Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Final Tally on the Ballou HIgh School Book Fair

Apologies all around for the delay in this post but to all those who contributed to the GLW Book Fair for Ballou Sr High School in Washington DC please accept our deepest thanks and gratitude for what we accomplished together. Over 700 books were sent from the wish list at Powells plus many other boxes were forwarded by publishers and authors who saw the video and heard the call and responded with enormous generosity. We did something good, folks, something really really good. Here's some thoughts from Melissa Jackson, Ballou's librarian:

I am soooo grateful....THANK YOU for partnering with us. I wish I could hug each and every one of our givers!!!! I am so delighted that I was a recipient of the book sales. It was a pleasure to see the smiles on my students faces as they watched their collection grow!!!!

The fair accomplished so much - and had such a positive impact on Ballou that we are moving forward with a plan that I've been hoping to initiate for a long time. Melissa is receptive to the idea of GLW returning to Ballou in the future and we would really like to have a longterm relationship with a school so that the librarian could rely on us for more popular titles and use their own funds for more selective items to build their collections (like the pricey and hard to come by reference section stuff). We are planning to run a small fair in November (taking advantage of everyone's holiday spirit) and will return in the spring with another big list of titles to help get Ballou further along the way to having a full, viable library. (Keep in mind they still have a long way to go.) Our hope is to have a lasting influence on both the school and the students; we'll keep you posted on how things go.

Mostly, though, we here at Guys Lit Wire just want to thank all of your for coming through so brilliantly with this project. You proved yet again that the world is a good and wonderful place and there are a lot of kids (and one happy librarian) who will never forget your generosity.

Kathy bought The Betrayal of Africa, Learn to Garden, I Garden - Urban Style and Grow Great Grub! Thanks for all the gardening books! Gardening is good for the soul - especially in high school.

Andromeda bought 19 Varieties of Gazelle and Tears of the Tiger because poetry is a good thing.

Edi bought Hikaru No Go #6 and Chess Rumble. (There is a game playing theme there!)

Eugene from Pennsylvania bought The Dead Tossed Waves, The Green Glass Sea and Leviathan. (Quite a mix of good, bad and steampunkish...)

"chamekke" from Victoria, BC bought Briar Rose, Spindle's End and Picture This. (Jane Yolen rocked my world with Briar Rose - one of the greatest fairy tale/Holocaust mash-ups ever.)

Seren from Maryland (clearly a Neil Gaiman fan!) bought Coraline and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Diandra from Texas bought Terry Pratchett's The Color of Magic which was overlooked along the way as several other books in the Discworld series were bought (which is a problem as it is the first one!)

Our own Aquafortis from California bought Zen in the Art of Writing, Mare's War and Boneshaker. (Ray Bradbury changed my life with that book - way to go Sarah!)

Jenny from Illinois bought Sandman Vol 1 - so now some Ballou kids can get addicted to that wonderful series!

Erin from Washington DC bought The Iron Thorn, Riker's High, Shortie Like Mine and Teenage Love Affair. (Iron Thorn is one of my books of the year - hope they love it too!)

Mary Ann from California bought Life of Pi and Some Girls Are. (Nothing like a book about a kid and tiger to get you going...)

Robin from Virginia bought some books - this time Hamlet, Kiss My Math, Official Study Guide for SAT Subjects, One Crazy Summer, The Piano Lesson, Rules of the Road, The Wednesday Wars and The Time Traveler's Wife. (The novels will make the SAT book look less...dull, I guess. Sigh. It's a cross we all must bear before graduating!)

Amanda from Virginia bought The Dogs Who Found Me. (You will laugh! You will cry! You will be soooo happy those dogs aren't lost anymore!)

Kim from Portland (Oregon or Maine?) bought The Bean Trees, Cry the Beloved Country, Mountains Beyond Mountains, Gather Together in My Name and Woman Hollering Creek. (Absolutely fantastic collection of books that were all especially requested by Ballou. Thanks, Kim!)

Julia bought Staying Fat for Sara Byrnes and Copper Sun. (Byrnes is a classic everyone must have.)

Sarah bought Fahrenheit 451 and Stolen Voices. (More Bradbury!)

Miriam from Maryland bought Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. (More Westerfeld!)

Holly from Oregon bought Whale Talk. (Can you be a teenager without reading this?)

Ginger bought two volumes in the Hikaru No Go series, The Elements and As You Like It. (Shakespeare and Go - great match-up!)

Lilian bought Swordspoint, War for the Oaks, Silver on the Tree and The Grey King. (Oh dear heavens - this is fantasy perfection!)

Betsy in Maryland bought Kiki Strike & the Empress Tomb, How to Draw Cars Like a Pro, Field Guide to Birds in N America and You Can't Read This. (Hmm, Kiki Strike and drawing cars and looking for birds and censorship. WOW)

Andrea in Connecticut bought The Book Thief, T-Minus, Glass and The Disreputable History of Frankie Banks. (E LOCKHART!!!!!)

Christine from Oregon bought Animal Life, a great big door stop of a book that has gorgeous pictures and is the sort of title to pour over for hours! (I have it and love it.)

The lovely Sara (who is one of the reasons this site was created) bought Admission Matters, As You Like It, A Bone From a Dry Sea, The Cartoon Guide to Physics, Fences (2 copies), The Left Hand of Darkness, Mythbusters Science Fair Projects, Wake Up Our Souls, What Have You Lost? and Zel. WHEW! Way to go Sara!!! So many excellent titles here but I'm most excited about Mythbusters 'cause I love them and sending Adam and Jamie to DC for fun is just awesome.

"de Pizan" from Oregon bought As You Like It (we have three versions of this one on the list with multiple copies of each), Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues and Journey to Jo-Burg. Thank you very much de Pizan!

Jane from Texas bought Desert Solitaire, Habibi and The Misfits. Oh, James Howe, how I LOVE him so. Great to see his book going east!

Carol Rasco from Reading Is Fundamental (otherwise known as RIF) bought so many wonderful books I hardly know where to begin. I'll just thank her from the bottom of my heart. You're wonderful Carol and RIF is amazing.... :)

Karen bought The Cartoon Guide to Genetics, The Heart is Lonely Hunter and When You Reach Me. Wow - that's one interesting mix of books, Karen. Thanks for putting them altogether!

Tricia from Virginia bought Basher Planet Earth, Frankenstein, Hiroshima, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Once a Wolf, The Periodic Table of the Elements and So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. Woo hoo! Douglas Adams! Basher! Mary Kelly!!! Plus a Scientist in the Field book! (I get so excited by this kind of mash-up of titles!)

Rachel from Utah returns for another round with Queen of Attolia, The Dark is Rising and Over Sea, Under Stone. The beginning of the Susan Cooper series - excellent!

Nora from Massachusetts bought A Summer Life, the manga A Midsummer's Night Dream, Pretties, Whale Talk, Zombies vs Unicorns, Briar Rose (one of my alltime favs), It and Black Betty, an Easy Rawlins mystery because Easy is about cool as it gets.

Molly bought Black & White Airmen, Hiroshima, Freedom Flyers, The Incredible Journey, Roots & Blues, Shortie Like Mine, Soda Pop Rockets and Snow Crash because it's one of her favorites and frankly, it's one of ours too! Thanks, Molly!

Our very own Craig bought a second copy of Autobiography of Malcolm X because the list demanded it! Thanks, Craig!

Clara from California bought Good Omens and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Gaiman, Pratchett and Bender...sounds like the beginning of a truly excellent joke!

Gwen in Washington State bought some manga! She bought Manga Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice because really, there's Shakespeare and then there's MANGA SHAKESPEARE!

The divine Sarah in Massachusetts (who we all hope gets the job she just interviewed for) bought The Hemingses of Monticello, Apollo 13 and Having Our Say because nothing goes together better than President Jefferson and NASA....well, you know what I mean.

Heidi in Wisconsin bought Clockwork Angel, Tithe and The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I'm seeing a pattern in the stuff you like, Heidi - gooooood stuff!

Heather in Mississippi chipped in with a friend and bought the whole Hunger Games series! Thanks for not leaving the kids hanging, Heather!

"mlgm" from Wisconsin bought Catalyst, A Long Way Gone, Life in the Wild, Al Capone Does My Shirts, An Inconvenient Truth, Charles & Emma, All the Wrong People Have Self-Esteem and His Majesty's Dragon. Whew! Thanks for all these great books and yes, like you, I do hope that other folks step in and buy the rest of the Norvik series so the kids aren't left with just book one!

The wonderful Sara Z from Utah bought I Am the Cheese and Stephen King's On Writing - a title I reread every year and can't recommend enough to would-be writers.

