Books Across America

In the fifth grade, I vaguely remember coming home one Sunday afternoon from church and seeing people standing at the intersection of Northfield Rd. and Miles Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio holding hands.  That human chain was known as Hands Across America which was an event created to fight hunger and homelessness.

In elementary school, we held Right to Read Week and while the majority of the details are no longer in my memory,  I do remember we had a balloon launch with a piece of paper inside telling whoever found our balloons who we were, what school we attended, and a book we read.  As a kid, I really believed that my balloon would be found and I would have a new connection with some unknown person far away from me.  Now, I’m not so sure, but it was still cool to imagine the possibilities of who would get my balloon and learn a little bit about me.

Thanks to television shows like Oprah’s Big Give and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, we’re seeing strangers connect to another stranger who has a need in their life.  We’re able to watch philanthropy be performed on a huge scale by everyday people.  Sure, it’s probably sensationalized and some might argue against the tight time limits, but it’s TV and it’s a competition on Big Give.  Give big (with someone else’s money) or go home.  But it is exciting to watch the levels that the Big Give competitors and Ty’s crew go to in order to enrich someone less fortunate.

Whenever I watch Extreme Makeover, my philanthropic spirit kicks in and I wish I could be there helping the crew and builders give something to the family.  It’s been revved up watching Oprah’s Big Give.  And now thanks to readergirlz, I’ll be able to unleash that spirit.

Who are the readergirlz?  They are a group of female authors who encourage girls to read and connect with others over a good book, primarily books that feature strong female characters.  The Brown Bookshelf considers readergirlz to be influential in inspiring us to do what we do in promoting African American children’s literature.

On April 17, readergirlz and YALSA will partner for Operation Teen Book Drop (TBD), their second teen literacy project.  To build awareness for Support Teen Literature Day on April 17, 2008, readergirlz and YALSA have organized a massive, coordinated release of 10,000 publisher-donated YA books into the top pediatric hospitals across the country.  Isn’t that an awesome project?

Readergirlz and YALSA want our help with Operation Teen Book Drop.

For authors, readergirlz ask that you leave your book, with a TBD bookplate for authors pasted inside, in a teen gathering spot in your community. Place it where the book will be found, taken, and read (i.e. a coffee shop, the park, school, a bus stop, etc.).

For readers, grab a young adult book off of your shelf and drop it somewhere in your community as well.  Don’t forget to include your TBD bookplate for readers.

For anyone who has a blog, blog about Operation Teen Book Drop and how you participated on April 17th.  You can even add an “I Rock the Drop” icon to your site and/or blog.

After you rock the drop, head over to the readergirlz Myspace group to join the TBD Post Op Party on April 17th from 9PM – 11PM EST.   Come to the party where you can win prizes and books as well as chat with teens and authors from around the world.

Visit the readergirlz site to get the complete details about Operation Teen Book Drop and spread the word to others.  We at The Brown Bookshelf support Operation Teen Book Drop and will do our part as we Rock the Drop on April 17, 2008!

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6 Responses to Books Across America

  1. Paula says:

    I’m rocking the drop near a local high school. I just hope the cops don’t rock me. LOL

  2. I love the map graphic! Operation Teen Book Drop is a wonderful idea.

  3. This is such a great idea — I’m looking forward to it! Love that map.

  4. Amy Bowllan says:

    I agree. The balloon project would be awesome for students at any age – I’d like to try it myself. Thanks for this post.

  5. Chrissy says:

    I’ve read a new book that I really liked by Victoria Rosendahl.

    Bitter Tastes has something for everyone – a murder mystery, a girl with a disability others can easily relate to, and a solid ending. It made me want to read the next book right away.

  6. susan says:

    Love your map!

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