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Publishers Weekly Children's Features

Children's Bookbag
-- 8/10/98
New Kids-Only Site Launched on AOL

Last month, a children's-only website available through America Online kicked off a new feature called Bookworm. Dedicated to kids aged six to 12, Bookworm is an offshoot of a parents advisory program on AOL, Kids Reads. By the end of September, Bookworm will be available on both AOL and the Web. Bookworm rounds up book reviews, reading lists, author bios supplied by publishers, interviews, chats and book-based games. It is a secure site and children cannot access the Internet from it.

Executive producer Carol Fitzgerald reported an amazing response from the first eight hours that Bookworm was accessible -- 275 ideas came suggesting chat topics. She credits the success of her three children's sites (Kids Reads, Bookworm and, for young adults, the Book Bag) to reader enthusiasm and feedback. A core group of 12 publishers agreed to participate in Bookworm, providing materials and, possibly in the future, co-hosting contests and other activities.

NYC Mayor Promotes a Children's Book

Last March, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced that he had created a story for the city's school children in which he aimed to encourage them to pursue their goals. In June, New York City Public/ Private Initiatives Inc., publisher of What Will You Be?, written and illustrated by Kristin Doney and based on Giuliani's story, distributed the first finished copies of the paperback book to classrooms and libraries. North Bergen, N.J.-based Book-mart Press, a printer and binder, has donated its services to produce the 32-page illustrated book. According to Book-mart executive v-p Michelle Gluckow, after she read about the project in the New York Daily News, she approached Book-mart and its parent company, Courier, with the idea of making a donation to the city. Courier is the sixth largest book manufacturer in the U.S.

Teen Read Week Set for October
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, has announced plans for an annual Teen Read Week. The first will take place this October 19-25, and the theme is "Read... For the Fun of it." According to YALSA president Michael Cart, YALSA's goal in establishing Teen Read Week is to increase awareness of the resources available at libraries, as well as to promote reading as an enjoyable part of their lives. A tip sheet with ideas for celebrating Teen Read Week and sample publicity materials, including posters, bookmarks and temporary tattoos, will be available on the ALA website, or by calling (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390.

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