Have you given away a book today?

As I mentioned in a previous post, AboutSF is working with Reading for the Future (RFF) on a science fiction workshop to be presented at the Worldcon taking place this coming August in Reno, Nevada. I've been working closely with David-Glenn Anderson of RFF and reading about RFF's efforts to promote SF education on the RFF: Talking Reading for the Future Yahoo! group (if you're not a member, check it out at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rff/). I asked David-Glenn to contribute a post to AboutSF.com concerning the work RFF is doing, since AboutSF shares RFF's mission of helping young people develop a love of reading and intellectual adventure through the vehicle of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. Here's what he had to say:

Why Reading for the Future?

Recently a teacher I worked with for over 10 years left all things Reading for the Future (RFF). She said RFF no longer tried to get kids reading good Science Fiction (SF). We were more interested in working only with those already reading SF. Proof to her was our outreach at big SF cons like the one in Reno in August 2011.

I agree with her somewhat. Today I gave a student one of the Earthsea books (first extra copy I had that I thought she would read.)

Do we only talk to SF readers? Are we preaching to the wrong crowd? How do we get a good SF book into the right hands?

RFF Utah gave away thousands of books to Utah schools, to Utah libraries and to kids' parents. This morning I am going to Burger King and donate some books. I get a Whopper and some kid gets a book.

I have a copy of Anne McCaffrey's A Gift of Dragons looking for a home. My friend has a lesson plan for The Smallest Dragonboy, one of the stories. I bought the book for her. I can take her lesson plan, add some recipes from Pern and get someone young and new to reading sf. I just need to find the right kid.

Each year the Golden Ducks Award (http://www.goldenduck.org/) goes to excellence in children’s science fiction literature. Right now the award selection committee is reading books published in 2010.

I recommend all books considered by them for Picture Book or Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades or Hal Clement Award for Young Adult or Special Awards. Past awards went to We're Off To Look For Aliens by Colin McNaughton (author/illustrator), Lighter Than Air by Henry Melton, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. I have given these books to a kid, and I have some to nominate from this year.

--David-Glenn Anderson

Thanks, David-Glenn for the recommendations. Readers, have you given away a book today? What texts do you think might motivate a young person to read?