If you love reading--especially if you love reading fiction--you can probably point to one or more books that made a difference in your life. Maybe it's a book that introduced you to a whole new world; maybe it's a book that gave you comfort or escape when you needed it; maybe it's a book that fired your imagination.
If you love books, try to imagine what it would be like to grow up without them.
One of the cool things about the YA lit community is that it's crammed with folks who not only love books, read books, review books, and write books for teens, but who also actively work to get books into teens' hands. Guy's Lit Wire, YALSA, Readergirlz, and If I Read I Can Do Anything have teamed up for Operation Teen Book Drop 2010. One of the goals for the book drop this year: provide two Native American reservation schools with much-needed titles for their libraries.
Colleen Mondor, of the Chasing Ray blog, writes very eloquently about the schools, their needs, and details of Operation Book Drop here. I can't say anything about this topic better than she can, so I'll leave you in her capable hands. If visual is more your style, here's a video.
OR, if you're one of those spring-straight-into-action types, then jump over to Powell's Bookstore wishlist page, enter email@example.com in the search box, and choose a title (or two, or three, or however many you like) from each school's wishlist. (Be sure to bookmark Colleen's blog post first, so you'll have the schools' addresses handy.)
I was lucky. I grew up in a household that could afford books and had a lot of them (almost 2,000 at one point.) My parents sent me to private schools that had small but well-stocked libraries. Books have had such a tremendous impact on my life, I can't imagine where or even who I'd be without them.
Not everyone has to be an avid reader. But everyone who wants books should have them available. If you can, help put a book in the hands of a teen.