Children's Book Week originated in the belief that children's books and literacy are life-changers. In 1913, Franklin K. Mathiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children's books. He proposed creating a Children's Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.
Mathiews enlisted two important allies: Frederic G. Melcher, the visionary editor of Publishers Weekly, and Anne Carroll Moore, the Superintendent of Children's Works at the New York Public Library and a major figure in the library world. With the help of Melcher and Moore, in 1916, the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association sponsored a Good Book Week with the Boy Scouts of America.
Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running
national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative
events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes --
wherever young readers and books connect!
The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919, and the task remains the realization of Frederic Melcher’s fundamental declaration: "A great nation is a reading nation."