NEH Announces Second Round of We the People Bookshelf Awards to 500 Libraries

WASHINGTON, (June 22, 2004)


The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced that it has awarded the second round of free copies of 15 classic books from the We the People Bookshelf to 500 school and local libraries throughout the country. The theme of the bookshelf is "courage."

"Classic books enrich the lives of younger readers by expanding their minds and awakening their imaginations," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "The We the People Bookshelf assists libraries in delivering quality programming to their communities, while encouraging the reading and exploration of great books and great themes in American history."

Cole announced the new awards as part of the Endowment's We the People initiative, which supports projects that strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. A total of 1,000 public and school libraries in all 50 states and Guam each will receive a set of the 15 books, posters, bookmarks, and other promotional materials from NEH through the American Library Association, which is working in partnership with NEH. The first set of books was awarded in March 2004. The We the People Bookshelf on "courage" contains the following books:

  • Grades K-3: The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz, Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott, and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig.
  • Grades 4-6: The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds, The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, and Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  • Grades 7-8: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein.
  • Grades 9-12: The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

The awards will go to neighborhood and public school libraries, as well as private schools, charter schools, tribal schools, and military schools. Libraries selected to receive the awards will organize programs or events to raise awareness if these classic books and engage young readers.

A complete list of the second 500 school and public libraries to receive the We the People Bookshelf on "courage" is available as a PDF file, located in the above box. A list of the first 500 libraries to receive the Bookshelf is also available.

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