We Celebrate INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY 2016 with Books that Inspired Us!

It’s the 50th Anniversary of INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY, and their theme this year is “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.”

September 8th is International Literacy Day, where re recognize and promote the importance of literacy. Literacy can be used as “an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies,” as stated by Unesco.

We definitely know all about the importance of literacy and the theme for the year, “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.”  To celebrate, we asked several of our writers and friends about the books that inspired them to read amazing books and write awesome stories of their own.

Here’s a list of those inspiring books that they revealed:

From a Booktuber:

Cassidy Sharples – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe


Throughout my life, I’ve experienced many resurgent spikes in my desire to read and write, but I’d be lying to you if I said The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe wasn’t the first. Even before Harry Potter, before A Wrinkle In Time, before I discovered how much I adored Dahl, the first thing I did was stay up all night with a small book light, agonizing over the fate of the Pevensies. I hadn’t yet experienced Tolkien (and honestly wouldn’t have the patience until MUCH later) so I rightly thought the world Lewis created was the most mind-blowingly massive and magical world I’d ever encountered. I remember thinking: “I want more of this. I need more of this stuff.”

From our Twitter followers:

From The Fandom Staff

Kait – The Perks of Being A Wallflower


This novel was my first introduction to earth-shattering realism. As the terminally shy teen who had amazing, inclusive friends that informed much of my teen years, I related to Charlie on a basic level. But the character’s journey had such depth and faced harsh scenarios that made me a more sympathetic being. I wanted to explore the struggles and the lives I didn’t understand. Not only did it help me become a better reader and writer, I think it helped me become a more decent person.

Nat – The Twilight Saga

Honest to God truth. I wasn’t interested in reading YA until I saw so many other people reading it and talking about it constantly. It started from curiosity, and after that series, I picked up The Hunger Games. So yes, it started with silly, shimmering vampires. However, I started writing again after The Hunger Games. But I will always defend the books that got me reading and writing again.


Leslie – The Twilight Saga

I have loved books practically my whole life, but it was The Twilight Saga that really opened my eyes to obsessing over the whole YA genre. I held out from all the hype and read the series after all four books were released. I completely devoured them. Jodelle Ferland who played Bree in the film adaptation of Eclipse was asked what other book series she was a fan of and she responded with The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments. I immediately bought those books and to this day they are two of my favorite series of all time. I’ll always be thankful to The Twilight Saga for sparking my love for reading again.

Jennifer – The Great Gatsby


It was my Sophomore teacher who made us read it but it was also him who helped me understand the adventure behind books. I realized with this book that I was a romantic and a big stiff for happy endings. So it was a harsh realization to finish this book. After reading this book I took up many others of different genres but it was with YA that I fell in love with storytelling. After many novels and series read I can still call The Great Gatsby #2 in my top 3 favorite books.

Joshua – The Dresden Files


Jim Butcher has written one of my all time favorite series. Butcher does an excellent job of integrating classics from mythology (everything from Zeus to the Billy-Goats Gruff) and bringing them into our modern world. Everytime he releases another novel, I finish inspired to get back to writing.

Hannah – The Hunger Games Series

Anyone who knows me well knows THG series has a huge place in my heart. When I finished the first book on a whim, I sat stunned for a moment and felt the dawning realization that the feelings I had – the sleep lost over reading, the connection to the characters, the real emotion – were what I wanted to make other people feel. It really reinforced that my true passion is for storytelling. I hope one day that I can create a character who someone will connect with as well as I connected with Peeta Mellark.


Juliet – The Hunger Games Series

I wasn’t really a huge reader until I watched the Catching Fire movie a few years ago. I started watching some of it and I was sucked into the world. The next day I went to my school library and started to read the whole series. It opened my eyes to the dystopian genre and made me realize I really enjoyed reading. From Divergent to The Mortal Instruments, and Throne of Glass, I started to read more and more. Now a few years after I’ve read The Hunger Games, I have read many more books.

Halee – Percy Jackson and the Olympians series


I’ve always enjoyed reading, but when I read The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson series, I was thrust into a whole new realm of reading. These stories captured my mind and imagination in a way that wouldn’t be repeated until I read the Harry Potter series a few years later. Because of this wonderful series, I became nearly obsessed with seeking out new worlds and places in both Middle Grade and Young Adult books. The Percy Jackson series catapulted me into a world of whimsical literature that helped me become the person I am today.

Juwairia – The Harry Potter Series

hp-seriesA classic answer, I know. But after hearing my brother’s obsessive rants about the series, my 10 year old self decided to give it a try. I had always loved to read, but the tale of wizards is what really propelled me into the world of literature. Since then, I continue the YA genre and I love all the stories I’ve devoured.

Simon – Looking for Alaska


This is the first book I ever bought in my whole life. I am a fan of John Green before this but this is not your typical romance book. This book caused me to search for similar books. That’s where my hunger for books started or became larger


We understand Literacy Day is much more than just sharing the books that inspired us. It’s also about reminding people about the importance of being able to read and write. This year is about innovation and along those lines, innovating ways to get people reading and writing.

There are wonderful stories out there to read and wonderful stories to write. Thus, we hope that you can inspire others as well. Find out more about International Literacy Day at Unesco.org.


Let us know in the comments below what your inspiring book(s) are.

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.

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