#ReadABookDay – The 10 Books That Should Be Part of Your Kid’s Childhood

On Twitter I learned that today is #ReadABookDay—but as Lisa Lucas, the unbelievably lucky person to be executive director of the National Book Foundation, tweeted, “Every day is #ReadABookDay, but I’ll play!”


I couldn’t agree with Lucas more. I was an avid reader as a kid who read Anne of Green Gables when my aunt in West Palm Beach, Florida, gave it to me to keep me busy during a visit. Soon I was in love with red-headed, rambunctious Anne.


(Image: iStock/Wavebreakmedia)

But how did I miss out on the Little House on the Prairie series? I loved stories about the “olden days,” yet no one had bothered to tell me about the pioneering Ingalls family who homesteaded out on the plains when Indians still ruled much of what is now the Midwest.

For #ReadABookDay, here are some books you’ll want to make sure are part of your youngster’s childhood.

  1. Goodnight Moon — A poetic favorite whose simple, somnolent rhymes will put your kids—or at least you—to sleep.
  2. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish — Great nonsense and fun from Dr. Seuss!
  3. Ferdinand the Bull — A charming picture book. Ferdinand just wants to smell the flowers.
  4. Landmark series— Boys as well as girls will love this acclaimed history series. There’s a World Landmark series as well. Look for them in the library.
  5. Childhood of Famous Americans series – These simply written books are early chapter biographies. They’re fun to read and convey a bit of wisdom too.
  6. D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths— but don’t stop there. Read everything by the D’Aulaires—the illustrations alone are captivating.
  7. Chronicles of Narnia— My daughter’s second-grade teacher read this series to the class and my daughter has been enchanted with it ever since.
  8. The Giver— My son exclaimed after reading this as a high schooler, “This is the best book I’ve ever read.”
  9. The Power of Un— Another favorite of my son’s when he was about 12.
  10. The Dark Is Rising sequence— Both of my kids devoured this series when they were in their early teens.

And to sneak in one of my son’s all-time favorites—The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which he devoured around the age of 11. And my daughter loved anything by Madeline L’Engle.

For excellent references, check with your local librarian or the New York Times Book Review, which features children’s books every week. Also, check out story time at your library or local book store.

Not sure your child is ready for a book’s subject matter? Read it first—or stay a chapter ahead. If the book is beyond your child’s reading level, read it to him or use audio books. I read Dickens and George Bernard Shaw to my children until they were in their late teens. Reading aloud to anyone at any age is a tremendous gift.

Enjoy #ReadABookDay!

AT&T Seeks Black Filmmakers for 2018 Tribeca Film Festival

black filmmaker

AT&T, the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) and Tribeca Film Institute have announced an open call for aspiring black filmmakers. Not only will filmmakers get the chance to debut their films at one of the most anticipated festivals of the year, they will also have a chance to win $1 million to make a movie as part of the AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, a program for underrepresented filmmakers. 

Black Filmmakers (Image: Faraday Okoro, the director of “Nigerian Prince” Photo cred: TribecaFilm.com)


Last year, after AT&T* and Tribeca teamed up to launch AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, New York City-based Nigerian-American filmmaker Faraday Okoro was awarded $1 million dollars to create his film, Nigerian Prince. In a statement released by Tribeca Film, Okoro shared a few tips about his experience and the submission process:

“This is the real deal. In April, they gave me $1 million to help produce my film. Now, I’m heading to Africa to start shooting the movie. It’s about a Nigerian-American teenager sent to Lagos, Nigeria, against his will. To get money for a plane ticket home, he teams with his Nigerian cousin to scam unsuspecting foreigners. We’ve got a busy production schedule ahead to finish the film in time for our debut at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, but we’re well on our way.

“If you have a script—or are writing one—you can submit it between now and Nov. 4. You’ll have a chance to be the second $1 million recipient of AT&T’s Untold Stories grant and access to AT&T distribution channels like DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW. This time next year, you could be on location filming your movie in preparation for its debut at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

“My best advice to you is to make sure your script is fully developed. If you feel like it’s incomplete, don’t push it. A lot of people will be submitting their stories for consideration. And the folks reviewing these scripts are experts at what they do. If your story isn’t ready for prime time, they’ll notice it right away. If it is, they just might pick you to pitch it to a panel of experts at next year’s Tribeca Film Festival.”

Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002. Next year’s festival marks AT&T’s fifth year as presenting sponsor. AT&T will once again provide the other four finalists with grants of $10,000 each to help achieve their respective films goals.