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The challenge fit right in with my trying to reclaim, rejuvenate and redeem a LFL out here. http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/736136
It's in the inner city, and somebody (I think a hopeful community type who quickly got overwhelmed) put it up, thinking what a great idea! We'll throw books in it, and then it will be self-sustaining!

Hah! By the time I noticed it, in August, it had some graffitti in it, and a few religious tracts. I would put 10 books in, and within 24 hours none would be left. I started putting 20 books in, and the 'good' books would go be taken out in 24 hours, and the 'not so good' books would last 36-48 hours. I decided I was going to resurrect the LFL. Yeah, I get a little quixotic occassionally. So I started literally POURING books in. And still it would be empty within 3 days. I asked for help from pjlareau, who was kind enough to start dropping books off, and that was the tipping point. Between the 2 of us, 30 plus books were going in a week, and then the miracle happened! The emptying slowed down, and some of the old books started being redeposited! It now takes about 10 books a week, and a few people in the area are now dropping one book off occassionally.

So I was in full search mode when emmejo started her challenge. I am touched and pleased by winning, but a little embaressed, as I was using this challenge to spur myself to get the LFL up and running again. So, thanks.....

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Having read the Cooperative Children's Book Center's (CCBC) reports this year made me want to do something bigger to help promote diversity in children's books than I have been doing. Making a public commitment and having other people join me are two things that help me to stick with my goals, so I am starting my first release challenge and hoping some other people will join me. This is a rather USA-centric project because that is the publishing base I have data on, but participants in other countries are very welcome.

CCBC's statistics on multicultural children's books: http://www.education.wisc.edu/---/pcstats.asp Their 2012 report: http://www.education.wisc.edu/---/choiceintro13.asp
Quick version: Of the 3,600 kid's books published in 2012 that the CCBC received
3% were about/ 2% by African/African-Americans
1.5% were about or by Latinos
Less than 1% were about or by Native Americans
2% were about/ 2.3% by Asian or Pacific/ Asian or Pacific-Americans


What books we will release: Any children's books (defined as being for birth to thirteen years) featuring a main character who is not white. Bi-racial is fine. I'll leave it up to each member to decide what races and which books fit this category, as opinions tend to vary. (Like the old "Are Italians white?" argument.) Wild and controlled releases both count. Fiction and non-fiction both count. The character does have to be human, folk tales and fairy stories about animals from other cultures *don't* count.

What is the point of the project?: This project has two goals.
1. To put books featuring a variety of different races and cultures into the hands of kids. Kids are impressionable; what they have access to becomes normal to them in a way that is hard to learn when they are older. If a child grows up imagining a world where 90% of people are white, the real world may be quite a shock.

2. To support the publishers, authors and booksellers who publish diverse stories. This is the "vote with your money" effect. Even if you don't buy the books you release new, it has an effect. If you buy them from a used bookstore, it makes the bookstore more likely to buy similar books from sellers, who then are more likely to buy new books if they know they can resell them after reading. If you introduce a young reader to an author who they like and they ask the library to buy a copy of their new book, it supports both library patronage and the author/publisher. If the new reader writes a book review and impresses their teacher, maybe the teacher will order a copy. You get the picture.

I am going to going to run this release challenge until December 1st, roughly 3 months, and see how it goes. The person who releases the most books in that time will win a wishlist book from me.
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..in which *some* of the main characters of the stories are non-white humans? For instance, I have a book of African folk tales, some about humans and some about animals. Another is a collection of Eurasian fairy tales from locations ranging from Japan to Afghanistan to Mongolia to Russia.
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..in which *some* of the main characters of the stories are non-white humans? For instance, I have a book of African folk tales, some about humans and some about animals. Another is a collection of Eurasian fairy tales from locations ranging from Japan to Afghanistan to Mongolia to Russia.


Yes, that works. I was mostly just trying to weed out stories that come from another culture, but are told about animals. The Anansi (http://en.wikipedia.org/---/Anansi ) stories were the first example I thought of.

And the characters don't have to all be non-white, that would kind of defeat the idea of diversity. :-)
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As long as it's a kid's book, the "main character who is not white" doesn't have to be a child, correct? It can be a kid's book but about an adult?
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As long as it's a kid's book, the "main character who is not white" doesn't have to be a child, correct? It can be a kid's book but about an adult?


