Kidlit cares some more

applegate_crenshawRecently, as Siân tore her eyes away from Patrick Ness’s Twitter feed to tell us, a whole bunch of people, many of them children’s and YA authors, got together and raised a skyrocketing sum for Save the Children to aid Syrian refugees. Astounding as this example was, it’s not the only case of the kidlit world working to make a difference lately.

In Katherine Applegate's Crenshaw (Feiwel, September 2015), fifth grader Jackson's family struggles with poverty and a potential return to homelessness. Crenshaw, Jackson's giant feline imaginary friend from his younger days, reappears to help Jackson cope. The book made me want to hug Jackson and his family. It also made me want to share some food with them. Well, starting tomorrow, October 1, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group is partnering with independent bookstores to help people nationwide share food with families like Jackson’s. The Crenshaw food drive aims to raise awareness of childhood hunger and help feed families in need. As the food drive’s website puts it, “Crenshaw is imaginary. Childhood hunger isn’t.”

For each bookstore that signs up, Macmillan will donate $100 to No Kid Hungry, up to $7,500. Bookstores will then work with their local food pantries to collect nonperishable items. The store that collects the most food will win a visit from author Katherine Applegate, and each of the three runners-up will win a Skype visit with her. (Nostalgic nineties kids: you can ask her about the Animorphs books! Everyone else: you can ask her about winning the Newbery!)

For more information or to register a store for the food drive, visit the official food drive website.

Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees, and is serving on the 2025 Walter Dean Myers Award committee.

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