Monday, July 27, 2009

Reader To Reader Mourns Passing of Frank McCourt

It is with deep sadness that we mark the passing of author Frank McCourt. Our Summer Enrichment Program had a special link to McCourt as the participants read Angela’s Ashes and travelled to New Haven to hear McCourt speak just weeks before he died.

Reading mentor Kathryn Libby notes:

“I was so shocked to hear of Mr. McCourt's death: we had seen him speak at Yale just a month ago and he was so engaging and energized! I was honored to be in the presence of so great a writer, and someone who spoke so eloquently and humorously of an impoverished Irish Catholic past. His words touched each and every one of the audience that afternoon. He was such a graceful and dedicated man. I highly recommend his memoir Angela's Ashes for anyone looking for a book that is poignant and entertaining throughout.”

Reader To Reader has also used Frank McCourt’s books as part of the online Navajo Mentoring Program and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angela’s Ashes never fails to stir the heart and mind with its touching mix of sorrow and the resiliency of the human spirit.

He will be missed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Special Thank You to David White

What does a Limo have to do with the Navajo Nation Library Book Drive?

An even better question is where do you store the thousands of books destined for the Navajo Nation Library?

The latter was the question we faced as we began collecting books for a book drive with a goal of 100,000 books and 100 computers.

Fortunately, Exclusive Car Service owner David White has provided Reader To Reader with free warehouse space at his headquarters in Holyoke, MA.

White’s offer of warehouse space will allow the books to be shipped in bulk, saving thousands of dollars in shipping costs.

Thank you, David, for your generous offer. And, if you need limousine service in the Springfield area please consider Exclusive Car Service. They do a great job!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's No Mystery

Reader To Reader’s Navajo Nation Library Book Drive continues to grow with a large donation of mysteries that arrived this morning from the Mystery Writers of America.

The book drive aims to collect 100,000 books and 100 computers for the Navajo Nation Library.

The library serves the 27,000 sq. mile Navajo Nation in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

The Mystery Writers of America have signed on as book drive partners with Reader To Reader and are donating thousands of mystery novels from their members.

The MWA is the premier organization for mystery and crime writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and folks who just love to read crime fiction.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Navajo Nation Book Drive Gathers Steam

Summer interns Cait Scudder and Kat Libby pause in unloading 25 boxes of books headed for the Navajo Nation Library in Window Rock, AZ.

Reader To Reader’s Navajo Nation Library Book Drive aims to collect 100,00 books and 100 computers for the Navajo Nation Library. The library serves the 27,000 sq. mile Navajo Nation in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

For more information on the Navajo Nation Library Book Drive please email

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Special Visitors

Emily and Harrison Winters (who are the twins behind the BookGrams4Grandma Book Drive) visited Reader To Reader recently as they toured Amherst College as part of their college selection process.

The two outstanding students have collected hundreds of books for Reader To Reader and we were so pleased that they could visit us in person. Our only question is which top college is going to be lucky enough to get them!

Here is their wonderful story:

Three years ago, our grandmother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s moved into an independent living facility. Unfortunately, she was not able to bring her numerous books with her because due to her condition, she was unable to read them.

We came up with a great idea to use her books to do a community service project. But what to do? After much brainstorming, we decided to donate the books to various organizations, but with a special twist. We created BookGrams4Grandma as a way for our grandma’s passion for reading to live on.

When it came down to finding places where we could donate our grandma’s books, this proved to be a challenge. Many places would not accept her books because they were adult, hardcover, fiction books. However, we did notice a pattern in the books that organizations wanted. Many places were in need of children’s books. We decided to trade in our grandma’s adult books for children’s books at a local bookstore in Fort Washington. We also went through our bookshelves and asked friends to donate books to the program too.

We chose an organization called Reader to Reader in Massachusetts to send our books. Reader to Reader donates books to deprived libraries across the country. We created a special sticker that we place in all of our books, describing BookGrams4Grandma. Over the last three years, we have sent approximately 600 children’s books to Reader to Reader.

(We thank Emily and Harrison Winters for all the amazing work they have done. Please visit their blog to learn more about them.)