The Birthday Party Pledge

Are you ready to take the Birthday Party PledgeStudies show that children who grow up in a home filled with books do better in school, and teens who read for fun are better prepared to succeed in college. When you take the BPP, you agree to give the gift of books whenever a birthday or other special occasion rolls around. Help the children in your life build a home library, and let them know that you’re someone who values books and loves to read.

Get started today!

1. Make a list of the children in your life. Make note of their birthday, age, interests, and reading level so you can pick a book they’re sure to love.

2. Use our book lists (on the right) to find a title that’s suitable for your child. Each list is updated regularly so you’ll always find a variety of interesting books.

3. Find a retail or online bookseller that carries multicultural children’s books. Gently used books can also be re-gifted; if your child has outgrown a book, pass it on!

4. Wrap your gift like you mean it! You can also pair a book with a small toy or other treat so the child links reading with fun. If you know a reluctant reader, suggest ways to connect with books (like starting a parent-child book club with family and friends). You can find reading activities and other resources on the BPP Blog.

5. Spread the word! Let your friends and family members know that you’ve taken the BPP and encourage them to do the same.

6. Walk the walk. Make sure the children in your life see you reading! Create a space in your home where books are shelved and treated with respect. When your child receives a book as a gift, show your enthusiasm so that s/he learns that books are valuable and desirable.

Ready? Take the Birthday Party Pledge:

I promise to give multicultural books as gifts to the children in my life for ONE year.

I promise to encourage them to read about and appreciate diversity in all its forms.

I commit myself to building a new generation of readers!

Need help finding the perfect book to give to a child in your life? Leave a comment or send us an email (bookbirthdaypledge at gmail dot com) with a quick “profile” of your child—age, reading level, interests or hobbies—and we’ll provide at least three titles that s/he is sure to love!

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That’s all for now!

About Us

The Birthday Party Pledge emerged from an ongoing conversation between authors, educators, librarians, and book bloggers. We wanted to promote children’s books by authors of color, and we wanted to encourage the building of home libraries in low-income communities. According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, less than 5% of all books published annually for children in the US are written by people of color. Many publishers insist that they can’t find more writers of color and/or claim that the market doesn’t exist for books about children of color. Yet a study conducted by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation revealed that many adults want to purchase multicultural books and are simply unable to find them:

Nearly eight in ten (78%) U.S. adults believe that it is important for children to be exposed to picture books that feature main characters of various ethnicities or races—but one-third (33%) report that it is difficult to find such books, according to a recent survey that was commissioned by The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the love of reading and learning in all children.

 

Some parents simply can’t afford to buy books, and we encourage all families to draw on the resources available at their local public library. In other cases, buying books for children is a matter of shifting priorities and redirecting resources. Compared to video games and other toys, books are relatively inexpensive (and can often be purchased “like new” from online resellers). Buying books locally puts money back into your community, and we encourage you to support those independent bookstores that carry multicultural books.

The BPP has two goals:

1. To encourage childhood literacy in order to promote a lifelong love of books.

2. To assist adults in providing children with books that truly reflect the diverse society in which we live.