by Gary Mlodzik
Photographs by Gary Mlodzik


A well-told story will hold even a superhero’s attention . . . and a few soccer players, quite a few girl scouts and a princess or two! These characters and more attended a special reading of Starfish on the Beach at the Holbrook Public Library in Holbrook, AZ on Saturday, October 1, 2016. The story centers around a little girl collecting sea shells on the beach. When Tina asked the children if they collected anything special, the answers ranged from shells to books to Shopkins and even my personal favorite, money!



Today, 39 children in Holbrook received a free book and a Highlights magazine just for attending.


This attentive, responsive and polite group ranged in age from just over a year up to age 12. Their behavior was impeccable.


This was the eighth Grow Your Library event conducted by Kids Need to Read. Each story time event is preceded by a donation of 200 books to the host library. For a city such as Holbrook, with 75% of the children living under the national poverty level, a donation of 200 new books valued at over $1,900 is a gold mine of adventure just waiting for the community to explore. Librarian Wendy Skevington said many adults have been checking out the wealth of Young Adult titles included in the recent KNTR donation. The feedback has been wonderful! What does 200 books look like? Well, look at these marvelous stacks!


The remarkable thing about these books, is that 150 of them were donated directly to the Grow Your Library program by authors and publishers. Many authors are grateful to be involved in supporting Kids Need to Read. This note came from author Christina Soontornvat:

Gary, I am so glad that you contacted me! I’m honored to be included in your wonderful program. Thank you for getting in touch. 

For 2017, Kids Need to Read plans to grow libraries in Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. If you would like to support this continued endeavor, please make your donations thru the KNTR web page.



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