Together—Book Talk for Kids and Parents

Interested in hosting a Together series? Please see below and then contact Michael Washburn, Director of Programs, at 212-233-1131.

The New York Council for the Humanities' Together—Book Talk for Kids and Parents program offers a forum for parents and their 9- to 11-year-old children to come together to talk about books and ideas at their local library. 

Studies show that between the ages of 9 and 11 children begin to lose interest in reading for fun. Research also shows that parents' own reading and involvement in their children's reading has a strong impact on their future reading habits. Together gives libraries an opportunity to address these trends by involving parents and kids in discussions about a variety of personal, public, and historical issues through the close reading of selected picture books and novels. Families read a book at home before each Together session. During the session, an open exchange of ideas between parents and children encourages family participation in learning while emphasizing the importance and pleasure of reading.

Each of the six 90-minute Together sessions is co-facilitated by a librarian and a humanities scholar from the local community.  The sessions alternate between picture books and novels, all of which explore key themes in American life such as courage, freedom, and community.   

To host a Together series at your library, find a humanities scholar who is willing to serve as co-facilitator. The Council will assist with program development and guidances, but host organiztions need to secure funding for Together programs.

Special Initiatives:

  • Together Wordless Picture Book List: The Council is now offering a new Together book list! Made up of six wordless picture books and graphic novels, this list explores the themes of community and connection. This list is perfect for libraries that serve English language learners and struggling readers.

Together—Book Talk for Kids and Parents is presented in partnership with the New York Library Association and the Empire State Center for the Book.

This project is supported by the We the People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.