Books Brought to Life for Chicago Public School Students

New online resource takes students behind the scenes of their favorite books
"How long did this book take to write?" "Where did the words come from?" These are two of the questions students ask most often when authors visit schools. Having the opportunity to meet a favorite author or illustrator can create a lasting impression. Chicago Public School students will now have this chance every day through the use of, an online tool specifically designed to generate enthusiasm for reading. will provide more than 425,000 Chicago Public School students with online access to an expanding collection of author programs, book readings, book guides and other K-12 resources that span thousands of fiction and non-fiction titles for children and young adults. Each resource connects books to readers in a new, personalized way. The subscription was purchased by the district's Department of Libraries and Information Services.

"Knowing there is a real person behind a book is extremely valuable to students," said Toby Rajput, an Area Library Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools. "With limited funding available, many school libraries cannot afford the cost of on-site author visits. author programs allow students to meet authors and illustrators every day, providing students with the personal connection they need to boost their interest in reading."

Students get a rare glimpse inside the world of award-winning authors and illustrators as they talk about their work, read from their books, and demonstrate their artistic process. Listening to a book creator describe the writing or illustrating process leaves students with a new appreciation for reading, as well as an interest in other books by the same author or illustrator. Once a student establishes a personal connection with a book creator through a original author program, a relationship forms that further encourages a love of reading. compiles original content and links to the best of the web's multimedia book and author resources all in one place, providing Chicago Public School educators with an endless supply of high-quality book and author resources. Materials are organized by author, title, subject and grade, making it easy for educators to incorporate books and emphasize reading skills in all core subjects. In addition, educators, students and parents can use at school or home.