High School in the Pasadena Independent School District and was sponsored by the UH College of Education. The event was organized by a committee made up of teachers and librarians from numerous Houston-area school districts from across the Houston area.
Organizers maintain a sister festival, Teen Book Con, targeted to older kids. This event is scheduled for April 26, 2014 at Alief Taylor High School and is also free and open to the public. For more information on that event, visit www.teenbookcon.org.
For more information about Tweens Read, visit www.tweensread.com.