Grab a Book and Help Read Across America
In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday and the joy of reading, we list some popular books for you.
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On March 2, Dr. Seuss blew out another candle on his birthday cake. The date also marked the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day.
The program encourages reading among Americans of all ages, especially children. With this in mind, this week’s Patch Picks centered around Florissant bookstores and libraries to get a sense of what people are reading and what they could be reading.
- Bookworms love the library, and the Florissant area boasts two, the St. Louis County Library, Florissant Valley branch and the St. Louis County Library, Jamestown Bluffs branch. Employees from each library shed some light on popular reads and their own personal picks. “We have people asking about the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series 10-15 times a day,” Mike Benowist, a library assistant at Jamestown Bluffs, said about the popularity of the children's books. With one feature film already under his belt, author Jeff Kinney has chronicled the middle school adventures of Greg Heffley through five books that are sure to entertain children.
- As previously mentioned, Dr. Seuss’ birthday inspires everyone to pick up one of his books, and the youth services specialist at Florissant Valley branch, Jennifer Richardson, couldn’t agree more. “You can’t go wrong with anything by Dr. Seuss,” Richardson said. “Green Eggs and Ham, Yertle the Turtle, The Lorax and my personal favorite, Daisy-Head Mayzie are all perfect books to introduce anyone to reading.”
- Book series, such as Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians and any vampire series, such as Twilight, have become a popular trend among teenagers. If you’re wanting to collect those in the series, Barnes and Noble Book Sellers at Cross Keys Shopping Center offers a place to buy them. “I Am Number Four is a big seller right now for the teenage crowd,” said Joe Youngberg, an employee at Barnes and Noble. “It’s interesting even for adults, really, because one of the authors, Pittacus Lore, is a pen name for James Frey.” Frey, the author of A Million Little Pieces, became a best-selling author endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Later, it was revealed that his work was a work of fiction, despite being depicted as his memoir.
- This week, however, isn’t just about the children. The adult book market is a huge business, and with such a wide selection, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what you want to read. “Anything Stephen King writes is good,” said Brandon Walker, another employee at Barnes and Noble. “I highly recommend The Dark Tower series. It’s unlike anything he’s ever written, his own epic as big as The Lord of the Rings,” Youngberg said. “The Autobiography of Mark Twain and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain are both big sellers right now as well. I personally recommend The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. It’s older, first published in 1949, but it’s one of my favorite books.”
- For those who like pictures to go along with their words, The Fantasy Shop is the place to go for those who relish sequential art, and everything that goes with it. Its staff is more than happy to listen to your personal interests and pick the series that right for you. “Everyone should be reading Fables,” said Shelby Dyer, an employee at the Fantasy Shop. The comic tells the story of Snow White, Cinderella, Prince Charming and others as they adjust to life in New York City after being forced from their homelands.