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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

What’s the Fun of Being a Professional Blogger If You Can’t Abuse Your Power?

That’s my thinking on the matter anyway.  And, of course, by "abuse of power" I mean helping out buddies who teach third graders.

Meet Megan.  Megan, aside from having a brother who works on The Leaky Cauldron, was one of my best friends in college.  Now her third grade class needs some books about other countries.  As she says:

"I teach in a wonderful 3rd grade classroom in a Title 1 school in Hawaii. Our school is small, and 58% of our students receive a free or reduced lunch.

I would like to open the eyes of my students to cultures around the world. They rarely get to leave their neighborhood, so I like to expose them to a much broader worldview. Last year, each student in my class created a travel brochure book for a country of their choice. We studied everything we thought a tourist to the country might want to see (animals, holidays, foods, sports, and the language).

The problem? All of my classroom books are on countries in Europe, Asia, and North America. This left our perspective and knowledge about the world really lacking and incomplete. I had one lone book on South Africa. Our school library books on these countries date from the early 80’s and are written at about an 8th grade level. We tried to use them, but they were pretty useless. I requested money from our principal for additional books on countries from Africa and South America, but our budget was slashed this year and she can’t afford to buy any new books for our classroom.

I need books for 3rd graders that give them a much more recent picture of life around the world. We don’t have working computers in our classroom, and these books are pretty much our only resources. My students would use them to do research and to help with writing their travel brochure projects. They would also help us meet our social studies standard on examining what makes cultures unique.

Your very appreciated donations will help my students realize that even though we are on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the world is a much bigger place and they are really more similar than different to children all over the world."

If you’d like to contribute you can do so here.  Feel free to give.  It’ll make you feel seven kinds of good. And heck, if you’ve written a non-fiction book that applies, lemme know.  I could recommend it to her class.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Rasco from RIF says:

    Hurray for you, Betsy!

  2. Thanks, but Megan’s the hurrayable one. Hurray for teachers!

  3. Okay, is it totally self-promoting to recommend my new PB When It’s Six O’clock in San Francisco? Probably. It has snippets of nine other countries including Pakistan, Chile, Australia and South Africa. Looks like the program is funded, but I’d love to sign and send them one…

  4. That’s a good book for about the right age. Email me and I’ll pass on the class snail mail. Mighty kind of you.