Yes, the character can be an adult.
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But for the flip reason. How alienating it is as you grow up, never to see your own face in a book. Almost as if you didn't exist. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11768321/ comes to mind.

And no, that's not a child's book. But I do always look for diverse books at the thrift stores.
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Wild release, Saturday 9/7:

1. The King's Drum - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12109337

Stories from Africa; some about people & some about animals.

---

When I was a kid, our local (Hawaii) publishing industry was already putting out a fair bit of ethnic stuff, so we had a wide variety and "they all look like me" or "none of them look like me" was never an issue in my house. Dolls at the time, on the other hand...but then Barbie doesn't really look like a real human of *any* kind. :p
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5. The Well http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12171454/
6. Harry's House http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12157257
7. The Green Lion of Zion Street http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12171456/
8. My Best Friend http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12173792/

At a little free library. Everytime I leave stuff here, it's gone within a day.
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Catch #1

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Wild release, Saturday 9/14:

The Tiger's Whisker - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12157414
Full title: The Tiger's Whisker and other Tales from Asia and the Pacific.

Some of the stories are about animals and some are about people.
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[I hope this one counts; several of the tales feature Inuit children as the protagonists, with lots of details about traditional hunting and survival methods. If it's shading too far from the topic, though, I'll retract it {grin}.]

#1. The Dancing Fox: Arctic Folktales ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12171939 ), wild release, multiple challenges, photo.
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That's just fine!
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Caught
1. The Green Lion of Zion Street http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12171456/

I'm surprised. This is a little free library that is empty except when I pour books into it. It's on a very busy street, in a very challenged area. I'm happy, but get so few catches from LFLs that I never have any expectations.
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How lovely! The JE's very sweet, and the book sounds charming - I'll have to look for a copy!
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#2. Read Me A Book ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11677461/ ), wild release, multiple challenges, photo.
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Release #6

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Great idea! Here's my first entry.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12184105
Sing Down the Moon. (Native American). It's also in the September Sapphires challenge.
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In conjunction with Banned Books Week.

15. Hoops http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11881658/
16. Precious http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11968509/
17. So Far from The Bamboo Grove http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11819463/
18. Hoops http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11635811
19. The adventures of Super Diaper Baby http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11586676/
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#3. Indigo and Moonlight Gold ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12203115/ ), wild release, multiple challenges, photo. [This one's really lovely!]
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Sounds lovely. I'm glad the book lives up to its magical title. Nice picture, as always.
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Angela Johnson's book deservedly won the Coretta Scott King Award. Great pictures, and just statements from the child of how Grandpa and the child will fill their days.


Oh--and Julie of the Wolvces was caught!

20 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11835889/ WR
21 When I am Old With You by Angela Johnson http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12203002/ CR
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#4. Whose Toes Are Those ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12203074 ), wild release with photo
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#1. Ruby's Wish http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12203319/
#2. Michelle Kwan: My Book of Memories: A Photo Diary
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12157720
#3. Tonight Is Carnival http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12203321/

I'll try to find more that I can release.
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I can't count these for this release, as I sent them out months ago, but I thought I'd list them in case anyone else would like to hunt up some copies. These feature Native American children from various tribes:

Owl in the Cedar Tree ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11948076/ ), about a young Navajo boy torn between two worlds.

Thanks to the Animals ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11948086/ ) - this one wanders into fantasy territory, but as it's centered around the human family I thought it might count.

The Windigo's Return ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11948079/ ) - a kind of just-so story, scary in places, but the ending made me laugh.

(I found several other lovely books by and about Native Americans, but the others were of the folk-tale-animals variety - still, well worth seeking out!)
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22 Under The Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12196489/
Japanese American boy living in Hawaii on 12/7/41.

23 Knoxville, Tennesse by Nikki Giovanni http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12203004/
Wonderful picture book on spending the summer with grandparents.

24 Cherries and Cherry Pits by Vera Williams http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12211239/
Give this child a crayon, and stand back.. A world of imagination results.
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22 Under The Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12196489/
Japanese American boy living in Hawaii on 12/7/41.


