#RaisingReaders Monday: 5 Simple Ways to Participate in #Booksforbetter

My friend Lauren is a mom, a lawyer, a book reviewer, and a team member at All The Wonders. But what really matters for this story is that mom part.

Like parents in every time and place, Lauren wants the world to be safe, fun, and welcoming for her children. She wants every child to feel secure, accepted, loved. And then she turns on the news, or checks her Facebook feed, or listens to the radio – and the world doesn’t feel safe, or fun, or welcoming. It feels mean and divisive and frightening. And she worries about what this does to the children.

Lauren wondered what she – one person, one parent – could do to make the world better for her children. For all our children.

She turned to what she knows and loves best. And to the thing she has ALWAYS turned to for comfort, for hope, for inspiration. She turned to children’s books.

With the rest of the fabulous team at All The Wonders (full disclosure, I am part of that fabulous team, and I am totally biased), Lauren is inviting parents, teachers, publishers, authors, illustrators, media outlets – everyone, really – to participate in an initiative called #booksforbetter. You can read her impassioned call to action here.  And you can join us to discuss the books that build a better world on Twitter every month.


The goal? To create a resource for parents, an easy way to find books that will fill story time with compassion, diversity, peace, acceptance.

And beyond that? To get people talking about the books we read, the books we buy, the books we make. To use those books to shape the future of our world. To use those #booksforbetter.

I know my readers. I know you really care about the role of books in children’s lives. And I KNOW you have a lot to contribute to this conversation. So I ask you to please, participate in one of these 5 simple ways.

  1. Post! Use the #booksforbetter hashtag on Instagram and other social media, highlighting the children’s books.
  2. Discuss! Join us on Twitter today, August 1st, 2016 at 8pm EST for the first #Booksforbetter chat. We’ll be using the hashtag #ATWchat – and we’ll be chatting the first Monday of every month at this time, engaging the community in discussion of ways children’s books brighten the world.
  3. Spread the word! Encourage others to join the conversation – including media outlets, literacy organizations, librarians, publishers, authors, agents, teachers, politicians, and  – most important of all – parents.
  4. Implement! Utilize the information you learn to make smart choices about the books you buy, the books you read aloud, the books you create.
  5. Engage! Engage children in conversations about compassion, empathy, inclusivity, peaceful problem-solving. And use #booksforbetter to support and inform those conversations.