Local author donates thousands of children’s books to inspire love of reading
Local author Patrick Carman is giving away 10,000 hardback books for students in grades kindergarten to 8th grade in Walla Walla, Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland as part of his initiative to get students excited about reading while living through a pandemic.
Every child in Walla Walla between grades K-8 will receive a book. The bestselling author has spoken at every elementary school in the area over the years, and wanted to do this as a way to encourage kids to keep on turning pages during what has been a difficult time for young readers. With summer break right around the corner, Patrick hopes an adventurous read will help kids choose reading over screen time.
"Kids are spending four or five times as much time as they should be on screens,” said Carman. “Video games, YouTube, and so much more are gobbling up a tremendous amount of time, so getting a book in 10,000 kids’ hands is one way of turning the tide."
Younger students will be getting a title called Elliot’s Park, about a variety of park animals who come together to solve big problems. "Elliot's Park is set in our own Pioneer Park, and Elliot, the main character, lives in the same tree with the new bronze limb being donated by the Walla Walla Foundry, said Carman. “What a great way for kids to connect to reading, by visiting the actual locations where the story takes place. It's an especially good book for kids in Walla Walla."
Older readers will receive either Towervale or The Inventors. Towervale is a big, sprawling fantasy that's perfect for 4th and 5th graders, according to Carman.
“And bonus, it's also a video game, so a lot of gamers will enjoy the reading and the playing of the story,” said Carman. “The Inventors is all about the power of invention, as an orphaned kid tries to make his dreams come true at the Lion's Den, where invention reigns supreme."
Mr. Carman is also introducing a new collection of story-driven podcasts just for kids. They're completely free, full of humor and adventure, and fun for the whole family, according to Carman.
“The first two big shows, Bobby Wonder and Lucy Wow, release in the first week of May and I'm really excited for kids to listen to these stories,” said Carman. “Listening activates the imagination just like books do, and the GoKidGo podcasts are a fantastic screen-free alternative.”
Search for Bobby Wonder or Lucy Wow in any podcast store, or visit www.gokidgo.com.
A tireless reading advocate, Patrick Carman has visited over 2500 schools across the country over the past 20 years, seeing over a million kids. Carman says Walla Walla has been his home-base from the beginning of his career and he loves it here.
PHOTO L-R: Curriculum Coordinator Casey Monahan and Girls League members Sam Tachney (Senior), Sadie Robinson (Senior), Zoe Taylor (Sophomore) and Miki O'Connell-Josuha (Sophomore) meet with Patrick Carman to sort and prepare the books for delivery to schools.