From an award-winning author and illustrator, the inspiring story of how the Little Free Library organization brings communities together through books, from founder Todd Bol's first installation to the creation of more than 75,000 mini-libraries around the world.
Todd and his friends love heroes. But in school, Todd doesn’t feel heroic. Reading is hard for him, and he gets scolded for asking too many questions. How will he ever become the kind of hero he admires?
Featuring stunning illustrations that celebrate the diversity of the Little Free Library movement, here is the story of how its founder, Todd Bol, became a literacy superhero. Thanks to Todd and thousands of volunteers—many of whom are kids—millions of books have been enjoyed around the world.
This creative movement inspires a love of reading, strengthens communities, and provides meeting places where new friendships, ideas—and heroes!—spring to life. —Author’s note, bibliography
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A Great Reads from Great Places - 2020 National Book Festival Pick (Wisconsin)
"This book proves ordinary people can do extraordinary, life-changing things. Readers will be inspired to make their own difference in the world." —Pat Zietlow Miller, New York Times best-selling author of Be Kind
A book-sized celebration and history of the Little Free Library movement. Paul's heartfelt text delivers the story behind Todd Bol's founding of the Little Free Library nonprofit, which began as a tribute to his late mother in his home state of Wisconsin and has since spread around the world. Bol (who passed away in 2018 just weeks after a cancer diagnosis) built his first little library with discarded lumber, placing it at the edge of his yard and filling it with books for passersby to borrow. After seeing how it "became the center of [the] neighborhood" Bol approached his friend Rick Brooks for advice about how to spread what they came to call "Little Free Libraries" to other communities. Paul's text details the ups and downs of their grassroots efforts, noting that they were inspired by librarian Lutie Stearns, "who brought travelling libraries all over Wisconsin," and Andrew Carnegie, "who once built 2,510 libraries!" Parra's accompanying illustrations, rendered in acrylics, depict Bol and Brooks, both white men, and the diverse people from across the United States and around the world who became "stewards," or "community heroes" in the words of the text, of their own Little Free Libraries. Their flat aesthetic has something of a DIY/painted-on-lumber appearance, which adds to the homespun feeling of the text and the very movement that inspired it. A book to share about book-sharing at its best. (Picture book. 4-10)
From Publisher's Weekly: Paul (Nine Months) frames her nonfiction account of Little Free Libraries as a story about ordinary heroes. After Todd Bol’s librarian mother dies, he creates a small one-room schoolhouse on a stand and fills it with books to share her “love of reading with anyone who passed by.” But no one notices until he explains it to his neighbors, after which the “little library became the center of their neighborhood.” Bol’s friend Rick Brooks helps him dream bigger: Parra (Hey, Wall) shows the two of them talking excitedly, angular figures on pages textured like woodblock prints. They build many of the structures and, when they can’t sell them, install them all over the upper Midwest. Now there are hundreds, all over the world. Paul writes of the way Bol’s mother encouraged him as a child (“You could do anything,” she tells him in the story’s opening pages, a warm smile on her face) and finishes by nudging readers: “Tomorrow might bring another hero story, written by YOU.”The way the text traces Bol’s big idea back to its emotional source offers a path to heroes literary and ordinary both. Ages 4–7. Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Adriana Dominguez and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary.(Sept.)
Author: Miranda Paul, Joseph Bruchac, Naomi Shihab Nye, Kimberly Blaeser, 신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin, Ed DeCaria, Becky Shillington, Padma Venkatraman, Gwendolyn Hooks, Jane Yolen, Janice Scully, Charles Waters, Carole Lindstrom, Sylvia Liu, Carolyn Dee Flores, Sarvinder Naberhaus