Just. One. Big Thank you!

So I know I promised an announcement and here it is.

I decided that this campaign can’t just end because our shelves are full.  Boxes keep coming.

So we are reaching out to other schools in the area and seeing what their needs are–and sharing. We did get a few duplicates of a few popular titles that we think other Plumas Unified School District high schools and Sierra County’s Loyalton High School could also use.

In general, our whole county is underserved. The art teacher for PUSD was just let go. No more art in school. Chester lost its band teacher. Only if you live in Quincy are you lucky enough to have dance. The arts in schools are woefully under represented.  Another place we fall short is technology. I think I mentioned before we often graduate students who don’t know how to send an email and don’t know there’s something else you can do on a phone besides text and play games. Reading levels across the district need to expand. Just from talking to other teachers across the district I can tell that much of their material is outdated and lots of their requests the district cannot fill due to budget restraints.

So with this in mind– we are distributing books to schools in need in our district that have open libraries but those libraries do not have enough newer books and media.

We will be giving to

Portola High School

Plumas Charter School in Quincy

Loyalton High School

One teacher at Quincy High School has been trying to get diverse books in her classroom for two years. She’s coming over next Wednesday to check out the duplicates we have that I think are on her lists.

If you want to keep us in your thoughts and hearts and want to send books over the months as they come out that would be amazing. If you’d like to help us with more bookshelves and purchasing computers that work for the library (we are thinking 5–one for the front desk and 2 Mac and 2 PC for students all together rather than the 14 half working sort of stations we have now) that would be grand too.


I have a bit more faith in people now. My last year of teaching (2015) was a difficult year. I had to face some harsh realities that no matter how great a teacher I was (and I’ll boast here because at least my students have always come back and said I was great), the administration passed me up time and again for not having a PhD and for teaching while Latina. A student on drugs became violently angry in class and threatened me. The administration did nothing. A favorite student committed suicide.  I was devastated. He was brilliant. I wrote about him here:

Eulogy for a Student of Light

It was a hard 11 years there but the last year just wore down both my confidence and my esteem. I quit last August for good, vowing never to let a job or a department chair treat me like garbage again.

2016 has been strange and beautiful year of returns. Post graduate school, I hadn’t meant to teach. I’d meant to write. But a divorce and the need for work meant I needed a steady paycheck. Okay and also traveling around Asia. I’d worked at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle and meant to go into journalism but wound up teaching instead. I still believe I had a calling to do that. In 2016 I saw a book deal fall through (it would have been my second short story collection) but I also manage to have my first credit on a documentary film.

But now the LIbrary Project and my Throwing the Curve project (I’m writing a book on plus size modeling and the body positive movement) have both given me a new lease on life.  I can do things! I can combine interests! I can write and instill a love of books. YAY! So thank you very personally for making me feel worthy and needed.

We’ve been hearing from authors, readers, writers, publishers from all over the English speaking world. THANK YOU for your notes and your books and other media.

I want to today give a special shout out to the people who’ve camped here at Lake Almanor or been through here visiting on the way to Mt. Lassen National Volcanic Park or those who sent their kids to our own Copper Creek Camp. Your letters have a particular sweetness. You’ve seen us. You”ve said you didn’t know how bad it was here. And you want to give back to the community that you say brought you so much joy and wonderful memories of being in the great outdoors.  THANK YOU for your love and your visiting of our area. Many of us wound up here because of the great beauty of it–we fell in love. We sometimes pay a cost for that in amenities that aren’t here. But you all know more than anyone why we are here and continue to stay here and hopefully that we make your journey here a sweet one.  THANK YOU for recognizing us.



  1. Teresa

    Thank you for launching this campaign. I only got two boxes out before I saw the “Stop sending Books!” post, but it makes my summer to know that some kid like me, someone who will be saved by books, will perhaps find a book that speaks to her or him. Keep up the good works!

  2. Mary Gambill

    It would be great to help these other schools. Maybe you could have the other teachers at other schools post lists of the books that they have been desiring over the years. Maybe they could put up a Facebook page linked to an amazon wish list.
    Margaret, you did this. Your corner of the world is forever changed by your concern for these kids and teachers. You are a hero because you cared and got involved.

  3. Laura Tully

    Hi — we are sending our box of books so you can share them with the other schools.

    Is there some way for us to help fund the bookshelves? We could do an email Amazon gift card but it might be nicer if we could support a local business in your area.

    Congratulations on your success in less than a month with this project. I’m so inspired. So many of us want to help in some way but feel overwhelmed. You’ve helped us by giving us the chance to make a difference.


    Laura T

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