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Why we are here

“Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of a larger human experience. Reading, then becomes a means of self-affirmation and readers often seek their mirrors in books.” -Rudine Sims Bishop.

In the United States 42% of kids have difficulty finding books that they want to read. A fundamental reason why is that children struggle finding books that they can relate to. This is especially common for minority children—before 2016 only 10% of all children’s books were written by or about people of color (This percentage has only nominally improved in the past 5 years). But finding a book is only half the problem. Accessing books is more difficult than it seems.  For most families in the United States, purchasing books is low on the list of priorities when it comes down to household budget planning. Statistically, families that have a $35,000 annual income have less than twice the amount of books than a family with a $100,000 annual income have (Black and Hispanic families have a significantly less books in their homes than white families). And families are not the only group in America effected by the budget crunch. 94% of school and classroom libraries in the United States say that equity and diversity in their collection is important, but nearly two thirds of those libraries say that they do not have the allocated budget to purchase more books.  

This is where we come in. A Book For Me is dedicated to giving children the opportunity to enjoy reading by providing them, their families, and schools with titles with characters that look like them. Identifying with the characters in a story allows for not only a deeper self-connection to the titles, but also a deeper comprehension of the text. Allowing for easy access to these titles helps a child to grow their reading skills, and as a result, helps the child access the breadth of curriculum and improve their communication and language skills, which will benefit them throughout their lives. 

“I like reading so much more when Mommy buys a book for me that looks like me.”-Brooklyn Barber 

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