By Denise Gary
Photographs by Zachary J. Fox and Gary Mlodzik

Toward the last quarter of 2016, Automatic Publishing contacted Kids Need to Read and offered to send a pallet of novels for distribution to the Title I schools we serve. We were thrilled, as the hardcover books included nearly a thousand copies of Hatter Madigan: Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X., by Frank Beddor (part of The Looking Glass Wars series) and over 350 copies of Static, by Eric Laster (YA). This generous gift was valued over $23,000!

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The books were designated to be given to students to keep, so they can all read and discuss the content together. Schools that have received books to give to all of their appropriately-aged students were Barret Elementary School in Birmingham, Alabama; Mississippi Creative Arts Elementary in St. Paul, Minnesota; School of Science and Technology in Houston, Texas; and Dual Immersion Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah. There will be more schools to come!

Dual Immersion Academy sent this reaction to the gift, which perfectly reflected the responses of the other benefiting schools:

I would absolutely love to receive books! Especially “The Ghost Book” as many of my students called it after the book fair. They will definitely be used! 🙂
Please let me know if there is any information you need or if there is any way I can help! 🙂
WOOHOO!! I’m so excited! Thanks again!

We were also fortunate to receive copies of Hatter Madigan: Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. when author Frank Beddor raffled off a huge Wonder Grate of Looking Glass Wars collectibles at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix during the book’s release a year ago.

Frank Beddor with raffle winner

The raffle benefited Kids Need to Read, so we turned around and purchased copies of the treasured Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. novels!

Changing Hands Frank Beddor book launch 4.16.16

This gift was followed by a case of the books being donated by Automatic Publishing to KNTR at Phoenix Comicon. Happiness filled our shelves awaiting new homes!


Guess what happens when we set out copies of Hatter Madigan: Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. for children to select at KNTR’s Page Coach stops? Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. is always the first stack of books for middle readers and teens to disappear. Suffice it to say, kids are intrigued by this book!

We thank Automatic Publishing for their incredible generosity and for granting KNTR the honor of distributing copies of their terrific novels to disadvantaged children. Quoting Operations Director Lori Cothrun, “We have so many deserving schools and children, and we are happy to brighten their day with these beautiful books.”

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