Get Junior to Juniors: True Diary to ID

$3,405 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 118 people in 29 months
Sara Baker   REDMOND, WA

Jen & I (Two Washington women as we have come to be known by the Idaho press) would like to thank everyone- from the bottom of our hearts- for the tremendous support this book drive has received. We exceeded our goal of 350 books in six days (!!!) and are no longer accepting donations. Further thanks are due to Mr. Alexie's Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for their extremely generous donation of an additional 350 copies! That means over 700 books made their way to Meridian students- how cool is that?

Many of you may have arrived at this page through links on Gawker, Christian Science Monitor, The Stranger, or Publisher's Weekly. Before you contact us with questions or post more about the drive, please check out the FAQs below:

Q: Someone called the cops because books were being distributed in the park? What's up with that, Idaho?

A: Yes, one person did call the police, and the internet didn't care much for that all. The person was concerned that "obscene sexual material" was being distributed to teenagers in a public park. The police did their due diligence, checked out the book, and found nothing unlawful going on. After talking to the officers, the man calmed down and even took a book for himself! We can consider him a convert.

It's also worth noting that this person is not representative of the entire state of Idaho. Without a handful of amazing Idahoans, we Washingtonians would never have been able to pull this off! Please know, too, that True Diary is an oft-challenged book. Not just in Idaho, but in many states- maybe even yours! 


Q: Does Sherman Alexie know??

A: He sure does! He even Tweeted about it! Isn't he great?



Q: What'd you do with all those books?

A: 315 (out of about 350) were distributed at Kleiner Park in Meridian, ID on World Book Night, April 23rd! The rest went to Rediscovered Bookshop for students to pick up there, but they didn't last long. The shipment from Little, Brown (another 350) should arrive shortly and will first be used to fulfill classroom and library set requests then be made available to students again.


Q: Can I have leftovers if you have any?

A: If you live in the Boise/Meridian area and are a student, you are first priority! If you live in the Boise/Meridian area and are not a student, you have second priority. If you fit neither of these criteria, then we are unfortunately unable to get you a book. Please don't let that stop you from picking up your own copy to read! It will be worth it, we promise!


Q: How'd this thing get started?

A: The short answer is that Jen & I read about the Meridian School District's decision to remove True Diary from the supplemental reading list despite 350 students having signed a petition to keep it. We love the book and wanted to share it with the students who were obviously disappointed with the school board's decision. We started the book drive with the help of a teacher and a librarian in Meridian, and the expectation that we might only get 25-30 books. Needless to say, we got quite a few more than that! We partnered with Rediscovered Bookshop- an indie bookseller in Boise- to purchase the books at a good price through the publisher. Two thumbs way up for Rediscovered and Little, Brown again! 

Wally of Rediscovered, Brady- our student volunteer, and our teacher & librarian (who have chosen to remain unsung heroes in all of this) along with a smattering of other wonderful volunteers distributed the books and we couldn't be happier about it!

+ Read More
Update 5
28 months ago
Jen & I (Two Washington women as we have come to be known by the Idaho press) would like to thank everyone- from the bottom of our hearts- for the tremendous support this book drive has received. We exceeded our goal of 350 books in six days (!!!) and are no longer accepting donations. Further thanks are due to Mr. Alexie's Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for their extremely generous donation of an additional 350 copies! That means over 700 books made their way to Meridian students- how cool is that?

Many of you may have arrived at this page through links on Gawker, Christian Science Monitor, The Stranger, or Publisher's Weekly. Before you contact us with questions or post more about the drive, please check out the FAQs below:

Q: Someone called the cops because books were being distributed in the park? What's up with that, Idaho?

A: Yes, one person did call the police, and the internet didn't care much for that all. The person was concerned that "obscene sexual material" was being distributed to teenagers in a public park. The police did their due diligence, checked out the book, and found nothing unlawful going on. After talking to the officers, the man calmed down and even took a book for himself! We can consider him a convert.

It's also worth noting that this person is not representative of the entire state of Idaho. Without a handful of amazing Idahoans, we Washingtonians would never have been able to pull this off! Please know, too, that True Diary is an oft-challenged book. Not just in Idaho, but in many states- maybe even yours!


Q: Does Sherman Alexie know??

A: He sure does! He even Tweeted about it! Isn't he great?



Q: What'd you do with all those books?

A: 315 (out of about 350) were distributed at Kleiner Park in Meridian, ID on World Book Night, April 23rd! The rest went to Rediscovered Bookshop for students to pick up there, but they didn't last long. The shipment from Little, Brown (another 350) should arrive shortly and will first be used to fulfill classroom and library set requests then be made available to students again.


Q: Can I have leftovers if you have any?

A: If you live in the Boise/Meridian area and are a student, you are first priority! If you live in the Boise/Meridian area and are not a student, you have second priority. If you fit neither of these criteria, then we are unfortunately unable to get you a book. Please don't let that stop you from picking up your own copy to read! It will be worth it, we promise!


Q: How'd this thing get started?

A: The short answer is that Jen & I read about the Meridian School District's decision to remove True Diary from the supplemental reading list despite 350 students having signed a petition to keep it. We love the book and wanted to share it with the students who were obviously disappointed with the school board's decision. We started the book drive with the help of a teacher and a librarian in Meridian, and the expectation that we might only get 25-30 books. Needless to say, we got quite a few more than that! We partnered with Rediscovered Bookshop- an indie bookseller in Boise- to purchase the books at a good price through the publisher. Two thumbs way up for Rediscovered and Little, Brown again!

