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This Is What Successful People Read to Their Kids

It is well known that reading to your children is hugely beneficial for their mental growth. It will help them develop their language skills, literacy, social skills, and even strengthen the bond between the child and the parent.

In fact, a study done by American Academy of Pediatrics in June 2014 shows that being able to proficiently read by third grade is probably the most significant predictor of their chances to graduate from high school and be successful in their careers

NPR has created something called Storybook Project. As a part of it, they asked many actors, politicians, scientists, authors, musicians and other successful people to share what books they have read to their kids that they would separate as their favorites. They also asked how reading those books made them feel. Also, Business Insider has recently published a list of books that famous people often read to their kids. All these books were included on that list.

 Anne-Marie Slaughter –  the president and CEO of the New America Foundation

Anne-Marie Slaughter is a mother of two. She was excited to share her story.

“Reading aloud was my favorite part of being a parent to young children, hands down,” she said. “I often hunted up and read them books that my grandmother read to me and that I can still recite together with my father. They are enchanted stories, shared memories, distilled love.”

Her favorite book is The Odyssey by Homer (Robert Fagles’ translation)When her sons were younger, she used to read various Greek myths to them in a simplified fashion. One of those simplified stories was The Odyssey. The book became her favorite book after the following experience. One day, when her children were about 5 and 7, she brought home the actual Odyssey, in Fagles’ original translation. She read them the first two pages so that they could hear what the real thing sounded like, and they liked it. She continued the reading afterward all the way through the book, slowly.

 Melinda Gates – a philanthropist

Melinda Gates is a former Microsoft employee and wife of the world’s richest man, William Henry “Bill” Gates III. She is a mother of three. In regards to reading books to her children, she said that one great thing about reading with kids is that you don’t ever have to stop. She said she have been reading to them since they were babies. Even today, she still shares books with them despite the fact that the oldest child is a college student. During her interview, she said she loved reading  Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney while they were young. Once the children were old enough to talk to her, they were happy to play the part of the baby rabbit, and she would do the voice of the rabbit mother.

 Wendy Kopp – Founder and chairwoman of the board of Teach for America

Wendy Kopp is a mother of four and a published author. She believes that reading to your children is irreplaceable. Her top pick is the book The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Heyward. This is the book she chose to read with her children every Easter. She has always found it to be very memorable for both her and her kids.


“This book is about a determined mother rabbit with 21 cottontail children who each do their part in creating a happy family and home,” she says. “Such a fun book with great messages for kids about their responsibilities and about the importance of their moms pursuing their passions.”


 Mayim Chaya  Bialik – Neuroscientist and a famous actress

Most people know her from being cast as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler in the hit series The Big Bang Theory. Not everyone knows that she is a neuroscientist and a mother of a couple of pre-teen sons. She believes smartphones are taking up too much time of youth today and that there is no alternative to reading a book.

When asked which books she would separate as one of her favorites to read to her children, this one was on the top of the list – Why Am I Different? by Norma Simon. ”With so many of this generation’s kids ‘different’ somehow — diet, religious distinctions, ‘different’ social development, developmental and social delays — this book is a wonderful conversation starter about what makes us all different and how we are the same, said Bialik. She also added, “It highlights the importance of seeing differences as normal, and makes any ‘different’ child feel not less different, but less of an outsider.”

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