Thankfully Giving Books--ways to get them to kids who need them, and the books I'm giving for Christmas to my own family, even though they have lots already

So here were are at Thanksgiving.  Although I'm not thankful for the Pilgrims  (if Europeans had to invade New England, I wish Thomas Morton's Merrymount was the colony we were remembering instead of that of the grave-robbing Puritans) there's lots I'm thankful for.

For instance, I am surrounded by books.  And I'm also thankful that I have the ability to give books, both to kids who need them, and to my own family.

It's an immensely gratifying thing to get books to kids in need, and so I thought I'd share some pretty easy ways to do it. 

--If your library has a booksale, ask the Friends if you can box up the good quality kids books left over and take them to your local Headstart, or check to see if your local food pantry can offer them along with the canned goods.   Homeless shelters, children's hospitals, or organizations helping women in need are other thoughts.  (As President, and pretty much only active member, of my own library Friends group, I would love a volunteer who would get bookmarks printed with basic library info. to put in each book donated to the food pantry and Headstart....your Friends group might appreciate this too).

--If you don't actually want to talk to anyone, you can check to see if there's a near-by Little Free Library in a community that might need books.  This is the case in Providence, RI, for instance, and it is easy peasy just to swing by with a load of kids books and leave them there.

--Right now, the thoughts of many of us are with the kids of Ferguson, and supporting the library that serves these kids is something that we can do.  Here's the library's donation page.   Or if you'd rather send a book, the library is on its third wishlist (yay!) here at Powells.  (Angie, who got the library wish-list going, has more information on how it works here at her blog).

--and of course there's always the lovely Reading is Fundamental, which has strong ties to the world of children's book blogging.

Please feel free to share your own suggestions in the comments!

And just because I like sharing my own gift-giving happiness, here's what I have so far (more will probably be added) for various family members for Christmas:

For my 11 year old son (these were all easy, because they are continuations of stories I know he likes):

The Ring of Earth (Young Samari #4), by Chris Bradford

Goblin Quest, by Philip Reeve (the first book of this series, Goblins, is available in the US and is a very fun read)

Mutts: What Now? by Patrick McDonnell

For my 14 year old son (he loves graphic novels and history which also makes things easy)

Sandman Vol. 1--Preludes and Nocturns, by Neil Gaiman

Propaganda Cartoons of World War II, edited by Tony Husband

The Hidden Doors, by Kazu Kibuishi     

For my niece, who is 13 and who lives in Holland and so won't have read them already:

Smile, and Sisters, by Raina Telgemeier

For my big sister (tricky, because she likes books, but doesn't know in advance what books exist that she might like.  Have had previous success with Brief History of Montmarry and Code Name Verity, which gives some idea of her taste....)

The Demon Catchers of Milan, by Kat Beyer (not sure about this one, because she doesn't generally read about demons, but the Italian setting might well appeal)

Maisie Dobbs, and Birds of a Feather, in one volume, by Jacqueline Winspear (got very cheaply at library booksale, so no great loss if she doesn't like them)

and  The Paris Winter, by Imogen Robertson....

For my little sister, who shares my fondness for school stories and English children's books:

Billie Bradley at Three Towers Hall, by Janet Wheeler (a 1920 American school story that I hope is decent)

(this next one is a book you don't know about, Emily, so don't peek)
Impossible, by Michelle Magorian  because Michelle Magorian, and also my sister is a big fan of Arthur Ransom and so after reading this how could I not.

For my husband (because nothing says Merry Christmas like depressing Irish fiction):

Hello and Goodbye, by Patrick McCabe

And finally, a tentative thought for my mother (because she is a mystery fan and is going birdwatching in Japan this January...I have already lent her my own favorite book set in Japan, Hannah's Winter, which she read and enjoyed; she gets to go the very town in which that book is set!  If you have any recommendations for a sort of comfort read type book set in Japan, as opposed to mystical/situational fraughtfulness and unhappy people books, do let me know!)

Rashamon Gate, by I.J. Parker

(I buy UK books via The Book Depository (free shipping, but the time to do it is now, because it can take a while for the books to make it over the ocean), and if you shop there using the link I have in my right hand sidebar I'll get a small commission.....)


  1. I love peeking at people's lists! Would your mom like My Neighbor Totoro? Or Totto-Chan: A Girl at the Window (I picked that last one up at the most recent book sale and haven't read it yet, but she is welcome to borrow my copy!)?

  2. I absolutely love hearing about presents. I can't talk about the presents I'm getting everyone on my own blog, cause my family is always reading it (durn them), so I like to live vicariously. :p There are NOT ENOUGH BOOKS on my gift list this year.


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