Just found out there's a Kickstarter project to make a film from this book!
http://www.kickstarter.com/---/under-the-blood-red-sun

I've only got 4(!) copies of this book on my BC shelf, so I decided to be a backer, even though I'm not sure they're going to make their goal...
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Just found out there's a Kickstarter project to make a film from this book!
http://www.kickstarter.com/---/under-the-blood-red-sun

I've only got 4(!) copies of this book on my BC shelf, so I decided to be a backer, even though I'm not sure they're going to make their goal...


That's neat. I didn't read the book as I knew it would make me start searching for one of the document books on California, which just would have made me very sad and mad...
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Just found out there's a Kickstarter project to make a film from this book!
http://www.kickstarter.com/---/under-the-blood-red-sun

I've only got 4(!) copies of this book on my BC shelf, so I decided to be a backer, even though I'm not sure they're going to make their goal...


That's neat. I didn't read the book as I knew it would make me start searching for one of the document books on California, which just would have made me very sad and mad...


Well..this book is more about the ones who were left behind in Hawaii to cope without the head of household, etc. It gave me a look at what it might have been like for my parents & grandparents. The evacuation is a whole different set of stories.
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Well..this book is more about the ones who were left behind in Hawaii to cope without the head of household, etc. It gave me a look at what it might have been like for my parents & grandparents. The evacuation is a whole different set of stories.


I know. One of the worst things about teaching History was the appalling ignorance of most regarding that time. I still swear that particuliar blindness is why Snow Falling on Cedars is a banned book. Mostly because it sheds a very dim and murky light on what occurred on the West Coast. So that is what I meant about not wanting to dig up my books....
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3. Eurasian Folk and Fairy Tales - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12198569
4. American Folk and Fairy Tales - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12183123
5. Told Under the Stars and Stripes - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12200949

All contain tales from multiple locations (not all European/white American), with a mix of animal and human characters.
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12201234/
Julie of the Wolves
Eskimo

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12212819/
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Spokane Indian
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Controlled release:

Journey of Heroes: The Story of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11964052
Graphic novel about Japanese American soldiers in WWII; suitable for YA readers.
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25 Luke Goes to Bat by Rachel Isadora http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12220635/
26 Luke Goes to Bat by Rachel Isadora http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12212412/
Good enough to release 2 copies. Little Luke is growing up in the shadow of a stadium in the 1950s, where he dreams of his hero, Jackie Robinson.
27 How many Stars in the Sky? by Lenny Hort http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12220640/
Dad takes child to count stars.
28 Baby Rock, Baby Roll by Shelia Blackstone http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11972455/
3 cute little babies do baby things.
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#5. To Every Thing There is a Season ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12223107/ ), wild release, multiple challenges, photo. [This one includes people from many different races, cultures, and eras, depicted in different art-styles - really wonderful!]
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3 - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9813938/ Jackson Jones and the Curse of the Outlaw Rose
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Release #9

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12225284 The Lone Ranger and Tonto
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12225284 The Lone Ranger and Tonto

wow. Is this the Lone Ranger and Tonto? Or the Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven? Either way, interesting choice.
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It's just the Lone Ranger and Tonto. I read it before releasing it, figuring it's an old book and could be quite racist, but was pleasantly surprised. It gave the two about equal page-time (the Ranger got more speaking time, but Tonto got more dramatic, full-page stunts) and the end has the school teacher asking the class how to spell "hero". One student is shown writing "Lone Ranger" while another writes "Tonto".
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12225266 The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses was caught before I even made release notes!
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Release #12

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12238229 The Five Ancestors: Eagle
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29 Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12230697/
30 Serpent never sleeps by Scott O'Dell http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12244413
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controlled release:

7. Urashima Taro and Other Japanese Children's Stories - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12219523
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#6. A is for the Americas ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12249656 ), which features the indigenous peoples of the Americas as well as the Hispanic and African influences; wild release, multiple challenges, photo.
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There probably are books with ideas for costumes from different cultures, but I haven't stumbled on any lately. However, the Take Back Halloween web site ( http://takebackhalloween.org/---/costumes/ ) caught my eye today and I thought I'd share it. If the costumes themselves aren't of interest, some of the less well-known names of queens, goddesses, and other women of note from cultures around the world might make good book-search fodder. (Sadly, I couldn't find a children's book featuring Aztec goddess Chalchiuhtlicue - maybe next year {wry grin}.)
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There probably are books with ideas for costumes from different cultures, but I haven't stumbled on any lately. However, the Take Back Halloween web site ( http://takebackhalloween.org/---/costumes/ ) caught my eye today and I thought I'd share it. If the costumes themselves aren't of interest, some of the less well-known names of queens, goddesses, and other women of note from cultures around the world might make good book-search fodder. (Sadly, I couldn't find a children's book featuring Aztec goddess Chalchiuhtlicue - maybe next year {wry grin}.)


