NOVEMBER 15, 1954
SAN FRANCISCO, Sunday—At this time, when so many people are so preoccupied with the comics which have become such a large part of our children's reading, I think it is of particular interest that November 14-20 is to be celebrated on a national scale as Children's Book Week. Perhaps, instead of telling our children how bad the comics are, it might be more effective to see that they have in their hands some of the colorful and delightful publications that are now on the market. Good reading for children is abundant today. The important thing is for parents to visit the exhibits that will be in schools and libraries during this week, and to make sure they provide their children with as many as possible of the books they feel suited to the special interests of each child.
Books fairs, at which 1,000 to 3,000 books will be exhibited, will be held in Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Little Rock and San Antonio either during Book Week or close to that time. At these fairs authors and illustrators will be on hand to meet and talk with many of the youngsters, and this should prove stimulating to both parents and children. A love of good literature cannot be acquired just in school. It must be a part of the daily life of children in the home.
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In San Diego on Thursday I went straight from the plane to the Mayor's office. I was greatly interested in the description they gave me of their particular program for fighting juvenile delinquency in this area. In spite of their great increase in population, I was told, juvenile delinquency has increased only 38 percent, whereas in other areas it has increased double and even more.
They concentrate on discovering the difficulties of children at an early age, working with them when they are as young as six and seven years. Meetings are held in every area, at which parents compare their problems and consult with a trained psychiatric social worker assigned to their area. Although they do not have enough personnel, they feel they are on the right track and have accomplished very good results.
I lectured Thursday night under the auspices of the Jewish Community Center, and left Friday morning for San Francisco.
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The other day I received an advertisement of a type of candle that may be used safely at Christmas time. Many of us who worry about the menace of fire at such times would like to find candles that will simulate as nearly as possible the wax candles we like, but will be safe to use. This advertisement by a New York firm describes eight-inch candles that are called "The Safety Battery Candle," and perhaps they may be the answer to our difficulties.