The Books U Give: Diverse Books for Modern Readers. Mrs. Filbeck’s 9th grade classroom at the Anna-Jonesboro High School.

Help me give my students ground-breaking new books that they're looking for, like To All the Boys I've Loved Before, that also reflect the world they're growing up in.

We were one of four donors to this project.

Mrs. Filbeck’s students

My 9th-12th graders come into the library for all kinds of reasons. Some can't wait to check out that next Percy Jackson book in the series, some want a quiet place to study, and others are just looking for an adult to take some interest in them and the things they care about.

This is the second year these kids have had a librarian of any kind, so they don’t have much experience of their library as anything more than a storage room.

They are just starting to discover that it can be an exciting place with endless possibilities.

Despite our older collection of books, many of these students have determinedly found stories they are excited to connect with. They are very ready to have a collection put together just for them.

My Project

We've been really productive so far this year updating the library's collection (97 new-to-us books to be exact!), but there's still so much progress to make. I've found the books in our current collection that the students want to read, but there isn't a lot of variety.

Something powerful happens when a student sees herself reflected in a great book.

When she sees herself as a hero in a story, her confidence grows and she feels ready to do heroic things. When a student reads a book about a character who is different than himself, he learns to empathize with a new culture, background and struggle, and as a result, can empathize better with the people around him.

I've selected books like To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Maus: A Survivor's Tale, and The Hate U Give for exactly these purposes. My students want and need these sort of books to grow in compassion and gain hope for their futures.