Jenna from Rio de Janeiro bought Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link which is utterly and completely outstanding; Kelly is the real deal, for sure.

Laura bought Yummy, Soul of Baseball and The Rock and the River (Buck O'Neil is one of the greatest baseball players of all time in case you were wondering.)

Jenny from Florida bought Night and Hole in My Life - two modern classics for sure.

Rachel from Utah bought East of Eden and The Thief - which starts off Megan Whalen Turner's excellent series and if you're wondering there are THREE more books in the series on the list and it would be TRAGIC to just leave the kids with only the first!

Kristin from Illinois bought Into the Wild, American Gods, Coyote Road and a Girl Named Disaster (because if you're gonna read about a guy starving to death in a bus you REALLY need some Gaiman to make the day better!)

Our dear friend Jenny D from NYC bought Jay Z's DECODED and The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (there is nothing in the world I can say that will make these two books fit together other than Jenny D bought them both which is enough for me) (You are reading her blog aren't you? Go there now!)

Ann in WA (who is delightfully a MFA student) bought A Passion for Mars because interplanetary travel is made of awesomesauce in every possible way!

Juliet from Montana gives a hat tip to Leila (at bookshelves of doom) for spreading the word and tells us she bought Small Steps, Greenwitch and How to Ditch My Fairy (Susan Cooper, Susan Cooper, Susan Cooper!)

Katherine from Utah bought three books which I think were two copies of The Mighty Twelve (Katherine was very mysterious about her purchases, but this is my best guess)

Daisy from California (and author of The Mockingbirds!) bought A Separate Peace, Lord of the Flies and Filmmaking for Teens (this is the third film book for teens that has been purchased - can't wait to see what those guys do with all this newfound knowledge!)

Robin in Virginia bought Bellwether, Dreams From My Father and Dramarama (I should note here that some of the books are on the list because I love them so; this is completely the case with Bellwether which is damn near perfect)

Kristi in Illinois bought The Frog Scientist, Shine Coconut Moon and The Stuff of Life (The first book from the Scientists in the Field series to be bought! Yippee!)

Leila in Maine bought STORY OF A GIRL and ROT & RUIN (because zombies go with love gone wrong so perfectly...)

Becker in Denver bought ASH, HERO, My Most Excellent Year, and GRAYSON (Hmm, there is absolutely no pattern here other overall awesomeness)

Kelly in Wisconsin bought UGLIES and THE KILLER'S COUSIN (Westerfield & Werlin - excellent alphabet choice!)

Morgan in DC bought THE PLUTO FILES, UNWIND and GOODBYE, CHUNKY RICE (I'm still angry about Pluto!!)

Paula bought THE ROSE THAT GREW FROM CONCRETE, AFTER TUPAC & D. FOSTER, and THE OLYMPIANS 1 & 2 (Because Tupac, Zeus and Athena just go together, don't they? ha!)

Stephanie from North Carolina bought John Henry Days, Lips Touch Three Times, Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir, Does My Head Look Big In This?, Step to This (So for Real Novels), It Gets Better Signed Edition and two copies (as requested) of Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food (Colson Whitehead! He's an American treasure! Yea!)

Heather from NYC bought The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Princess Bride, Looking for Alaska, The Golden Compass and The Westing Game (Okay, gauntlet is now thrown, people. Somebody needs to get The Subtle Knife on the way now.)

Andrea & Paul from Wisconsin bought Hamlet (the No Fear Illustrated edition) and Y The Last Man Vol 1 (Oh, Hamlet - so much Hamlet on the list! Thanks for getting us started, guys!)

Jenna bought PAPER TOWNS and DR JEKYLL & MR. HYDE (Both classics - in very different ways, of course!)

Jodie from the UK bought Chameleon, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Empress of the World and The Rules for Hearts, S.E.X: Progressive Sexuality Guide (Edition 7), Othello (Sparknotes No Fear), The Merchant of Venice (No Fear), The Color Purple, a la Carte, A Wish After Midnight and No Girls Allowed (Another Sara Ryan fan! Everyone MUST read EMPRESS OF THE WORLD - it is amazing....)

Angela from Tennessee bought Speak, Marcelo in the Real World, Maus Book I & Book II, S.E.X.: Progressive Sexuality Guide (we figured 2 copies of this one would be necessary), Othello (No Fear Shakespeare), Othello (New Folger Library Shakespeare), A Field Guide to Insects: America North of Mexico, and The Reel Truth: Everything You Didn't Know You Need to Know about Making Independent Films/Movies (Maus is one of the best books ever, Angela and right off the Ballou original list. They will be thrilled to get it!)