What a fascinating site! Thanks for sharing it.
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31 The Man Who Caught Fish by Walter Lynn Krudop http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12255051/
32 Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12255054/
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Release #14

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Release #15

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12238268 Children of the Wind and Water
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Release 4

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33 Yum Yum Dim Sum http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12258257/
34. Two Old Women by Velma Wallis http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12258256/
35. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12261772/
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#7. One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12265690/ ), which gives equal time to the pilgrim children and the Wampanoag children; wild release.

Update: got a lovely catch on this one!
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Release #5

#5 Carlos and the Squash Plant http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/1222144/
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#5 Carlos and the Squash Plant http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/1222144/



Ummm. Do you mean this one?
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12221442/

It's even multilingual!
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#5 Carlos and the Squash Plant http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/1222144/


Ummm. Do you mean this one?
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12221442/

It's even multilingual!


Nice touch, that. My bilingual book had tiny people in it..but they were mostly pink so I didn't count it for this challenge - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12200940
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Release #16

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36 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12268405
37 Salt in his Shoes, Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12277251/
38 Slam! by Walter Dean Myers http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12277250/
39 Run Away Home by Patricia C. McKissack http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12277252/
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40. Hiawatha's Childhood Henry Wadsworth Longfellow http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12272724/
41. A Lot of Otters by Barbara Berger http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12222491/
42. Indian Two Feet and his Horse by Margaret Friskey http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12223368/
43. Blue Feather's Vision by James E. Knight http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12223362/
44. Harriet Tubman by Kathie Billingslea Smith http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12223364/
45. Yagua Days by Cruz Martel http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12222493/
46. Sumi's Prize by Yoshiko Uchida http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12226173/
47. Dogsong by Gary Paulsen http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12223365/
48. Melanie Bluelake's Dream by Betty Fitzpatrick Dorion http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12278386/
49. Shabanu by Suzanne Fisher Staples http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12278307/
50. Shiva's Fire by Suzanne Fisher Staples http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12278306/
51. Sadako and the 1000 Cranes by Eleanor Coeer http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12278305/
52. One Dark and SCARY night by Bill Cosby http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12232037
53. Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie DePaola http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12222497/
54. Hey, Little Baby by Lola Buck http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12222495/
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55 Me Quieres, Mama? http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12278385

Okay, this is a board book with nice illustrations of an Inuit woman going about her day with her child. In spanish.

Mind is slightly boggled here, but I released it in an area that has many spanish speakers.
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...nice illustrations of an Inuit woman going about her day with her child. In spanish.


Sounds odd at first, but on second thought, why not Spanish? An Inuit woman might not speak all that much English either. *shrug*
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Release #17

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12238264 First Woman and the Strawberry
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56. Sound the Jubilee by Sandra Forrester http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12294681/
57. Me and Uncle Romie by Claire Hartfield http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12294686/
58. A You're Adorable by Martha Alexander http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12285481/
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#8. Journey of Heroes ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11964052/ ), wild release, with photo. [This is the book's second appearance in this challenge {wry grin}.] I figured it was a perfect release for Veterans Day, since it pays homage to WWII veterans - and also tells the story of the treatment of Japanese-Americans during and after the war.
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Nice themed release. :)
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Nice themed release. :)


Oddly enough, one of my best visits to Washington DC was in July of 2000. The monument for the internment camps was scheduled to be open in the fall, I was several months early. The site was covered with fencing, and I spent some time walking around and around peering unsucessfully through the chainlink fence privacy screen. Finally a gentleman came out, I explained I taught Asian history in the Midwest and was heartbroken I couldn't see the monument through the screen. Bless him, we talked and he let me in. It was mostly completed, and he allowed me to wander through it for 20 minutes. He asked me not to take any pictures, as letting strangers wander was strictly forbidden. It was magical.

