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April 5, 2006

First Lady Patti Blagojevich announces April selection for Children’s Reading Club: Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning Number the Stars

ROCHESTER – First Lady Patti Blagojevich today joined approximately 140 Rochester Elementary 3rd grade students to announce the April selection for her Children’s Reading Club - Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning Number the Stars. The First Lady read an excerpt from the book with the children, along with Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. The First Lady also gave each student a copy of either Number the Stars or a previous Reading Club selection, which include Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.
“Books like Number the Stars not only help kids practice their reading skills and show them how fun reading can be, but also open their minds to experiences very different from their own,” said First Lady Blagojevich. “The books that I choose for my Reading Club are ones that I have enjoyed with my own girls, and that I hope families all across Illinois can also take pleasure in.”
Number the Stars takes place in Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II. The story is told through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl, and follows her family’s attempts to save her Jewish best friend from the horrors of the Holocaust. 
The Children’s Reading Club is a recommended reading list made up of books the First Lady and her daughters enjoy at home. The First Lady launched this literacy initiative program in March of 2005, and has selected books such as Charlotte’s Web, Harriet the Spy, and Shiloh for the recommended list.  Each month’s book selection is featured on the First Lady’s website, http://www.illinois.gov/firstlady
Mrs. Blagojevich began the Children’s Reading Club to encourage parents to read with their children and hopes the recommended list will enable parents to find books the whole family can enjoy. The Children’s Reading Club applies to all children, but specifically targets children between the ages of seven and twelve.


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