This may be the most important episode of Middle Grade Book Party we'll ever release. If you are an advocate of children's literacy, or care passionately about getting great books into the hands of children everywhere, this is the episode for you! After hearing us talk with authors Jennifer A. Nielsen, and Jennifer Jenkins about their new children's literacy initiative, the importance of reading, and hanging on a fence by a wedgie, you'll come away inspired, excited, and hopefully, ready to get involved. At least we sure did!
A glimpse at the initiative from Jennifer A. Nielsen:
"A few years ago, I had the privilege of hearing a speech given by Dick Robinson, the President of Scholastic Books, in which he said, “As long as children do not have equal access to books, we will never live in a truly equal society.”
He was right. In middle class neighborhoods, there are an average of 13 books for each young reader. However, in high poverty areas, the ratio is approximately 1 age appropriate book for every 300 children."
This moment inspired Jennifer A. Nielsen to found the Book Drop Campaign. In partnership with Teen Author Boot Camp [TABC], an amazing not-for-profit organization specifically geared for teen and tween authors, Book Drop is seeking funding from corporate sponsors to be able to purchase a book for every child in as many Title 1 Schools as possible. But they are offering more than a book. Since author visits generate higher interest in reading books, and communicate with time and attention how much each child individually matters, the authors of the books will donate their time to offer free school visits to students as well. Corporate sponsors may also participate directly in the school events if they wish.
This Episode's Guests:
Jennifer A. Nielsen
New York Times Bestselling author, Jennifer Nielsen, was born and raised in northern Utah, where she still lives today with her family, a dog that won’t play fetch, and a cat that hallucinates. She is the author of The Ascendance series, beginning with THE FALSE PRINCE; the TRAITOR’S GAME series, the historical novels, RESISTANCE, A NIGHT DIVIDED, WORDS ON FIRE, RESCUE, and several other titles. She loves chocolate, old books, and lazy days in the mountains. Jennifer is the founder of the Book Drop campaign.
With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer Jenkins had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington, the Napoleonic Wars, and Ancient Sparta ... until the writing began. She is the author of the Nameless trilogy (2015-2018), To Kill a Curse (2019), Of Blood and Fire (2020), The Order of Chaos (2021), and Teen Writer's Guide: Your Road Map to Writing (2020). She is also the co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, a federal non-profit organization dedicated to promoting teen literacy and authorship. She divides her free time between teaching creative writing classes at Utah Valley University, reading, taking spontaneous trips, researching random events from the past, and fostering her adrenaline junkie addictions.
Teen Author Boot Camp Website
Book Drop Official Website—where you can sign up to be a corporate sponsor, request a book drop to your Title 1 school, donate privately, sign up to volunteer, or add yourself to the list of authors ready to donate their time to help kids.
(look for the Book Drop tab)
Jennifer A. Nielsen's Author Website
Jennifer Jenkins' Author Website
Paypal Link for Direct Donations (Please share this link to help us fund many book drops!)