readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Monday, November 3, 2008


It's election eve, and we at rgz are so geared up to vote we can hardly stand the excitement. Here are a few thoughts from the divas as we join the blogosphere's united effort to blog the vote, spearheaded by Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray.


Why vote? So your voice can be heard. My novels are about teens finding their own voices and then using them˜to speak out, to speak up for what matters. Writing is one way I speak out, voting is another. When I vote I am expressing that my opinion matters, and more importantly, I am expressing my wish for the kind of world I want to live in and share. A vote is a vision.


When I was younger, my dad used to give me his vote. Seriously! He'd bring me to the polls and let me come into the booth with him. The voting monitors didn't mind--I was just a sweet little girl with her father. Little did they know it was me making the final decision once the curtain closed. Of course, I thought I was all-powerful, and it made me feel incredibly important. Truthfully, by the time November of an election year rolled around, my dad had had so many talks with me about his opinions on the candidates that I'm sure I was brainwashed. Luckily, Dad was a smart guy. I've never forgotten my early days of voting--the first time was at age 7--and I'll think of my dad when I pull the lever in Brooklyn this year, too. VOTE!


V alidate your beliefs and create change.
O ffer your time to your community.
T ally your voice in the count.
E ngage in your country.


I, along with most of the people reading this, have had the privilege of being born into a life of relative prosperity, security, and freedom. I've fought for causes, but never survival. An earthquake in Pakistan or a tsunami in Southeast Asia affects me less than my computer crashing as I typed this sentence.

So why bother voting? What's the worst that could happen if I don't?

My great grandmothers would slap me silly for even asking, since they didn't have the right. So would civil rights fighters. Apartheid victims. My friend's grandmother, who survived the holocaust. People around the world who dare to dream about what you and I can take for granted every day.

We have a responsibility to research and form our convictions. Vote our consciences. Not let government happen while we look the other way. I have only to remember my friend's grandmother to remind me of that.

Here's a terrific video, found by Little Willow, on taking our daughters to the polls. Mine is three. I agree: it isn't too early to start teaching her to value freedom. And in fifteen years when she has the right to vote, I hope she won't take it for granted. I hope I never do.

(Here, by the way, is Little Willow's submission for BLOG THE VOTE -- she's going to be in rehearsals all day but will be dashing to the polls during a break.)


I blogged a couple of days ago about my love for the vote. I'm considering giving the Statue of Liberty a hat tip as I cast my ballot, so if you're in the Boston area and see an Indian woman clutching a pack of Kleenex and wearing a light-green-foam-crown-visor-thingie as she races to the polls, that would be me.

So what are you waiting for?

Join the fun, blog the vote, and (bottom line): VOTE!


Melissa Walker said...

Great post, everyone! I can't wait to read more blogging the vote around the web! I am EXCITED.

Little Willow said...


rathacat said...

Hi readergirlz!

I've been reading the Blog the Vote posts around the web and they are excellent. I'm involved and I'm glad to see you here too.

BTW, it was fun seeing you at Portland KidLit08

Clare Bell

Jackie Parker said...

Ok, completely love Melissa's contribution to this in particular.

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