Hooray for fun children’s and young adult literature events! You can find them being celebrated from coast to coast all across the country and internationally as well.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time keep track of all those hard-to-remember literary dates. You know, National Dictionary Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, etc. I think it’s great that there are so many opportunities to get involved and promote literacy, reading and books, but sometimes I find it hard to recall when they take place throughout the year. That’s why I decided to write this blog post to use it as a reference for myself and others.
If you’re a literature lover like me, I hope you’ll appreciate having this list of dates handy to refer to throughout the year. Enjoy!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day
The mission of Multicultural Children’s Book Day is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.
Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2014 Jump into a Book and Pragmatic Mom presented their very first Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books. The results and support overwhelming as authors, publishers, parents, teachers, bloggers and librarians joined forces to offer up an online event designed to shine the spotlight on diversity in children’s literature.
This year it will be celebrated on January 27, 2017.
Harry Potter Book Night (#HarryPotterBookNight) is back! This year it will be celebrated on February 2, 2017.
Get ready to celebrate The Professors of Hogwarts on February 2nd 2017 when once again, fans of all ages will have the chance to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful series – and pass the magic on to young readers who haven’t yet discovered these unforgettable books.
Take Your Child to the Library Day
Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) is an international initiative that encourages families everywhere to take their children to their local library. Launched in 2011 in Connecticut by librarians Nadine Lipman (Waterford Public Library, retired) and Caitlin Augusta (Stratford Library) with artist Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, TYCLD raises community awareness about the importance of the library in the life of a child, and promotes library services and programs for children and families.
TYCLD is officially held on the first Saturday in February – but the date is flexible! TYCLD celebrations may take place on any date(s) in February – it’s up to your library. This year it will be celebrated at many libraries on February 4, 2017.
International Book Giving Day takes place on February 14th each year (Valentine’s Day). The aim is to get books into the hands of as many children as possible. International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books.
World Read Aloud Day
World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries thanks to people like you who participate and spread the word across the globe!
This year it will be celebrated on February 16, 2017.
Read Across America Day (also known as Dr. Seuss Day)
Read Across America Day is an initiative of the National Education Association (NEA). NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2nd, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. NEA’s Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.
National Read Aloud Month
March is Read Aloud Month, started by Read Aloud 15 Minutes. Reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to improve a child’s readiness to read and learn. When every child is read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life after school.
D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read)
D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. Because, what’s more fun(damental) than reading, really?
D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (pages 40-41). Inspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the same experience to Ramona and her classmates. As D.E.A.R. has grown in popularity and scope, the program has expanded to span the entire month of April . . . offering classrooms and communities additional time to celebrate!
National Poetry Month
The month of April has been designated as National Poetry Month. National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.
While we celebrate poets and poetry year-round, the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996.
National Poem in Your Pocket Day
Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day as schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and other venues ring loud with open readings of poems from pockets.
Poem in Your Pocket Day was originally initiated in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative national, encouraging individuals around the country to join in and channel their inner bard.
This year it will be celebrated on April 28, 2017.
National Library Week
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.
This year it will be celebrated the week of April 9 – 15, 2017.
School Library Month
School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning.
Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.
Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes — wherever young readers and books connect! Children’s Book Week is administered by Every Child A Reader, a 501(c)(3) literacy organization dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children.
This year it will be celebrated May 1 – 7, 2017.
National Readathon Day
National Readathon Day is a day dedicated to the joy of reading and giving, when readers everywhere can join together to read and raise funds in support of literacy. Note: It looks like the date of this day may vary throughout the year. For example, last year it was celebrated in January instead of May. I listed it under the month of May because that’s when it will be celebrated this year.
This year it will be celebrated in May. Date to be determined.
National Library Card Sign-up Month
September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the American Library Association and libraries nationwide join together to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.
Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read since 1982, is observed the last week of September. Each year, librarians, booksellers, teachers and countless others take this opportunity to highlight the importance of intellectual freedom and remind us not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.
This year it will be celebrated September 24 – 30, 2017.
National Dictionary Day
National Dictionary Day is observed annually on October 16th, the same day as Noah Webster’s birthday. Dictionary Day was founded to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Noah Webster – the father of the modern dictionary. The objective of this day is to emphasize the importance of dictionary skills, and seeks to improve vocabulary.
Boo’s for Books
Boo’s for Books is an annual Halloween campaign sponsored by Sydney’s Book Club. Their goal is to offer parents, families and communities an alternate approach to the traditional Halloween experience by considering passing out books to trick or treaters visiting their home or business in lieu of or in addition to candy and other treats.
This year it will be celebrated on October 31, 2017.
National Picture Book Month
Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November.
Founder, Dianne de Las Casas (author & storyteller), and Co-Founders, Katie Davis (author/illustrator), Elizabeth O. Dulemba (author/illustrator), Tara Lazar (author), and Wendy Martin (author/illustrator), put together their worldwide connections to make this happen.
Every day in November, there is a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important.
Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day
Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day (TYCBD) is celebrated on the first Saturday in December. Founded by novelist Jenny Milchman, TYCBD has grown from 80 stores participating in its first year to 700 this year across all 50 states, Canada, Europe and Australia.
This year it will be celebrated on December 2, 2017.
Your turn: What is your favorite literary event/day to celebrate? Did I miss any days that should be added to the list? Feel free to share in the comments.