Getting some boys to curl up with a good book often isn't easy, with so many social, athletic and high-tech distractions vying for leisure-time attention....
So this past summer, Sterling Publishing in New York, in collaboration with books packager Flying Point Press of Boston, introduced its Sterling Point imprint with eight books, all nonfiction, aimed at a share of the market they say "has been notoriously difficult to reach" - boys between 11 and 15.
This is an especially important age for young readers. "Studies indicate that kids determine whether they are readers or not by the time they are 11 or 12," says Frances Gilbert, editor in chief of Sterling's children's division. "But if you put a really good book in front of a kid, he'll be reading."
Some of the first eight, as well as future books in the series, were originally Landmark Books, a series of more than 100 nonfiction titles published by Random House between 1950 and 1970. Hill, 57, was an avid young reader of Landmark Books and still has some in his personal collection. The Sterling Point editions feature new looks, including covers, maps and, in some cases, updated text and even titles.I suspect that many children decide that they are "readers" a lot earlier than eleven years of age, but I'm all for grabbing the rest of them while they are teens. Reading, and doing it well, is one of the keys to their future and we need to do everything that we can as a society to make sure that youngsters grab that key on their way to adulthood. Bravo, Sterling Publishing.
Eight additional volumes are planned for this spring, including one brand-new book, the first-person account of a bomber pilot who was captured during World War II; and biographies of two adventurous women, Amelia Earhart and Sacagawea.
Hill notes that one of the series' goals was to find worthy heroes besides "music stars and athletes" for kids to admire.