On Dec. 7, Books Inc. Campbell (The Pruneyard, 1875 S. Bascom Ave #600, Campbell) kicked off the holiday spirit by giving away free books to a fifth-grade class at Kathryn Hughes Elementary School.
The American Booksellers Association and a campaign called “Indie Bookstores Give Back on Small Business Saturday” offered 20,000 free copies of “Ghost,” a middle grade novel by Jason Reynolds, according to Robin Stern, the Books Inc. Campbell children’s specialist. American Express and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing also participated in this effort.
“Books Inc. applied to get free books for all 11 of its locations,” Stern said. “Stores responded if they were interested in participating.”
Books Inc.’s new Campbell store received 24 copies of “Ghost.” Stern reached out to Chris Allan, a fifth-grade teacher at Kathryn Hughes, about distributing the copies to Allan’s class.
“The book is about a kid whose father is in jail for domestic violence,” said Allan, who read “Ghost.” “The kid is living with his mother now and feels angry and disconnected from the rest of the world. He accidentally wanders into a situation where he discovers he can run and then he gets into a track team, almost against his will. The author has written other books from the perspective of other kids on the track team.”
Allan explained how she planned to incorporate “Ghost” into her classroom curriculum.
“We might be reading this book aloud as a group. Kids can volunteer to read different characters,” Allan said. “Students will write book reviews. I teach the kids to think about who would like it, why did they like it, why didn’t they like it, what about the book appealed to them, and what’s the author’s message.”
The donated books were special editions with a note from the author. As soon as Stern handed off the books, the young recipients began to peek inside its pages.
In addition to receiving “Ghost,” students selected additional books for gift-giving, courtesy of Books Inc. Campbell.
Stern used to work at Books Inc. Santa Clara before the store closed back in May. Today she enjoyed the opportunity to serve the Santa Clara community again.
“Santa Clara is still my hometown,” Stern said. “I love the kids here. I’m happy to still be connecting with them.”