Huzzah to Indies

From Paige: IndieBound is just about a year old now—hard for me to believe, but true! To commemorate, we've drawn a winner for our points contest: Julie Hahnke of Marblehead, Masschusetts. Julie is the author of The Grey Ghost, a Summer Kids' Indie Next List pick. We've given her a gift certificate to her local indie bookstore, Spirit of '76 in Marblehead. She sent us a short piece on what indies mean to her—and what she's doing with the gift card!

Huzzah! to Indies all across the country! It’s your energy and excitement that has fueled The Grey Ghost’s success. I’m grateful for your enthusiasm, and my question is, what can I do for you?

In a scary economy where financial stability is as fragile as a spider’s web, it’s tempting to let the lowest price drive our purchase decisions. And yet, price isn’t everything. In many ways, it’s the least thing.

When bookstores support authors, when communities support their independent businesses, and when authors support communities, we create a web of mutual benefit for everyone that’s adamantine hard. It’s all about dreaming and our desire to realize our dreams. Our dreams are all different, but if we support others as they strive to realize theirs, we’ll find a community of mutual respect and gratitude circling around us, helping us realize our own.

That’s what IndieBound is about—building and sustaining communities one dream and one transaction at a time!

I thought it would be appropriate to use my IndieBound gift card to help support another community—one that’s far off geographically, but very close to my heart.

My dear friend and illustrator, Marcia Christensen, is the Queen Mother to an African village in Ghana. Marcia and her husband, Jim, have been supporting this community for years, building a church, creating a school, establishing scholarships, and developing a library at a nearby secondary school for girls.

With my IndieBound gift card, I’m purchasing children’s and teen books for the secondary school library in Mawuko, Ghana. I’ve chosen some of my favorites, picking titles that represent broad cultural diversity for a range of ages. Here’s what I’m sending them:

The Grey Ghost by me (I donated this)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky
Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson