Jumpstart Selects Simon & Schuster’s Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon for Annual Literacy Campaign, Read for the Record®

Kat Zhang’s picture book named 2021 Read for the Record pick

Boston, MA (May 13, 2021) —Jumpstart, a national early education organization, announced its collaboration with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing for this year’s 16th annual Read for the Record campaign. For the third year, The TJX Companies, Inc. —a longtime Jumpstart contributor—will serve as the campaign’s exclusive presenting sponsor. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record will bring together millions of readers around the globe on October 28, 2021 for the annual effort to celebrate literacy and provide access to high-quality children’s books.

“Each year, this day shines a spotlight on the essential role that adults play in supporting the learning and development of children by doing one simple act: reading aloud,” Jumpstart CEO Naila Bolus said. “At Jumpstart, we view books as windows to different experiences and as mirrors in which children can really see themselves. I think this year’s book accomplishes this objective especially well through the importance of celebrating who we are and caring for one another.”

This year’s book selection, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, is Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon, written by Kat Zhang and illustrated by Charlene Chua. The picture book, about a young girl who struggles during craft time to create a dragon that perfectly represents her, superbly captures themes of self-identity and affirmation through celebration of cultural symbols and family history.

In children’s books, representation matters. That’s why Jumpstart emphasizes selecting high-quality books with characters that reflect the diversity of our world.

“I’m thrilled that Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon was chosen for Jumpstart’s 2021 Read for the Record campaign book! Jumpstart’s mission is so important, and I love that Amy’s story will reach so many children. I really look forward to reading together!” said Zhang

“We are delighted to join Jumpstart in celebration of Read for the Record and its mission to share engaging, quality literature with readers everywhere. Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon by Kat Zhang will undoubtedly bring joy to the children and adults who read it together.”  —Jon Anderson, President and Publisher, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Each year, during Read for the Record, adults celebrate the transformative power of books by reading to children in their communities. This act creates a positive association with reading and learning and highlights the social-emotional benefits that occur from one-to-one reading. Despite the challenges that 2020 presented, over 2.24 million readers participated in Read for the Record.

Thanks to continued support from TJX, the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States and worldwide and the campaign’s exclusive presenting sponsor, the campaign will impact the lives of thousands of children from underserved communities and put high-quality literature into the hands of children who have limited access to books at home.

A limited number of special-edition, paperback copies of Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon will be sold exclusively by Jumpstart, in both English and Spanish, through the Jumpstart website. Jumpstart’s special edition will feature reading tips, vocabulary words, reading comprehension questions, and activity guides developed by Jumpstart’s team of early education experts. All proceeds help bring Jumpstart’s program to preschool children in underserved communities across the country.

Book pre-orders opened May 13, 2021. Everyone is invited to pledge to read with Jumpstart on October 28! To learn more about Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, visit readfortherecord.org.



Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children in underserved communities by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming to children and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Jumpstart is also a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Over its 26 years’ experience leveraging the power of caring adults to close the opportunity gap for young children in this way, Jumpstart has engaged 58,000 college students to transform the lives of 133,000 children. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.


Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, comprises the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, Denene Millner Books, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Salaam Reads, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and Simon Spotlight®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and bestselling books for children of all ages. Simon & Schuster publishes numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com.

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Sharon Reilly
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