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Amelia Bedelia Dashes to Nevada to Get Children to Read

November 16, 2007

Las Vegas, NV – Amelia Bedelia is dashing to Nevada for the final days of "National Children's Book Week." Luise Davis of the Douglas County Library branch says in this popular book series, Amelia's wacky literal translations of the English language really make kids laugh, and that makes children want to read more.

"You don't necessarily get a love of reading when you are 20, but if you start out when you are three, four, and five, it can create a whole life of wanting to read."

Davis explains the secret of Amelia Bedelia's appeal to children is that she takes things a little too literally. If she's asked to dust a chair, for instance, she doesn't try to take the dust off.

"No, she puts the dust back on! Kids find that funny and they do that themselves; and they can laugh at themselves, because there is a character who does it, and they can relate to that character."

Recent studies show teenagers are having a hard time pulling the facts out of such things as the science section of the newspaper, according to John Crockett with the Incline Village Library. Crockett says that's a big reason Nevada libraries are encouraging kids to start reading at the earliest possible age.

"The ability to read and understand information is really important to students in college and increasingly, in the workplace as well. So, it's really a challenge to the parents, educators, and caregivers to foster a love of reading in young children."

The theme for this 88th Children's Book Week is "Rise Up and Read."

Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NV