I don’t talk about my kid’s school very often, mostly because I want to keep my writing and her life separate. Yes, the two are in conversation with each other. Sometimes, that conversation is mostly shouting. The point remains: at school, I’m Mister Adam, parent and volunteer. Here, I’m not.
However, something’s up at school, and it involves books. I can bend that rule a little bit. I’d like to ask for your help. More below the fold.
While Seattle has a great library system, not all of the students at my daughter’s PreK-8 (yes, that’s pre-school through middle school) school have access to those libraries. School is one of the few places where they can get books. When the kids go home for the summer, they’re going to be in a book drought for three months. Not cool.
Fortunately, there’s Drop Everything And Read. As school winds down, kids can come into the library, take four books from the DEAR shelves, and take them home to keep. Not just for the summer, but for good. I think it’s a great idea, because books keep kids entertained without beeps and boops. Yes, it also keeps their brains going all summer, but that’s a side effect. This is about helping my fellow parents stay sane.
Where do you come in? Well, if you’re a writer and you write books for a PreK-8 audience (or, you know, maybe for those sophisticated fourteen-year-olds) and you happen to have a few review copies of your books lying around, we will take them. Not only that, our school PTSA will give you a receipt for the full value of the book, and you can use it on your tax return. You’ll be building a readership and getting a write-off. Win-win!
If you’re not a writer, but you’d still like to help, you can buy us books, and it will still count as a charitable contribution. More win-win!
Now, here’s the fine print: if you want to contribute, email me via the contact form and use “Drop Everything And Read” as the subject. Please tell me the titles you’d like to contribute. I will be doing a little bit of gatekeeping, just to make sure the books won’t make too many parents’ heads explode. For instance, the Twilight books are on the school library shelf. The collected works of Chuck Tingle aren’t. Use your best judgement, and, if your judgement isn’t that great to begin with, ask someone for help. If I think your contribution is appropriate, I’ll send you the mailing address.
The school’s demographics skew more toward K-3, with much smaller classes for grades 4-8. Picture books are always welcome, as are board books for the preschoolers. Gender parity is about even. We have a lot of immigrants, most from the Horn of Africa and Central America, so books in Spanish, Eritrean, Amharic, Tigrinya, Somali, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Mandarin are welcome. Most of the student body are people of color, so now is also a prime opportunity to get books that feature protagonists who are POC. We Need Diverse Books would be a great start for suggestions.
Last thing: we need these books by June 13. School gets out late this year due to the teachers’ strike, and the week of the 13-17 is the only real breathing room I have before diving into Comicpalooza.
Any questions? Drop me a line. And thank you in advance.