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When Books Went To War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II, by Molly Guptill Manning

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On May 10, 1933, German students (with official encouragement) burned an estimated 25,000 books in a symbolic act meant to “purify” Germany of Jewish influence. The Nazis would continue to burn books throughout their reign, both in their country and in the countries they invaded, in an attempt to stamp out any thought they deemed dangerous to National Socialism, ultimately destroying over 100 million volumes. People around the world reacted in outrage and horror, and in the US, groups of librarians, citizens, politicians, writers, and publishers came together to fight back. Through organized book donation drives and the invention of an entirely new book format—the Armed Services Edition—these fighters in World War II’s “War of Ideas” put 132 million books in the hands of American servicemen and their allies. Their work inspired an entire generation with a love of reading and enshrined books like Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as American classics. When Books Went to War tells their unforgettable story.

The Little Free Library Book by Margret Aldrich

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In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library in his front yard as a tribute to his mother, a schoolteacher. It was a small, weatherproof box in the shape of a one-room schoolhouse with a simple message: “Take a book, return a book.” Inspired by the positive response of his neighbors, Bol built more libraries, and a grassroots literary movement was born. As of 2015, an estimated 25,000 Little Free Libraries are in operation across the globe—in small towns without a public library and busy cities; in refugee camps and police stations; front yards and local parks. (Locally, Upper Arlington is home to four Little Free Libraries, while nearby Clintonville is home to six.) The Little Free Library Book tells the story of the movement’s beginning and showcases the libraries—and stories—of dozens of library stewards. The book also includes helpful tips and information for those interested in starting their own library.

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