Most authors are nice and offer fun/cool book #kidsneedbooks giveaways on social media. Not me.
Not because I’m a Grinch (at least, not about books), but because I don’t need to take to social media to find kids in need of book access. My kids are in a very mixed-income, 60-something percent getting free/reduced lunches, Title I elementary school.
Right before Summer 2019, my kids’ then-teachers were nice enough to work with me to do a different #kidsneedbooks giveaway. They identified seven kids who didn’t have many books at home and gave me guidelines like: “Boy; chapter books; likes farting and robots.”
Per my request, I don’t know their names, and they don’t know mine.
With a little help from the giant Free Book Magnet at the core of my karmic energy field (most writers have one; mine is just extreme like me) I was able to deliver with very little effort or expense.
I was happy. I heard the kids were happy. Hopefully, they internalized the message that people see that they, Mortimer/Hildegaard, are worth investing in. Hopefully, they think it was somebody way cooler than I.
Don’t get me wrong: Book deserts suck. They are a scourge on society. Raise awareness however you can. My contribution is focusing on the mini-deserts scattered in front of my eyes, challenging my son to an epic belching contest.
But if you’re a kidlit writer, you’re probably already way too empathetic for your own good, and don’t need any further encouragement to love and support kids. Carry on.
Confidential to probably my kids’ 2019-2020 teachers: Chances are I directed you to my website and gave you the password to the booklist, which you can find here.