Jennifer from Philadelphia also chose THE REEL TRUTH (looks like we had a simultaneous purchase there but no worries - two copies of an excellent title for the reference section) and LIAR (which is amazing on so many levels....)

Tracy from Colorado bought Bird by Bird, Like Sisters on the Homefront by Rita Williams-Garcia, Countdown by Deborah Wiles and Wicked (Bird By Bird was a life changer for me in college; Anne Lamont is a genius!)

Nephele from Pasedena, CA bought Pride and Prejudice, In the Time of the Butterflies, Howl's Moving Castle, Murder in the Cathedral, Starship Troopers, M Is for Magic: Stories, The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia, The Historian: A Novel (I think you win for most eclectic title group so far, Nephele - and Starship Troopers! Every teen MUST read Starship Troopers!)

Tammy from Connecticut bought The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Fortunes of Indigo Skye which are going to save the sanity of more than one kid, I guarantee it!


The English Teacher said...

What about sending her some of my once-read-not-going-to-keep books? Is that allowed?

Colleen said...

You can certainly do that - just please contact Melissa Jackson (school librarian) first and make sure they need the books you are sending. (Her email is

Robin said...

I sent some more:
Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss (Danica McKellar)
The Official Study Guide for All SAT Subjects
One Crazy Summer (Rita Williams-Garcia)
The Piano Lesson (August Wilson)
Rules of the Road (Joan Bauer)
The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
The Wednesday Wars (Gary D. Schmidt)
-Robin from NoVa

Katy K. said...

My husband and I sent
Hot X by Danica McKellar
Anansi Boys
Manga Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing

And also (on Friday) I posted the link to my blogs (same blog on two sites), and

Unknown said...

Hi, we've sent Othello;
Gerald Durrell's Family and Other Animals; a graphical Origin of Species; Nat. Geo's Backyard Night Sky, and "Tree of Life -- Darwin" by Peter Sis.
Thank you so, so much for doing this.

Unknown said...

I sent over a copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.

JPINN said...

I sent A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway,

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L Swanson and

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.

Kim said...

Today I sent a copy of Langston Hughes "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and a copy of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies". I also asked a twitter friend (Maud Newton) to help publicize and she has -- and been re-tweeted by several of her followers. Wish I could do more.

By the way, I'm in Edmond, Oklahoma. Our high school libraries here are rich. I was moved by the Ballou HS story.

grrlpup said...

I sent Susan Beth Pfeffer's The Dead and the Gone, which is the middle book of the trilogy. (btw I hear there might be a fourth book in the works!)

Kim said...

I sent another Hughes tonight (Poems) and Zora Neale Hurston (I Love Myself When I Am Laughing...). I keep thinking about these kids.

tanita✿davis said...

I really hope you can go through the weekend - we're very, very close.

I've finally bought the books I chose, and really hope there are a few more people out there who were waiting for the end to buy.

This has been awesome.

Anonymous said...

I sent some more (sent some earlier in the week). Semi-random choices - a few personal favorites I couldn't bear to see left out (The Outsiders, Team Moon, To Kill a Mockingbird), a Shakespeare (always good), a Scientists in the Field (wish I could get more of those; they look awesome - picked the Wildlife Detectives one because it's an area that interests my daughter), a Groundwork Guide (those also look good - picked the one on Oil because my husband worked in the oil business for years, and because it's an important thing for citizens to understand), a few more here and there ...

Robin said...

Hooray hooray for a continuing relationship with Ballou!!! I am so happy to hear that. Looking forward to future book fairs.

Sarah Stevenson said...

That's a wonderful idea, Colleen. I'm always so inspired and amazed at how much these book drives can accomplish, in the end, just through the power of individuals buying and donating books.

tanita✿davis said...

Nicer still to know that with the final count, we still didn't have all the names - friends from SCOTLAND sent Ballou some books as well as our lot, and so that adds up. We were all glad to help.

Jenny Schwartzberg said...

I sent A Conspiracy of Kings and The Dark is Rising on May 18th. I didn't see that info. on your list. By the way I love the idea of a November fair and an ongoing relationship with Ballou!
Jenny in Chicago