January 24, 2014 "Readers to the Rescue" Online Game Encourages Young People to Read Classic Books

Now Available on Read.gov

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

A new interactive game, called “Readers to the Rescue,” is now available on the Library of Congress’s reading-promotion website, www.Read.gov.

The game, developed by students at the Laycock Center for Creativity & Collaboration at Brigham Young University, is a visual game set inside a library inhabited by a cast of storybook characters, among them Pinocchio, Humpty-Dumpty and Sleeping Beauty. Users are asked to “rescue” characters who have been stolen from the book’s pages by placing other book “heroes” in the blank spaces in a story, which results in one of 36 possible short animated films. At the end, readers are able to unlock a classic children’s online book to read.

“Readers to the Rescue” is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress, Brigham Young University and the Ad Council. To create the game, BYU’s Laycock Center brought together students from advertising, animation, film, graphic design, music and theater. In just two months they came up with the format for the game, designed all of the characters and created the 36 mini films.

A goal of this initiative is to recognize the modern, media-driven world children are growing up in and that reading online, or in any format should be at the center of literacy efforts.

“It doesn’t matter where you read, it matters that you read,” said Jeff Sheets, director of the Laycock Center. “We tried to use the same technology that takes these kids away from reading to bring them back to reading.”

Among the 36 books that users can unlock are “The Arabian Knights,” “Dracula,” “Anne of Green Gables,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “The Secret Garden” and “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” For younger readers there are “Rapunzel,” “Pinocchio,” “The Three Bears” and “Snow White,” among others.

The Read.gov website is administered by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit www.Read.gov.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.


PR 14-011
ISSN 0731-3527