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Book Club for Kids is a podcast where middle school readers discuss the books they love with host Kitty Felde. The author answers questions. A celebrity reads from the book.

Tips for Creating Lifelong Readers

Tip #4: Contest!

Kitty Felde

Ronald L. Smith

Ronald L. Smith

Book Club for Kids takes pride in working with authors who've won Newberys. The 2015 Newbery winner for "The Crossover" Kwame Alexander is the star of Episode 2.
The winner of the American Library Association’s 2016 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award winner is Ron L. Smith who wrote the lovely tale of southern magic “Hoodoo.” It's Episode 17.

Meg Medina was a Pura Belpre Honor winner this year for "Mango, Abuela, and Me." On Episode 11,we spoke with her about another Pura Belpre winner, “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass.”

All of this - plus the nationwide frenzy over Powerball - got us thinking about the power of a prize. Can rewards motivate readers?

Since 1982, San Jose State has been looking for the worst first lines ever written. The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is open to all…including your students. The award amount is described as a mere “pittance,” but the contest garners tons of publicity, which may be motivation enough for your child to write some really bad prose.

Wait, you say, wasn’t this supposed to be tips to get kids to read, not getting them to write? The National Writing Project says, “writing and reading are closely related and, some would say, inseparable. Better writers tend to be better readers, and better readers produce better writing.”

So enter the Bulwer-Lytton today!

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