The Book Thief and World Book Night

At the end of last year, I decided to prescribe 45 books to myself. Books that I've been wanting to read but always seem to get pushed to the side. One of these books was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The Book Thief is one of the books that I've heard a million good things about but knew practically nothing about the plot.

Around the same time, I volunteered as a World Book Night book giver. World Book Night is a celebration of reading. Over 80,000 volunteers received 20 books each to hand out to their communities. I saw The Book Thief on the list of book options and promised myself to read it before World Book Night, thereby participating in a worthwhile event AND crossing a book of my back list challenge.

Originally, I requested the book in order to hand it out at William's Park in Saint Petersburg, FL. William's Park is a mecca for indigent residents of Downtown Saint Petersburg. My rationale was to give books to people that can't afford to buy books.

Then I actually read the book and the plan changed. I had to get this to a young adult audience. This book was about standing up for what is right. About what it feels like to look at society and want to scream "no!". This needs to get to the kids that will soon be adults, kids that will soon have an impact on society!

However, I goofed. I didn't read the book until 2 weeks before the event. I scrambled to find a organization that would allow me to hand out the books to the teens that attend their centers. Due to the PG-13 language, I was told no - respectfully and gently no - but no all the same.

At the last minute, I decided to bring half the books to work and hand out the rest in Downtown Saint Petersburg. A couple folks laughed at me, a couple tried to give me money, a few thought I was crazy, most said thank you, and 3 teenage boys eagerly accepted the books. So maybe I didn't reach 20 young adults, but 3 is worth something.