Wally of Rediscovered, Brady- our student volunteer, and our teacher & librarian (who have chosen to remain unsung heroes in all of this) along with a smattering of other wonderful volunteers distributed the books and we couldn't be happier about it!
TYs from Idaho Students!
+ Read More
Update 4
28 months ago
THAT'S A WRAP, FOLKS! Here's one final update on what happened with all of your generous donations, and what Sherman Alexie himself had to say about this effort:

World Book Night was a complete success. Lots of parents and students (and reporters) came to visit our trusty volunteers at the park- among them teachers, librarians, Wally of Rediscovered, and of course our fearless student Brady. Wally described the evening as warm and positive. Everyone had a lot of fun celebrating True Diary, literacy in general, and the success of the drive. Many students started reading their copy as soon as they got it- right there in the park! Those crazy kids.

A total 315 books were given away Wednesday evening and the left overs that went to Rediscovered for pick-up didn't last long. Luckily, Sherman Alexie's publisher Little, Brown has generously donated an additional 350 copies! Those books will arrive at Rediscovered on Monday, April 28th. They will first be used to fulfill requests for Boise-area library and classroom sets and then be available to the public again with students getting first priority. If you have any questions about that, please contact Rediscovered Bookshop at (208) 376-4229.

Two weeks ago, Jen and I would never have imagined we'd be reading this but Mr. Alexie himself even weighed in on the drive:

"I am honored by the hundreds of Meridian students who showed incredible passion and courage for books. Mine, yes, but literature in general. And Sara Baker and Jennifer Lott are friggin' superheroes. If I ever get caught in a fire, I'm calling them."

Of course, the real superheroes are you all for turning this little 100-book drive into a 700+ book giveaway extravaganza. I've said it before and I will continue to say it until I am blue in the face- thank you, thank you, thank you. (And let's all hope that Mr. Alexie never, ever gets caught in a fire.)

You can read all about World Book Night and Little, Brown's contribution here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/61998-world-book-night-in-idaho-taking-a-stand-for-the-banned.html

A news clip featuring the ever-inspiring Brady is here: http://www.jrn.com/kivitv/news/Giveaway-of-controversial-book-in-Meridian-256472491.html

(That last one is a must-watch!)

Once again, thank you. Cheers to a wildly successful World Book Night!

-Sara & Jen

+ Read More
Update 3
28 months ago
Dearest Supporters;

Well, wouldn't you know it- it's been a week and our "little" book drive is almost over. Jen and I can hardly begin to express our gratitude to all of you who have helped us purchase these books. While the bulk of donations came from Washington and Idaho, we received contributions from at least 15 different states including New York, Texas, Alaska, California, and both the Carolinas! The runaway success of this campaign has blown us away, and we thank you for that as well. Without each and every one of you sharing our link none of this would be possible.

The GoFundMe page reflects both monetary donations and the value of hard copies donated. All told- we've exceeded our goal of 350 copies! The extra money will be used to fulfill a couple of requests for classroom sets for nearby Idaho schools and summer reading programs. We'll turn the donation link off on Saturday night.

Rediscovered Bookshop has ordered the books and the publisher has assured us that they will be delivered and ready for distribution on World Book Night- April 23rd. Brady, our fabulous student volunteer who collected the signatures of 350 petitioners, is spreading the word about distribution among her peers. She says that students are very excited and she expects great turnout. Unfortunately there are a few people within the community who are vehemently opposed to this book, so in the interest of Brady's safety we are keeping the specifics of the distribution quiet for now. She is sharing this information with the students through social media and we support that decision. I know there are parents of Meridian students who will receive this email, so if you have questions about the time and location or would like to volunteer please email me directly, sarab47@uw.edu.

Again, thank you all so much for being part of this. In closing, a few words from our favorite blasphemous book;

"It's one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they're the four hugest words in the world when they're put together.
You can do it.
I can do it.
Let's do it."

-Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian

We did it!

-Sara & Jen
+ Read More
Update 2
28 months ago
I wanted to take a moment to thank you all- once again- for your absolutely tremendous support.

Since Friday, Jen and I have been contacted by four (4!) separate news outlets to talk about the drive. Our little book drive has grown so far beyond our initial expectations, and I can't wait to order the books and get them shipped off. I just know the students are going to love this book as much as we all do.

We have only $380 to go to reach our goal of 350 copies for each of the students who signed the petition. Please keep sharing this page! Tell your friends how awesome you are for donating! Truly, you are making a difference!

And once again, thank you. Sherman Alexie wrote in True Diary "...hard work- the act of finishing, of completing, of accomplishing a task, is joyous." Isn't it?

He also wrote:
"If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing."

Thank you- you are all damn amazing!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Help spread the word!
 690 total shares
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.

$3,405 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 118 people in 29 months
Created April 11, 2014
$5
Adam Di Filippi
28 months ago

Keep up the great work!

+ Read More
RD
$5
Robin DeRosa
28 months ago

Awesome work!

+ Read More
LL
$10
Laura Loftus
28 months ago

Thanks for doing this!

+ Read More
$100
Anonymous
28 months ago
MO
$10
Mike O'Laughlin
28 months ago

Rock on!!!

+ Read More
OL
$130
Oliver Loewy
28 months ago (Offline Donation)

This customer of Rediscovered donated his store credit balance to the cause!

+ Read More
$10
Anonymous
28 months ago
SH
$25
Susanna Hansson
28 months ago
SR
$20
Shannon Russell
28 months ago (Offline Donation)
CF
$10
Carol Friends
28 months ago
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.
  Use My Facebook Account
or
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now
 Share on Facebook