Just. One. Book. It’s Starting.

Enthusiasm has taken hold. I’m gone for the rest of the week in the lovely town of Green Bay, WI. visiting my dad– the other person in my family who gave me a love of books. My dad got that from my grandma who used to drop my dad and his brother off at the library for hours on end. Some of my favorite books over the years came from my dad. No rhyme or reason, just every now and then a book he thought a young person should read–and as I’m older now he still does it. Some of my favorite non-fiction comes from him. He came from a family that while, uneducated in its humble beginnings in New York, used libraries. His mother didn’t graduate from high school; my father has a PhD as well as a medical degree. We call him ‘double-doctor.’

I still look to him for book recommendations. And Packers gear. And cheese. Go Packers.

Meanwhile focus in Greenville say packages are still arriving. More kids who are in town for the summer are showing up to help discard old debris, make recycling runs, and the exciting part—opening boxes. One student yesterday remarked to Sue Weber, “I don’t even want to go to classes next year. Can I just sit in here and read?” Book contraband.

Last night when I finally got to talking with my son, he’d asked his friends on FB if there were books they wanted to have in the library.  Every recommendation my son and his friends threw at me I got to answer with, “Yup. Have it. It’s coming.” His friends were amazed. He was amazed.

My daughter revised the summer plans for when we get back. “Okay so, in the morning we work the library; in the afternoons, we go to the pool.” Yes, indeed. Sounds like a sweet summer plan.

Both the Washington Post and Feather River Publishing (the newspaper I work for) have asked me to do stories on the library project.  Yay! And we have teachers working on a donorchoose.org campaign as we realize we will need a designated computer for the library–something we don’t have now. The former Greenville High School library was never digitized.

Also we have a name now for the new library. Since it is for both schools and since the community is so intrinsically involved (and we envision them using the library too) we’ve named it the Indian Valley Collective Library.

Hope you’re having a good day. I know we are.

Green Bay!




  1. Sue Ranscht

    Born in Racine, living in southern California, I worked for the Forest Service in San Diego and San Francisco. I’ve always loved the Packers — from Vince Lombardi days. Took a couple road trips up to Door County during summer visits with relatives back in the ’60s, and swung through Green Bay once.

    I found Just. One. Book. a full 10 days after you first posted, but you’ll be getting more books from San Diego, too. We’re happy to be part of this story.

  2. spinningjennie

    I was born in Milwaukee, spent my teenage years/young adulthood in Upper Michigan, and now live in Petaluma. When I first moved to California, I was a library tech at a fledgling middle school in Sacramento, and built up the tiny collection with only a depressing budget, Scholastic, and a little help from the internet (though, without social media as it exists today, not nearly on the same scale!). So I was excited to be able to do a little bit of paying forward yesterday. 🙂


    Hello, I have picked out some books on Amazon by Ridley Pearson. He writes adult books which I have read, but also a series of young adult books…The Kingdom Keepers. There are 7 in this series I believe and I sent all of them…I hope the kids are like me and want to read all of a series. I noticed a couple other books by him which seemed to follow that series called The Return so I had those sent also. Of course, more caught my eye…Ridley Pearson also wrote about a boy named Steven “Steel” Trapp and I sent the two I could find. I am a hardback sort of person so they should all arrive soon in hardback. A few culinary books caught my eye so I sent those also. Then I wrote Ridley Pearson and told him about your project…he wrote back! You may hear from him also…I hope this helps, the story broke my heart…I love books and reading and every child should have a chance to find enjoyment in books. 🙂 Maureen

  4. Kevin Perry

    Thanks for the email with the fact that you’ve reloaded the Amazon Wish List for the library! I’ve passed the information on to all my fellow nerds from the JoCoCruise on Facebook, and ordered a few books and supplies off the wish list myself.
    Hopefully the other nerds on the cruise will be as taken with your library as I am. Considering we have a dedicated writing track, with authors such as Patrick Rothfuss, John Scalzi, and NK Jemison- we’ve got a lot of book nerds aboard.
    You might also consider asking your husband to put together a list of necessary tech gear to get your workstations running, or updated… Perhaps through donorschoose.org, and then we can use company matching, as well.

  5. Anna Braun

    Mailing out three books today…Will most likely send more but these came through and I want to get them sent off to you.
    I am enjoying reading about the joy that is being shared on both sides, receiving and sending.

  6. René

    I sent out some books a couple of weeks ago and thought I’d check in to see how the project is going. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to read about kids excited to read books. I didn’t have easy access to books growing up. There was no summer reading program at our tiny school and the nearest public library was a 45 minute trip one way. I would save my allowance all year and buy every 25 cent book I could get when we had the neighborhood-wide garage sale each summer. Once a year my mom would help me load up cartons of books and take them to a used book store to trade in for more books. I started reading “adult” books at the age of 8 because the books my parents were reading were the only ones I could get my hands on most of the time. Just recently my husband actually laughed out loud when I told someone I read a lot because he knows that’s an understatement. I average a novel a day when I don’t have any other projects going on.

    I’ve been mostly poor throughout my adult life but moved to a place with an excellent public library system about 15 years ago. It makes me feel incredibly wealthy to go into a library and walk out with a stack of books. I’ve lived in a lot of poor rural places so I understand how little things like this can really affect a person. I’m so excited that your town will get to have this experience thanks to your message and the overwhelming response.

  7. Laura Purdie Salas

    I didn’t include a note because I sent it media mail, but I sent three books to you early this week: BAD GIRLS, by Jane Yolen, A LA CARTE, by Tanita Davis, and IF YOU WERE A CHOCOLATE MUSTACHE, by J. Patrick Lewis. Enjoy!

  8. kmkat

    Hello from a fellow Wisconsite. Our Friends of the Milltown Library book sale was this past weekend, and we pulled out a bag of YA books to send you. Now I am off to check out your Amazon wish list. I love this whole story!

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