Saturday, December 29, 2012

Keen Readers swan song

Close to two years ago, we launched with great fanfare, lofty ambitions and a flurry of fine contributions from dedicated volunteers.
Today, we announce with regret that this will be our final posting. And yet, any sadness we feel is powerfully overridden by pride in all we’ve accomplished. This website’s hundreds of features on young-adult authors and literacy efforts, book reviews, youth-writing contest winners and links remain here for anyone to access and read. And the hundreds of books we’ve donated to schools and libraries around North America will, we’re certain, continue to be appreciated by young readers for many years to come.
It has been an exhilarating ride, a passion we’ve both enjoyed pursuing. And judging from feedback we’ve had, the material has been appreciated by many parents, teachers, librarians and mentors out there.
We’re sorry to disappoint, but between health issues and other work commitments, it is time for us to step back and focus on other projects, other aspects of our lives, and to allow this site to serve as an archive of helpful hints for those dedicated to helping reluctant readers discover the lifetime joy of reading.
There are many other websites that continue to do what we’ve been doing, including many we’ve featured – as links (
So, while we’ve headlined this our “swan song,” in reality it’s merely a “freeze frame,” a library shelf still very much open to the public.
We wish to thank our talented team for their hard work and commitment to youth literacy, and we look forward to seeing them continue to excel in their careers. Finally, we wish our viewers and fans, our Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers, a warm and happy reading life.
Pam Withers and Tony Dirksen

P.S. In July 2013, Pam has a new book out: Jump Starting Boys: Help Your Reluctant Learner Find Success in School and Life ($16.95, ISBN 978-1-936740-39-0). Co-authored with her sister Cynthia Gill (a licensed marriage and family therapist who taught high school for 30 years), it’s aimed at parents and mentors, and is available now for pre-ordering. Hope you enjoy it!

Below are links to publisher Viva Editions’ catalog…

… and to’s page:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A basket of books

Keen Readers just donated a basketful of books to Chaffey-Burke Elementary School in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, and here's the nice letter we just received back:
"Thank you very much for giving me so many books to take to my class. The students were thrilled and eager to look through the collection. What a hit! Thanks for thinking of us, and for your generosity. The books are much appreciated and will be well read. :)
-- Lori Barer., teacher, Div. 8 (Grades 4/5)