Monday, November 9, 2015

The Return of the Book Fair for Ballou High School Library!


It is time yet again to buy books for the library at Ballou Senior High School in Washington DC!

Every year, Guys Lit Wire lends its platform to host a book fair for Ballou. Working with librarian Melissa Jackson and her students, we build a wish list of titles they need and then ask the internet to buy a book (or 2) (or more) and send some joy their way. It's quick and it's easy and for book lovers in particular, it's a no-brainer.

We all know that books matter to kids, and we all know why buying books for teens who do not have wide access to them is a smart investment in our world's future. For Ballou, the school fund for book purchases is not large and as a Washington Post article showed earlier this year, the dollars for books in DC often go to wealthier neighborhoods. Also, when they get money schools like Ballou are often not able to purchase the sort of fun or seemingly frivolous titles that teens would really to read. That is where the Guys Lit Wire Book Fair for Ballou comes in. We buy the books the kids ask for, plain and simple.

So here's the deal:

This year we have moved the wish list from Powells Books to Amazon. I know that will be a bit painful for folks (really, I do), but there has been an issue with the availability of smaller press/diverse titles through Powells. On several occasions, books we wanted to include on the list were not on their shelves and could not be purchased. We've let it slide but combined with some concerns about unacceptable used copies showing up, this year we decided that going with Amazon was just the best thing to do. I hope you can understand.

The Amazon wish list can be found here. If you would like to embed a link in a post or tweet (and PLEASE DO!!), use this one: (And yes, I know that sometimes when you search for the list by name on Amazon, it doesn't show up. I have no idea why, so spare yourself the frustration and use the link!)

The mailing address is already set-up for checkout and there are nearly 400 books to choose from with a price range that starts under $5. We do hope you will find a book that you want to send to Ballou and help us fill their shelves with the titles these kids want so very much to read.

The Book Fair for Ballou High School Library will stay open for 2 weeks and we will keep you posted on how things go. Leave us a comment when you buy a book and watch the Ballou twitter feed for shout outs from Melissa (@BallouLibrary) as books show up.


 [Post pics of author MK Asante and students in the Ballou Library during an author visit last month.]


tanita✿davis said...

Yeah, Powell's is a great place, but Amazon's availability is second to none. Glad to see that little by little we're making a real library here...

E Wein said...

Great idea- off to the wishlist! cheers, e wein

Victoria Scott said...

Hey! I'll donate a copy of my books on their list--FIRE & FLOOD and SALT & STONE. Can you shoot me an email at with the mailing address? I'll sign and ship them, and you can remove them from the Amazon list. :)

- Victoria Scott

Colleen said...

Thanks so much guys & Victoria - I'm emailing you now!