From an award-winning author and illustrator, the inspiring story of how the Little Free Library organization brings communities together through books, from founder Todd Bol’s first installation to the creation of more than 75,000 mini-libraries around the world.
Todd and his friends love heroes. But in school, Todd doesn’t feel heroic. Reading is hard for him, and he gets scolded for asking too many questions. How will he ever become the kind of hero he admires?
Featuring stunning illustrations that celebrate the diversity of the Little Free Library movement, here is the story of how its founder, Todd Bol, became a literacy superhero. Thanks to Todd and thousands of volunteers—many of whom are kids—millions of books have been enjoyed around the world.
This creative movement inspires a love of reading, strengthens communities, and provides meeting places where new friendships, ideas—and heroes!—spring to life.
Includes an author’s note and bibliography.
Paul (Nine Months) frames her nonfiction account of Little Free Libraries as a story about ordinary heroes. After Todd Bol's librarian mother dies, he creates a small one-room schoolhouse on a stand and fills it with books to share her "love of reading with anyone who passed by." But no one notices until he explains it to his neighbors, after which the "little library became the center of their neighborhood." Bol's friend Rick Brooks helps him dream bigger: Parra (Hey, Wall) shows the two of them talking excitedly, angular figures on pages textured like woodblock prints. They build many of the structures and, when they can't sell them, install them all over the upper Midwest. Now there are hundreds, all over the world. Paul writes of the way Bol's mother encouraged him as a child ("You could do anything," she tells him in the story's opening pages, a warm smile on her face) and finishes by nudging readers: "Tomorrow might bring another hero story, written by YOU." The way the text traces Bol's big idea back to its emotional source offers a path to heroes literary and ordinary both. Ages 4 7. Author's agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator's agent: Adriana Dominguez and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary.