Today is International Literacy Day -- the perfect time to recall some of the books that hooked you as a reader -- the ones that opened new worlds or new ways of expression. For me, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books such as Little House on the Prairie fed my love of adventure, and gave me a sense of the big world outside suburban Connecticut. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle did the same, while adding new dimensions in space. And to satisfy my baseball Jones, there was The Kid Who Batted 1.000 by Bob Allison.
Meanwhile, it's sobering to note the range in literacy rates around the world. Among the problem areas are poor countries such as Bangladesh (72% literacy rate), Chad (44%), Sierra Leone (54%) and Papua New Guinea (64%), according to the United Nations.
If you'd like to help improve literacy closer to home, consider such programs as Baltimore Reads, or the adult literacy and ESOL initiatives at the Greater Homewood Community Corp.
Cartoon courtesy of Ham