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Hop, Skip & Jump into Summer Reading will feature local and regional children’s authors, illustrators, musicians, and artists on Saturday, July 18th at the New City Church in Phoenix.

Families and children are invited to this free fun-filled event celebrating reading on Saturday, July 18th from 10:00am – 1:00pm at New City Church (1300 N. Central Avenue – Phoenix, AZ 85004). Families can meet local children’s book authors, hear exciting stories, participate in singalongs, enjoy tasty snacks, make art and crafts, take home books, and more! Discover Books is donating books so each child will receive a free book to take home. Authors will also be available to sign books available for purchase.

Prime Time Reading program at East Bank Regional Library

Photo courtesy of Arizona Humanities

“Reading is fun, reading is essential. When you read you can learn about the world around you, and dream about places you have never been. Reading helps you think, grow and imagine the universe.” – Brenda Thomson, Executive Director, Arizona Humanities

Featured Authors:

AZ Humanities_Hop Skip and Jump Into Summer Reading

Nancy K. Arnold – Patriotic Pups & Pioneer Pups

Kristin Cetone – Buckaroo Buckeye and Nuts About Reading

Gale Leach – Bruce and the Road to Courage

Conrad Storad – The Bat Book (Afraid of a Bat, What’s Up with That?)

Jacky Turchick – The Pancake Tree

Dianne White – Blue on Blue

In addition to interactive reading activities, this day will feature musical performances, book illustrations, and music by local artists including: folksinger Ted Warmbrand and illustrator Devon Meyer. BookPALS Arizona, an all-volunteer literacy program sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, will be on hand to distribute books, read aloud and act out stories for elementary school-aged children.

The event is free and open to all. No registration required. For questions or more information, call Ellie Hutchison at 602-257-0335 or visit www.azhumanities.org.

  • Wade

    Certainly, promoting literacy among children is wonderful. But a word of warning about “Discover Books,” the company mentioned in the piece.

    Discover Books is a for-profit company — not a charity, as some may have assumed — and has even boasted of being “thе lаrgеѕt seller οf used books οn thе Internet,” with 2010 revenue of $27 million, according to the Seattle Times. The Tacoma, Wash. based business was founded in 2004 under the name ‘Thrift Recycling Management’ (TRM). The new name came from a used book seller in British Columbia, Canada, which TRM acquired in mid-2008.

    I’m sure the children will love getting their free book. And over the years Discover Books has donated millions of the children’s titles it has collected in its bins and from other sources. But truth be told, kids’ books typically have very low resale value — often sold for pennies on Amazon — and so they’re far more useful in PR value when given away. Meanwhile, Discover Books has, from those same bins, collected and sold millions of the cherry-picked goodies ― best sellers in good condition, etc. That has meant tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue for the company, and I assure you: all that isn’t going to charity.

    But here’s the thing: starting around 2009, media reports sharply criticized TRM for selling about half of the usable books collected in its blue bins ― prominently labeled “Books for Charity” ― while not making it clear that these “donations” were helping to fund the company. Such misleading language on earlier versions of TRM’s bins led many to believe that *all* of the books would be donated to schools and libraries, which would suggest that the company was a nonprofit.

    News stories on TRM and its alleged “charity front” ― Reading Tree ― had also expressed concern over the unusually close relationship between the two entities, as well as the negative impact TRM’s collection activities has had on local book charities such as the Friends of the Library associations across the country.

    A slew of complaints from library groups and an investigation by Oregon’s Department of Justice may have prompted the company to start obscuring the “… for Charity” text on its bins beginning around 2011. The negative attention appears to have also led to Reading Tree ceasing operations in mid-2012.

    Discover Books’ bins now carry more honest labeling that admits to selling a substantial portion of the books collected. But this occurred only after a storm of media criticism and the Oregon DoJ investigation. Had none of that transpired, I wonder whether this company would still be foisting what in my view was a massive charity fraud.

    Discover Books is not a company worth supporting, in my opinion. Please research before donating.

    Google search these reports on Discover Books (as TRM) and the now defunct Reading Tree:

    Do book donations dropped in those big blue bins really go to charity? Press Democrat

    Battle Over The Blue Book Bin | wusa9com

    Book donation boxes being called deceptive by opponents – KNAU

    Not all “Books for Charity” go to charity – Marketplace