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by Abigail Van Buren

Gift of Literacy Can Begin With Holiday Books for Kids

DEAR ABBY: During the holidays, many communities sponsor programs in which people buy new toys or clothes for needy children. Many of these children come from homes where there are no books.

An ongoing cycle of illiteracy haunts children on the edges of poverty. When teachers ask their students to bring a favorite book to class to share, these children show up with an advertisement or a coupon book because they have no books at home.

Abby, please help these children learn to love books and reading. If your readers are buying toys or clothes for needy children, please ask them to consider tucking in one or two children's books. -- D.W. IN RENO, NEV.

DEAR D.W.: I'm sure many readers will agree it's a great idea. Books make excellent gifts.