I was saddened to learn of the passing of Richard Peck, the Newbery Award winning author of A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO and A YEAR DOWN YONDER, on May 23rd. He was a great writer for readers of all ages, who brought history to life with humor and was not afraid to tackle current topics. When he came to speak at the Provo City Library back in 2010, I was touched by his humility and graciousness; tears filled his eyes because he couldn’t believe that so many people would come to hear him speak, let alone give him a standing ovation. He will be greatly missed.
Here is one of my favorite quotes by him about the importance of reading:
"Read to your children
Twenty minutes a day;
You have the time,
And so do they.
Read while the laundry is in the machine;
Read while the dinner cooks;
Tuck a child in the crook of your arm
And reach for the library books.
Hide the remote,
Let the computer games cool,
For one day your child will be off to school;
Remedial? Gifted? You have the choice;
Let them hear their first tales
In the sound of your voice.
Read in the morning;
Read over noon;
Read by the light of the Goodnight Moon.
Turn the pages together,
Sitting close as you'll fit,
Till a small voice beside you says, 'Hey, don't quit.'"