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It hardly seems possible that ten years have passed since the National Library of Canada inaugurated its increasingly popular Read Up On It program. Although the program has evolved and changed over the past decade, its purpose has remained constant: to introduce children and young adults to Canadian authors and illustrators and their books and, by doing so, to encourage a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
In recent years, the Read Up On It kit has been filled with book lists, bookmarks, reading-related activities, a poster, a list of publishers and, in our web version, short biographies of award-winning authors and illustrators. The kit has been used by teachers, librarians, parents and many others interested in children's literature. Last year alone, over 20 000 copies were sent out across the country and around the world.
With the current edition of Read Up On It, I am pleased to offer you another opportunity to read and enjoy a wide selection of fine Canadian books published for children and young adults. With this year's theme of adventure and mystery, the books recommended in the kit will entice young readers to travel on imaginary voyages, to follow clues, to find solutions and, in the process, to discover some wonderful Canadian books and authors.
I am also pleased to acknowledge the encouragement and contribution of our partners. Without their support the publication of this kit would not be possible. The National Literacy Secretariat of Human Resources Development Canada is again our major contributor. Our new partners this year are the Canadian Library Association and ASTED, who, in cooperation with the National Literacy Secretariat, have combined to produce this year's insert promoting family literacy programs and activities. And once again, our other partner, Canada Post, noted for its country-wide literacy activities, is helping us by distributing these kits across the country and worldwide. Other sponsors and supporters include the Canadian Federation of University Women, the Canadian Children's Book Centre, Communication-Jeunesse, Access Network and YTV. Our appreciation and thanks are extended to each and every one.
I hope that you will enjoy the 1998 Read Up On It kit, the culmination of a decade of achievement in bringing hundreds of fine Canadian books to the attention of young readers.
We welcome any suggestions you have about the kit that will help us to improve it in the future.