Light Up the Library

Guest post by Jean Reidy, children’s author and activist

My third children’s book, Light Up the Night (Disney Hyperion), was inspired by every kid who throws a sheet over the kitchen table and calls it a clubhouse. It’s for every kid who makes a fort out of couch cushions. And it’s especially for every kid who huddles down under a blanket at night ─ where safety and security reign, allowing imagination to blast off. It’s about earth, space and a kid’s sense of place.

But unfortunately, not all children enjoy security and sense of place. Over the past seven years my family has developed strong connections to the country of Uganda and its people. With that came my understanding of the plight of Uganda’s children. HIV/AIDS robs these kids of family and health. Past civil war threatens their security. And the warehouses and refugee camps where they currently seek safety are unimaginably inhumane.So it was with both an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what I have, and a deep sense of responsibility for those who have not, that I wrote Light Up the Night.

To celebrate the release of the book and honor the children of Uganda, I’m part of a project benefiting literacy in Africa and a library at Musana Children’s Home in Iganga, Uganda where I worked in the summer of 2010. Musana was founded in 2008 to provide a safe and loving home for children, many of whom have been orphaned or abandoned. In 2010 an existing building at Musana was repaired, secured and designated as their library. Now we need to fill it with books.

I’m coordinating my efforts with Peace Corps Volunteers through an amazing project called Libraries for Life – which is providing books for libraries in designated Ugandan schools – including Musana. The project is being administered by Books for Africa one of the awesome partners of Better World Books.

As a children’s author, each and every day I support libraries and literacy programs here in the U.S. But for this project I’m reaching beyond our borders to benefit efforts abroad. To date, Libraries for Life has raised over $14,500 toward our project goal of $17,000 to send a 20-foot container of books to Uganda. I hope you will join me in this effort, celebrating a love of reading here and abroad ─ as well as earth, space and a kid’s sense of place.

To find out more about my project please visit:

And please check my books right here:

*Note* The above blog post is a guest blog from our Twitter friend Jean. Jean is a children’s author and amazing activist. This content does not necessarily reflect the views of Better World Books (as our lawyers make sure we say). We love having guest bloggers and invite you to email if you are interested in covering a book or topic on the BWB Blog. Thank you, Jean, you inspire us!


One Comment

  1. Charlotte Brownlee says:

    Thank God for the authors of Childrens’ Books. I have read books since I was a child and still am an avid reader. Better World Books offers great prices and volumns of excellent books. My granddaughter just read “The Boxcar Children” and she inspired me to read it. I loved the story. After all, we are children in grown-up bodies. Thanks BWB for educating and making life better for children around the world.

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