Books to Bridge the Region

I just got back from a fabulous trip to Indiana, where I participated in the Books to Bridge the Region program, which encourage everyone in the seven-county, northwest Indiana region to read one of three books on the topic of a journey or a quest. This year, they featured my book, The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman .

Highlights of the Trip

  • I did six events, four schools and two public events, talking to about 1000 people.
  • Publicity. The Books to Bridge program handed out 500 “treasure bags” to every public and school library in their area with copies of lesson plans (Download FREE here.), and (when appropriate) a free copy of OLIVER. In addition, one of their partner literacy programs handed out to students/families 38,000 red clown noses for their “Stick Your Nose in a Book” initiative and included book marks that told about the Books to Bridge events, including those I participated in. Wow! What great initiatives to encourage literary and reading!
  • Public Libraries.
    • Jasper County Public Library. Here’s one of the public library websites showing some of Oliver’s activities in their town.

      They tried to take Oliver to every business in their town and get some sort of picture.

      • At the retirement home, the lady shown read THE JOURNEY to Oliver; but before she would do that, she insisted she go back to her room and change into her “Sunday best.”
      • The dentist’s office had great fun giving Oliver a dental check up. They even sent the library a bill for cleaning his teeth; the library, of course, paid the bill with Monopoly money.
      • Not shown, Oliver went to the hardware store, where they snapped his photo in the nuts & bolts bin, where he was checking out new hardware for his foot joint.
    • LaPorte Public Library. Patrons have checked out cardboard Olivers all summer, taken him on trips and returned with photos. Oliver even made it as far as the Great Wall of China!
  • Schools. Of the schools I visited, it was fascinating to see how such a wide variety of people loved Oliver and responded to this wooden man. Kindergarten through high school and a wide range of racial and economic groups — all the students I spoke with loved asking Oliver questions. (His favorite color is brown, because he has brown eyes; his favorite book is Pinnochio.)

Thank you, Books to Bridge the Region committee members for a fabulous, memorable trip to Indiana!