| March 30, 2011

Writers Take A Lead in the Books For All Mission


Something exciting has been happening at Worldreader: Authors have been getting really involved with our Books For All effort.

As news of our work in Ghana spreads throughout publishing and writing communities, authors have been contacting us, asking how they can join us in our work and give our kids access to their books for free. 

What started as a conversation has snowballed and created quite a bit of momentum. A good friend of David’s, Justina Chen, is the author of North of Beautiful and other wonderful Young Adult fiction.  (She’s also a co-founder of readergirlz!)  Tina told her friend and fellow author Cory Doctorow about Worldreader.  Cory very generously donated several of his books to our programs, then went nuclear with notes to some of his author friends, resulting in book donations from great writers like Daniel Pinkwater, Steven Gould, Lauren McLaughlin, and Justine Larbalestier.

Justina also mentioned Worldreader to her pal and renowned poet Janet Wong, who responded with an enthusiastic and super generous donation of two amazing books of poetry.  Janet hooked us up with her Poetry Tag Time collaborator Sylvia Vardell, and children’s author Leslie Bulion. Leslie talked to Sanna Stanley.  Both Leslie and Sanna have wonderful children’s books about Africa. Worldreader will digitally publish their award-winning African books, and the children and families them in our programs can download them at no cost.  And when others buy these books, 50% of net royalties from sales of the e-books go to fund our work.

Our friends at Random House have also been a big help in connecting us to other great writers, such as Mary Pope Osborne, author of the young readers’ Magic Tree House series. Mary’s books already top our kids’ reading lists; in the last few months, we’ve received numerous letters about how they’re following Jack and Annie’s time-traveling adventures.

Voice in the Forest, by Efua Sutherland, Afram Publications

You can have a look at some  of the African and international titles our kids can read for free by clicking here.

To spotlight some of these extraordinary authors and introduce them to our Worldreader community, we’ll be highlighting some of the authors who have donated their work to us.  This Friday, April 1, Janet Wong launches Poetry Tag Time; in celebration of the big day, we’ll publish an interview by Worldreader writer Jennifer Baljko in which Janet talks about how she fell in love with poetry.

Almost daily, we hear from authors who want to support the children in our programs and help change the way the world reads. We invite authors to join us in our mission.   To find out more about donating the use of your books, please click here or contact us at publishing@worldreader.org, and help us change reading in the developing world forever.