Photo of book, Reading for Our Lives

Reading for Our Lives

Community Room 301

Reading for Our Lives is a timely, necessary tool as U.S. literacy hits critical levels. Currently, there are 43 million Americans between ages 16 to 65 who can’t read well enough to complete a job application, follow a bus schedule, understand a rental agreement or parse choices at the ballot box. Low-income kids and children of color suffer the most. READING FOR OUR LIVES offers parents from all walks a life hope and a lifeline. Smart encourages and motivates caregivers to use whatever they have of their most valuable resource – time – to set their children on the road for success.

Maya Payne Smart

Photo of author, Maya Payne Smart

Maya Payne Smart is a writer, parent educator, and literacy advocate who has served on the boards of numerous library and literacy organizations. She and her family live in Milwaukee, where she serves as affiliated faculty in educational policy and leadership in the College of Education at Marquette University. Her website,, provides tips and tools for parents to nurture, teach, and advocate for kids on the road to reading.

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Reading for Our Lives