Back to School Giveaway!!

August 19th, 2015 • Kate

NewOfficeSara and I are happily settled into our new office, with bookshelves assembled and loaded with copies of all of our fabulous authors’ books. So many copies, in fact, that we’re giving some away! In the spirit of Back to School, we’re preparing two special boxes for two amazing teachers or librarians out there: one full of middle grade galleys and finished copies (and maybe some sweet swag), and another of young adult galleys and books (and maybe swag).

Want to be in the running to grab a box? Leave a comment below with some information about you — if you’re a teacher or librarian, what grade(s) and/or subject(s), plus your favorite story about a student and a book.

Sara and I will go through all of the comments and pick a winner for the boxes on Friday, August 21st Monday, August 24th, so get those comments in! And please share this post with any other teachers or librarians you know, so we can help to get even more kids reading some great books!

Edited to add: US only, please. Sorry!

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25 Responses to “Back to School Giveaway!!”

  1. Robin Willis Says:

    I’m a middle school librarian with 600 students who need books!

  2. Crystal Glasgow Says:

    I teach about 22 fourth graders in all subjects, but none more important than reading. I have many favorite stories about my students and books – The look they get in their eyes when they finally find that one book they’ve been looking for. The little fits of laughter that ring out in the silent classroom during independent reading time. Lively discussions about literature. The passion that certain stories ignite within them to continue reading or make a difference in the world. The competition to read more books than any other student in the classroom. My favorite moment, however, is the one where one of my students reignited my love of reading. Xavier, one of my students that disliked reading the most, walked into the classroom with a rather large novel tucked under his arm. He enthusiastically announced to the classroom that he was going to read Twilight. I can still see the twinkle in his eye and the bright smile on his face. Concerned he was not reading a book on his level, I asked him if he was certain that Twilight was a good fit book. He was very persistent in his answer that he was sure it was a book he could understand. Then he challenged me: “I bet I can read this book faster than you Miss.” I never back down from a challenge and the rest was history. We were neck in neck for a while but I eventually surpassed him and moved on to the next of the series, but I thanked him for challenging me like I challenged them everyday. He never gave up reading Twilight and eventually finished it and many other books. Not only did I enjoy reading again, so did Xavier.

  3. Jared Reck Says:

    I teach 8th grade Language Arts. One of my favorite moments was reading Part-time Indian out loud to a group of reluctant/struggling boy readers—tough kids who laughed out loud at almost every chapter and went strangely silent during the heartbreaking parts, avoiding eye contact at all costs. So powerful. So much fun to read aloud.

  4. Carolyn L Fischer Says:

    I teach 7th and 8th grade language arts at an all-girls middle school near Detroit, Michigan. One of my favorite stories about a student (okay, more than one student) and a book comes from last year when we read “Unwind,” by Neal Shusterman, as a class. I try to choose newer books for my students as well as classics, and “Unwind” provides a great opportunity to read a dystopian adventure story that will get the students thinking and give them something they truly want to write about. We read the story aloud so I could guide the girls through it. One of the best parts for me, as a teacher, was when one student who had never liked reading could not stop reading or talking about “Unwind.” She was incredulous herself at her desire to read, and continued to maintain that energy as she made her way through the sequels to “Unwind” independently. I desperately want her to keep reading, and I’m so pleased that “Unwind” gave her that motivation. Meanwhile, as the story became more gripping, I literally had students (one of whom claimed she’d fallen in love with the main character, Connor) on the edges of their seats, holding each other’s hands and barely breathing as they awaited the outcome of various scenes. These moments make me smile and inspire me to keep at it: bring books into the lives of students so they can imagine another world, open their minds to the unknown, and lead them into writing with their own enthusiasm and ideas. I’d love to get new books for my classroom to help me continue to do this!

  5. Jennifer B Says:

    I’m a librarian. We are the only public library in our County, and are right next to the school. My favorite story is of a 11-year-old buddy of mine. He said he hated to read. Hated it. (But he loves the library.) So I made it my mission to find him something he would dig. It took 6 months of casually suggesting books, but one finally clicked and he raced through the whole series. I teared up when he told me he was on book 3 and loving it. Made my year!

  6. Gretchen Brugman Says:

    I have taught middle school (and some high school) for the last ten years. I’m starting a new job this year as the 7-9 English teacher at a small charter school with no library.

    I love teaching literature the most because I love reading, and I think reading connects us. It allows students to learn and empathize, and it connects us to each other. Once, a fifth grader told me Wednesday Wars was his favorite book, so I decided to read it on his recommendation. I LOVED it! And I loved that a student was the one introducing me to a book I loved.

  7. Kate Says:

    Congrats, Gretchen, you win the MG box. Can you email me at with your mailing address?

  8. Jenean Roberts Says:

    I am a Middle School Math teacher. I was in the High School until 2014. Without reading you have almost nothing. Without reading you can’t do math. I have a real hard time saying what my favorite book is. I love to read! If I had to pick just one I would say Harry Potter. But there are too many other one to settle for just one.

  9. Melanie Says:

    I’m a high school librarian with a tiny budget!

    My favorite story is recently a kid who got excited about me giving recommendations because their last librarian didn’t do that. What did they person even do all day??

  10. Brittany Says:

    I am a HS teacher who helps run a teen literacy book club. We do lots of fun bookish things. My favorite part about being a teacher is being able to recommend books to non readers. I love to help non readers become readers.

    I also really enjoy helping students understand that the HS library is legit. There is a bad stigma with libraries and young adults for whatever reason. They will come to my room to get books before going to the library. I like showing them that libraries are cool. 🙂

  11. Ally Weinel Says:

    I am a 7-9 librarian in Missouri. Our district is 1:1 at my level and it takes up a good portion of my time and attention. Luckily, I now have a wonderful para who has taken on most of these responsibilities for me. However, my first year in the library, I was between two buildings and I was the only one in the library available to deal with all of the fun issues that technology sometimes has. One day, I was at the Freshman Center and I had a couple of kiddos come up to me and ask me about books. They asked me for recommendations, I got to tell them about a few books that I had read recently, and they talked excitedly about their favorite books that they had read recently. It was so beautiful to share a little bit of time with these students discussing something we all love so much and forging that connection. I rarely get to enjoy this aspect of my job. It is a small portion of my job that people always assume to be my entire profession. Though it definitely is not the largest or, likely, most important aspect of my job, it is certainly my favorite! Seeing freshman excited about reading is always a memorable experience!

  12. Faythe Says:

    I am a teen services librarian who works in a predominately rural poor area. A lot of the teens I help throughout our small library system do not have computers are home. At one of our branches I set up a Study Hall for teens so those without computers at home would be able to do their homework (a lot of which was posted online) and not fall behind their classmates. This also turned into a prepping for college area and I was able to help a few teens with their college applications and essays (they would be the first in their families to go to college. I helped one of the aforementioned student with a scholarship application and she won a $20,000 for college. To date that is one of my favorite library (success) stories!

  13. Kate Says:

    Congrats, Faythe! You win the YA box. Can you email me at with your mailing address?

  14. Emily George Says:

    I’m a sixth grade English teacher. I am passionate about keeping students interested in reading and engaging reluctant readers–especially during middle school when interest in reading tends to drop off! I try to keep my classroom library as current as possible to help support my students and maintain their interest in reading! I would love to have more awesome books for my library!

  15. Abby Cornelius Says:

    I’m a High School Librarian and I just had an awesome experience with a student, an author, and a book. Andrew Smith visited our city earlier this year and one of my students is a huge fan. I tweeted to Andrew about it and he was so nice and responded. On the day of the event, the student had to leave early to go to work and I asked a question and identified the student. He was disappointed that he missed getting to talk with my student. Andrew signed a copy of Grasshopper Jungle to the student and mailed it to me to surprise him with. It made his year! He is so kind to his readers and it shows!

  16. Ashley MacKenzie Says:

    I’m a high school English and French teacher at an inner city public school. Last year, the teachers’ union I belong to underwent a prolonged strike with funding for librarians and resources being key issues.

    They’re still issues.

    Some schools can’t afford to keep their libraries open five days a week. Others are required to spend some of their meagre budgets on “Learning Commons” technology rather than books. But there are still avid readers at my school.

    In the English department, we encourage student choice with silent reading books – to the point of encouraging memberships to the public library because we know that our school library can’t afford to update its collection with any kind of frequency. Last year, this lead to a student discovering Stephanie Perkins.

    And to me regretfully asking her to put ISLA away…during French class.

    But not all was lost. I promised her and her friends YA author and book recommendations – and to let her continue reading ISLA – if they finished their in-class work with time to spare.

    And they did it.

    They were so eager for me to hand them the post-it of names and titles I’d scribbled down for them. It was motivating. Uplifting. Exciting.

    For all of us.

    I just wish I’d been able to hand them books instead.

  17. Lisa Hadorn Albright Says:

    I am a 7th and 8th grade ELA teacher. I have started many cool things at my school like: Yo-Expo, Fireside Read Alouds, Writing for the World, and Night of the Arts. If I win some books I want to start Bring on the Books.

    Pick me, pick me, pick me:)

  18. Michael Shore Says:

    I am a teacher. My daughters are avid readers. My daughter’s junior high is ALWAYS in need of more current books of quality. The school has a book club, an outdoor reading area, as well as a character garden for reading and congregating, which is dedicated to a few staff members who recently passed away.

  19. Allie Lamb Says:

    I teach elementary art to kindergarten through fifth grade. I have over 700 students and we start every art lesson with a book. The year Drew Daywalt’s book, The Day the Crayons Quit, came out, I read it to every class. To this day, every student refers to a crayon without its wrapping as naked… Obviously closely followed by little giggles and snickers. I love it. One of my favorite things is to make connections between art and other areas of study, but literature holds a special place in my heart.

  20. Ida Olson Says:

    Hello! I’m a junior high librarian in Cheyenne at a school of 700. My favorite book moment was when I booktalked “The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie” to a class of seventh graders. A boy picked it up when I’d finished, and his friends started teasing him about getting a “girl book”. He wasn’t deterred and checked it out anyway. Five minutes later I looked over and he and the same friends were at a table reading it together. I’m proud of kids who read what they want and don’t care who sees them.

  21. Monica Says:

    This is my fifth year as a school librarian, and my first at a new school. I’m so excited to get to know all of my new students, but one of my favorite memories from my old school was the day after The Fault in our Stars came out. My start time was after the library opened, and before I could even set my coat down, I was told there was a group of students who needed to see me immediately. A large group had amassed around my desk, demanding to k ow why we didn’t own An Imperial Affliction, the book within the book. I held back a smile as I gently explained it didn’t exist, but suggested some real alternatives they might enjoy (and they did). Connecting the right book with the right reader at the right time is like seeing the stars align, and I love that feeling especially with teens coming into their own. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  22. Adam Hunt Says:

    I’m a middle school Language Arts teacher who is in his second year in the Boulder Valley district. MBecause I’m new, my in-room book collection is small. I’m building a reading nook, complete with aspen trees in the corner of my room, and it would be wonderful to be able to add these books to my current, meager collection.
    My students have 3 required independent reading projects and creative presentations this year. Help me provide more options to these wonderful kids.
    Thanks so much.
    Adam Hunt

  23. Jamie Says:

    My husband is a first year English teacher this year at an alternative high school. This is his second career, so it’s a whole new world after having been in the US Army. Now, he’s starting from scratch and is looking for a classroom library to help inspire kids who have slipped through the cracks most of their career. I would love to surprise him with donated books to build his classroom. He’s inspired me for my career; I’d like to the chance to say thank you in return.

  24. Carissa Harwood Says:

    Hello there,
    I’m a new teacher for freshman and sophomore English, grades 9 and 10. Although I’ve taught at the college level for years, this is my first foray into teaching younger teens, 13-18.
    My story is this: our school is located in the high desert in Nevada in a tiny town that boasts four stoplights. Many of the students who come into my grade 9 class, and even some in grade 10, are unable to read. It would be so helpful to have some high interest books on the shelves that inspire kids to read, to show them that not all books are boring. I have a lot of the classics, and I love them, but the kids…maybe not so much. I’d love to build my library to show my teens that there’s so many stories to be told in the world–including theirs. If they see books on the shelves that more closely reflect their lives, their fears and their loves, hopefully it would inspire them to see themselves portrayed with heart. I want them to see that authors understand their stories, and that their own stories, in turn, are equally as valuable.

  25. kt literary » Blog Archive » SOUND and SALVAGE giveaway! Says:

    […] to everyone who entered our Back to School Giveaway last week. Winners are being notified, and books are ready to be mailed! As promised, I have […]