I can't imagine that happening after 2001.
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Nice themed release. :)


Oddly enough, one of my best visits to Washington DC was in July of 2000. The monument for the internment camps was scheduled to be open in the fall, ...


I didn't know there was a memorial in DC; I'll have to look for it if I get there again.
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It's hard to find, but worth it. Also hard to find on internet searches. Here's a link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/---/Memorial_to_Japanese-American_Patriotism_in_World_War_II
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Release #18

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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12238272 Mama, Do You Love Me?



Well, heavens to murgatroyd! I just released that in spanish:
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12278385

as release 55.
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controlled release

8. Under the Blood-Red Sun - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12183118

Since quietorchid already released a copy of this book, I guess I'm copying her... ;)
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controlled release

8. Under the Blood-Red Sun - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12183118

Since quietorchid already released a copy of this book, I guess I'm copying her... ;)


Yeah, but is it in Spanish?
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Since quietorchid already released a copy of this book, I guess I'm copying her... ;)


Yeah, but is it in Spanish?


No, I'm leaving that for you. :p

A couple of kids from church are spending the afternoon being extras in the film.
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Release #6

#6. Sam and the Lucky Money http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12310735/
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#9. Into the Volcano ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11093150/ ), which deals with a pair of brothers who are half Pacific-islander, half Norwegian, and with the rest of the cast consisting mostly of island folk.
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wild release with photo

9. Shizuko's Daughter - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12219529

Author is from Japan and the book is set there: Yuki has to find a way to come to terms with her mother's suicide - and how that fact alters the way other people relate to her.
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#10. Listen to the Wind ( http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12342669 ), featuring a Pakistani village. Wild release, photo.
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Wild releases (Squanto figures prominently in both books, so there's diversity, even if the political correctness may be arguable).

10. The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12307587
11. The First Thanksgiving - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12342764

Controlled release

12. The House of the Scorpion - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11737314
- Takes place in Aztlan (formerly Mexico) and Opium, the country between the US and Mexico. The main character, Matt Alacran, is a clone of El Patron, who was originally from Aztlan.

This was a great challenge - thank you!
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59. To Be a Slave by Julius Lester http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12295039/
60. Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12315518/
61. Jackie Robinson by Joshua E. Hanft http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12308648/
62. La Pinata Vacia by Alma Flor Ada http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12315521
63. Jamiaca Blue http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12354277/
64. Harriet Tubman by Ann Petry http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12354277/
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The clear winner for most released is quietorchid, with a whopping 64 releases! Quietorchid, I'll be PMing you for your address so I can send a wishlist book.

As a group, we released 122 books! That's a lot of books hopefully now in the hands of kids.

Thank you all for participating in this challenge. I had fun and hopefully you did too.
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The clear winner for most released is quietorchid, with a whopping 64 releases!


Somehow, that was never in doubt. :p

Yay for quietorchid!
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The challenge fit right in with my trying to reclaim, rejuvenate and redeem a LFL out here. http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/736136
It's in the inner city, and somebody (I think a hopeful community type who quickly got overwhelmed) put it up, thinking what a great idea! We'll throw books in it, and then it will be self-sustaining!

Hah! By the time I noticed it, in August, it had some graffitti in it, and a few religious tracts. I would put 10 books in, and within 24 hours none would be left. I started putting 20 books in, and the 'good' books would go be taken out in 24 hours, and the 'not so good' books would last 36-48 hours. I decided I was going to resurrect the LFL. Yeah, I get a little quixotic occassionally. So I started literally POURING books in. And still it would be empty within 3 days. I asked for help from pjlareau, who was kind enough to start dropping books off, and that was the tipping point. Between the 2 of us, 30 plus books were going in a week, and then the miracle happened! The emptying slowed down, and some of the old books started being redeposited! It now takes about 10 books a week, and a few people in the area are now dropping one book off occassionally.

So I was in full search mode when emmejo started her challenge. I am touched and pleased by winning, but a little embaressed, as I was using this challenge to spur myself to get the LFL up and running again. So, thanks.....
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What a great story! Sounds like you have done a very good thing. :)
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Released on time - posted late.

6 - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12260232/ Indestructibles: Mary Had a Little Lamb

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.