Sunday, February 20, 2011

YA Authors & Bloggers Open Their Hearts

Friday was The Big Day for my partner in crime Jen Bigheart and myself: We were finally taking all the donations we've been collecting to the Austin Children's Shelter. (Read previous posts here and here and here if you've missed them.) We were so excited that the day had finally come. We, along with our friend Jennifer, met at the shelter bright and early on Friday. I stopped at Krispy Kreme on the way and was expecting to be done by lunch. Boy how wrong I was...

Jen's car load

My poor little Bug was nearly dragging the ground

Let me start off by saying we met our 500 book goal, which is amazing, we never thought we'd have such a response. Hearing 500 and seeing 500 are two completely different things.

Me and Jennifer about to put our organizational skills to the test

So first we must organize all the books into various categories: YA, YA Paranormal, MG, etc. After a while plot-lines began to blur and we got a little giggly, I think it was all the donuts.

We're about halfway through organizing the donations at this point...

Me and Jen trying to create some shelf-space. I am literally sitting on a mound of books. Sorry if my butt was on your book! ;)

So we work. And organize. A few hours somehow turn into seven. Yes, it took us seven hours to get everything finished, but the end results brought tears to my eyes.

This is what the YA/MG section of their library looked like before:

Are you ready to have your mind blown? Here are our after pictures:

View from the doorway of the library

Pictures books and chapter books

The MG shelves, left and middle are contemporary MG, right is Paranormal MG

The YA shelves, left is a Classics shelf, middle is Contemporary YA, and right is Paranormal YA

How amazing is that? Seriously, if that doesn't make your heart squee there is something wrong with you. I am so thankful we had this opportunity to share our love of reading and books with kids who are struggling to find their way in this scary world. Now they can pick up their favorite book (who knows, it could have been one you donated!) and always be home.

Thank you to everyone who opened their hearts, wallets, and cleaned off their bookshelves. Thank you for entrusting your books with us as we gave them shelter before sending them off to their final homes. Thank you for being amazing. Here is a list of everyone who donated to us. If we've forgotten you, please forgive us and know we're very sorry, things got hard to keep up with after a while!

Thank you:

Cynthia Leitich Smith
Greg Leitich Smith
Heather Brewer
Cindy Pon
Sophie Jordan
Susane Colasanti
Ellen Hopkins
Jill S. Alexander
Jessica Anderson
Daisy Whitney
Lisa & Laura Roecker
Sara Zarr
Jon Skovron
Joy Preble
Valerie Kemp
Jessica Riggles
Melissa Walker
Shannon Messenger
Holly Green
Patricia Osei
Nikki Lofton
Jo Whittemore
Jenny Moss
Shelli Cornelison
Sybil Nelson
Jane Lebak
Whitney Bates
Amanda Crocker
Stacey Jay
Angela Morrison
Girls In The Stacks
Cari Blogs
A Good Addiction
The Elliott Review
A Blog About Nothing
Between the Covers
Addicted to Novels
Mundie Moms
Fictionally Yours
Reading Or Breathing
Chick Lit Cafe

If you didn't donate and would like to (or want to donate again!), this will be a continuing project for us, we plan on taking books every few months as the kids cycle through them. We'll take anything but have a particular need for YA books. The following are series books that we need:

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
The Immortals series by Alyson Noel (we only have Blue Moon)
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith (only have The Awakening and The Struggle)
Night World 2 by LJ Smith
Thirst by Christopher Pike (only have #1)
Hunger by Michael Grant

Ironside by Holly Black
Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Blue Bloods series by Melissa De La Cruz (only have #1)
House of Night series by PC and Kirsten Cast (only have Chosen Untamed& Burned)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Thank you again for all of your support and for following us on our wild and crazy journey. And thank you to Jen for taking this journey with me, I couldn't have done it without you.

*edit* People are already donating the things we need, THANK YOU! I'll be crossing out the books we've been promised as people get in touch with us, but if you still want to donate a particular book that's been crossed out, please do so! They may need multiple copies.


  1. Oh my god that is amazing! You girls did a great job of organizing and spending your time at the shelter!

  2. That is so amazing! I will keep an eye out for the books that you still need! :)

  3. You guys are amazing for starting this and getting the word out there. I'm glad I was able to donate a few books and will be looking out for more from the list.

  4. Holy wow! Now THAT is the power of the internet! :) Glad to see that the kids will have tons more reading material! It looks like you guys had a great time sorting all those books, too!

  5. So so so AMAZING!! You guys are awesome for doing this :-) I am blown away by the end result. I would have loved to have been there when those first few kids trickled in to see their new library.

  6. Oh my gosh, this has to be the most amazing thing I have ever seen. You guys are just phenomenal. Keep up the great work!

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  8. YAY!!!!! So glad we could help out, and of course we are saving all our books for you!

  9. Wow! That's inspiring. What an amazing project. I'm excited to be a part of it.

  10. This is SUPER FANTASTIC! Can't wait to box up another round of donations--just holler when you need them.

  11. Wow! What an terrific project! You are amazing!

  12. This is really terrific. You gals are sweethearts!

  13. So amazing to see how many books you guys raised. Thanks for letting me be a part.

  14. This is so GREAT!! I am in Austin and would love to help in any way that I can!! I found your blog on Once Upon A Twilight, she mentioned you were from Austin so I had to come check you out!! So glad that I did!! Looking forward to your post!