Every year at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, we "adopt" several classrooms of kids who don't get books as presents, and we make sure that they DO. Each star on the tree represents one local child and is labeled with their age, reading level and interests.
This year we challenged ourselves to the biggest Book Angel project yet. We just about doubled the number of kids we're helping, and we've added a batch of high schoolers - which means the Book Angel project now officially spans 100 local Hudson Valley kids of all ages, K-12. ALL these 100 kids will get great new books this year!
UPDATE: WE REACHED OUR GOAL!!!
As of last night, we'd taken care of about half the kids on the list... but there were still so many stars left! So at 7pm eastern time, I threw the challenge down on this blog and on twitter.
I'm so proud and excited to tell you that thanks to YOU we reached our goal in ONE HOUR.
Each of the 100 kids on our list will receive at least TWO* brand-new, hand-chosen (and if I may say so, superb) books. That is four classrooms of kids who may have never had a new book of their very own before. I am beyond delighted. You are all amazing.
Suzanna at Oblong Books and I stayed until 10pm running around the store like mad selecting all the titles. This part is both the most thrilling, especially when one of the children seems like a kindred spirit so you can gift a personal favorite and know they will LOVE it... and the most challenging, when you have to find the PERFECT books for the kid whose star says something like "1st Grade: Dirt bikes and wrestling!" Anyway, it was fun and exhausting and I loved it, and I might have cried a little from happiness, and today we have a lot of presents to wrap. :-)
If you still want to be a Book Angel, consider a donation to FirstBook -- they do this all year long:
* "At least two" because in the case of early readers which are so short and slim we chose 3, or a pb/early reader combo. YA and MG novels got 2 each, a mixture of hardcover and paperback. Our goal is to give books that are both appropriate and that they'll adore based on the interests and level they shared with us.