I hated to read as a kid. Books for gifts? Blah! Reading for pleasure? Surely you cannot be serious! When I tell the kids that I work with that reading was just not my thing, they think I am making up a story. I can assure you, I am not. I was a math and science girl and reading for deeper meaning flew right over my head. Why I love to read so much now? I credit Harry Potter and JK Rowling's wonderful imagination. ..and I was an adult when I joined Harry. Have hope if you aren't a "reading for pleasure" kind of person...it'll happen
I was able to make a connection to a mom out in Beaverton (if you aren’t in OR, it is about 30 min outside of Portland) through a FB group I’m in (Portland Vegans…not even a book group). I took to the bookmobile for a short drive and we were able to pick out books for her “voracious 5 year old reader”. I hope to visit again, because after all there, kids everywhere need books. That was unexpected thing number 1.
Unexpected thing number 2….having a friend, a 17 year friend (?????? not a 17 year old friend as my kid seemed to think), who wants to donate to the bookmobile cause. Out of the goodness of her heart just because she knows me and knows what I’m trying to accomplish. She is always someone you can count on and would give people the shirt off her and her family’s back to help someone in need. So thank you Andrea for the unexpected gift…you are truly one of a kind.
I am lucky in that I have a built-in network of parents through my work at the school. I have been there talking to kids about books for going on my 11th year (have been involved there for 16 years). It is through this network that I received these fantastic donations. This does not include all of them, but I wanted to give a sampling and a HUGE thank you to these parents.
Things have changed since I started doing this so many years ago. What I read has changed. How I read has changed. The world has changed what they want to read. The call for more diverse books has been going strong for quite a few years now, and even though there is progress, there is still so much more to do. Diverse isn’t just about the color of one’s skin. It is about where they come from, their culture, their gender, their abilities. I am working very had to have a selection of books that have different points of view, authors of color, people who push boundaries. All of this is to say that sometimes an open mind is required when a kid picks out a book. They are sponges and want more and more information. I have not personally read every single book that the mobile carries, nor will I ever be able to. Content of books may make some people uncomfortable, or may challenge family beliefs. I encourage parents to read the back of the book, or read the first page or thumb through it. The mobile will not be able to make 100% of the people 100% happy 100% percent of the time. I just want kids to have books but ultimately it is up to the parents to determine if the book is appropriate for their child and family.
I hope that you and your child(ren) will find something exciting in these pictures, but this is just a small sample of what’s available. Does your family need some books? Do you know of a child who needs books? Send me an email and let’s get together!
Hello! Where to start. If you don’t know me, I work with kids talking about books, at 2 different jobs. I’ve been doing this for at least 15 years, which is a surprise because I was not the kid you would find with a book in her hands when I was younger. I love this work. It is fun, fulfilling and always different. You never know how a kiddo feels about reading until you ask them. Several times a week you will hear me saying, “You won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t like it”. However since March I haven’t been able to do that. I haven’t crawled around on the floor making animal sounds as I do my pajama storytime at the library. I haven’t looked into the faces of the kids at school as I read aloud to see if they were engaged. I haven’t handed a child a book that I was excited about.
It is now August, and what we all suspected happened. It was announced that school will start in the virtual world again. In addition, my branch of the library I work at won’t open fully to the public until sometime in 2021. Then, it hit me. There is the very real possibility that some kids haven’t had a new book in almost 6 months. That is just unacceptable. But what can I do? I had often thought of opening a book mobile but no real motivation to do it. Now, I have the motivation. I remember the book mobile as a child. It was connected to my public library so you had to have a library card to check out a book. I decided that’s not how Potter’s Sweet Pages will work. Any child who visits the bookmobile and needs a book will get one, and if I never see that child again, well then I know they have a book. I have to start small right now as I don’t even have any vehicle other than my car and the books I have are in bins. I have to be aware of Oregon’s “too many people together in one place” guideline and other things I am sure I am missing. But with my “mobile” and my “books”, Potter’s Sweet Pages Book Mobile is born