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Monday, July 8, 2013

Encouraging Readers and Joelle Charbonneau's THE TESTING - We need YOUR help!

Today I call my fellow readers, librarians, authors, and bookish friends to arms! I met the wonderful Irene Kistler via Twitter, where she inquired after one of my reviews (for Antigoddess) and whether it would be age appropriate for her Middle School readers. We chatted for awhile and Irene explained to me that she's a new librarian at Edward H. White Middle School in San Antonio, TX, in a library that, until recently, was very heavily censored. 

Now, Irene is working to working to reconnect with and inspire the students at her school! After reading Joelle Charbonneau's The Testing, she put together a project she hopes will excite and motivate students at the start of the Fall 2013 school year. She's named the project The Testing - Who Can You Trust? and says:
I want to give them back their Freedom to Read and engage them in a game to Read It Forward. In the book, the main character is a girl named Cia and her dad tells her to trust no one. But in our school, as their librarian, I want my students to learn they can trust me to watch out for their reading rights!
The project centers around a Treasure Hunt:
By solving clues, [the students] will earn a copy of The Testing to read, BUT it is NOT their book to keep. Instead, they will play Read It Forward. Once they finish the book, they write their thoughts on the inside cover and give it to a friend to read. The books will continue to be passed around the whole first semester and then we will have a celebration of reading for the kids who passed The Testing, i.e. all of the kids who chose to read the book. With twenty copies in play, every student should have a chance to play.
So where do you and I come in, dear reader? Irene is hoping to fund this project via, a fantastic website that helps schools afford projects that they'd otherwise be unable to do. Every donation helps and, until the end of this week, Donors Choose will match every contribution made when the code INSPIRE is entered at checkout. That means, if you donate $5, Irene's students will receive $10.  The total cost of the project is $348.87 (where the money is going is all detailed on the project page) and $170 has already been pledged! 

I know we don't all have money to spare, but if you're able, please visit the project page here and donate. We're all readers, which means we all know how important and life changing access to books is. Help Irene reach out to her students... this is a quick and easy way to make a lasting difference!

Don't forget to use the code INSPIRE when you check out and fill out the referral box by mentioning that I sent you (enter my email address:!


  1. Thank you so much for supporting our project. This is so exciting! Our school has amazing kids, but the economic need is great. I try hard to access resources for them to level the playing field. This support is great!

  2. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was more than happy to donate!


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