December 5, 2018
A new publisher wants to give away one free book for every book sold
by Alyssa Monera
This past year has seen quite a few initiatives dedicated to promoting and celebrating the act of reading. Public schools have tested out book vending machines and PBS launched the Great American Read series. So why not finish the year out strong with a publishing campaign to give away one free book for every book sold?
Such is the promise made by Bushel & Peck Books, a children’s publishing house dedicated to improving child literacy. The founding couple, David and Stephanie Miles, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund this project. Each tier promises that, for every hardcover book purchased, another book will be given to a child in need. Additional rewards include virtual classroom visits with bestselling authors, personalized booklets, customized posters, and, weirdly enough, “a tree planted in your child’s honor.” Neat.
Unless you pick the Christmas special, the books you order won’t go out until about August of next year. The books for the children will come out at the end of next year, after the numbers have been finalized and tallied up, and are said to go out to communities around the world, ranging from low-income American neighborhoods to children in Africa.
The campaign comes in response to a depressing rate of literacy in low-income areas. According to the site, the average American child owns about 13 books, whereas in low-income areas, that rate decreases to 1 book for every 300 children. The idea is to allow better access to books for parents who can’t afford to buy them, and for children who don’t have easy access to public libraries.
The books themselves are illustrated by artists around the world and pride themselves on their progressive messages. Real Heroes for Boys is designed to counter toxic masculinity; Yes, You Can! is designed to inspire leadership skills in little girls. Other titles include A Child’s Gift of Lullabyes and The Interactive Constitution–one of which includes some cool little multimedia aspects.
As of the writing of this post, the fundraiser has raised $24,322 pledged of $75,000 goal with 16 more days to go. You can help them out on Kickstarter over here.
Alyssa Monera is an intern at Melville House.