Monday, April 23, 2012


Troy's Work Table and The Dog sit on a bench in the Altrusa Plaza of Puyallup's Riverwalk Trail. Photograph by The Child.

Tulips and daffodils alongside the Riverwalk Trail.

World Book Night pin about to be retired.


TWT was a Book Giver for World Book Night USA.  I had twenty paperback copies of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, specially printed for WBN, to hand out to strangers.  When I applied to be a Book Giver, my plan was to give the books to teens hanging out in Pioneer Park in front of the Puyallup Public Library.

The evening was perfect: warm but not too warm, and mostly sunny.  However, there weren't too many people out in the park.  I did end up giving eleven copies of the book to teens in the park.  They were each initially reluctant but warmed to the idea of their own FREE book once I explained the goal of World Book Night getting books into the hands of one million people in the United Kingdom and the United States in one day.

The next stop was the Puyallup Skate Park, where I was able to give away another six books.  One teen informed me, "My school counselor keeps telling me I need to read more for college. Now I have a book to do so."  Yes he does.

There weren't that many teens hanging out at the Skate Park for such a nice evening, so TWT, The Child, and The Dog headed down the Riverwalk Trail to hand out the final three copies, which we did.

The final two copies went to two teens hanging out under the Puyallup River Bridge on the banks of the river, chatting, singing, and playing guitar.  One of those initially reluctant teens said to her friend upon receiving the book, "Cool. We're part of something!"  Yes, you are.


It was a great night to wander Puyallup, to hand out books, to be part of something, to engage strangers in conversation, and to break down stereotypes.  As to the latter, I think that worked both ways.  I got to see through some of the rebellion and bravado that the teens often wear, while they got to speak with an adult that wasn't telling them not to smoke and swear, that wasn't nagging them, but merely trying to give them the gift of reading.  Even if only for a few moments, it was a wonderful experience.  I hope to be able to participate in similar events in the future.

No comments: