TSS – High School Book Drive Wrap-up

You may remember that over the last couple months I was soliciting books from people cleaning off their shelves for the students at my husband’s school. We ended up receiving about 400 books, not counting the ones that I pulled off my shelves.

That means I owe about $80 to First Book, with which they will be able to buy another 40 books for young children. So thank you, all of you readers and bloggers who participated, and thank you to the employees of Random House and HarperCollins who sent books cleaned out of their offices!

One of two totally full library carts

Historical fiction table before the kids got to it

Nonfiction/memoir table

Fiction tables

We had a great turn out, 50 or 60 kids, and they CLEANED US OUT, which was awesome. One girl told me that she was really excited, because she only had three books at home, and now she had a great pile for summer reading (6 or 7 books, some of them major chunksters).

One girl's book pile - she wasn't even done yet

Sci-fi/fantasy table before the kids made their last sweep

Historical fiction table before the last sweep

By the end, the kids picked up every single book, and they were all beyond thrilled about it. A book for every reader and a reader for every book.

Thank you!

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High School Book Drive

My husband teaches high school math in the Western/Northwestern suburbs of Chicago; last week he came home telling me that his students were begging him to ask if I had some books I was finished with that he could bring in to them. Kids excited about reading get me really excited, so I went through my shelves purging things I was finished with and didn’t want to keep, as well as books I knew I was never going to get to. I even pulled out a few books I would have probably kept otherwise, because I knew they would appeal to his students.

The kids got their books on Tuesday and they were Over. The. Moon. about them. In fact, they wanted to know when I would have more for them. I had to tell them that sadly I probably couldn’t put together another bag like that until the end of the year, and even it would be a stretch.

Their excitement got me thinking, though. My husband’s school and district are going through really hard times budget-wise (what schools aren’t, really?). Many of the kids are immigrants or the children of immigrants, and 65% of the students are low-income, as opposed to the 39% state average. The school library has no funding, and many of the kids don’t have a ton of books in their houses, but they still love books.

So, I thought I’d see if my bookish friends have any books they would like to donate.

Books will go to interested students, the school library, and perhaps also some classroom libraries (depending partly on the quantity we get). The kids are interested in things that are YA, or adult books with YA crossover appeal. Historical fiction seems to be a big hit with the students, and I know that at least one US History teacher is interested history and historical fiction for his classroom library.

Since my passion is early literacy, I’ll donate $10 for every 50 books we receive (up to $200) to First Book, which will buy an ADDITIONAL 5 new books for younger children, thus increasing your donations by 10%.

We need the books by mid-May at the latest, so if you are sending media mail (which I would encourage you to do if sending within the US, it is a much cheaper option), please mail the books by the end of April. I will provide periodic thank yous/updates on the books received.

Books can be sent to:

High School Book Drive
C/o Jen Karsbaek
738 E Dundee Rd #194
Palatine, IL 60067

If you are planning to send books, please take a moment to fill out the form, so we know how many to expect, and so we have your information to properly thank you.


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