Announcing the Busload of Books Tour!
by Matthew
October 19, 2021

We (and the kids) are going to spend the 2022-2023 school year on the ultimate road trip—

living in a tiny home school bus, visiting Title I elementary schools in all 50 states, doing presentations on creativity and collaboration, and handing out 25,000 free books to students and teachers who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them.

Why? Because books boost reading, academic performance, and language development. And because books are often scarce for the kids who need them most.

We’ve done a bunch of author visits and book giveaways in underserved communities, and the results are always the same: Kids dive into reading. They start telling their own stories. They gain a heightened sense of possibility.

The local impact has been amazing. Now we’re going to do it at a national level—with the help of our extraordinary partners:

  • The incredible nonprofit First Book will help us identify schools where our visits will make the greatest impact.
  • Our friends at Kent Cultural Alliance are accepting tax-deductible donations of $100 and above on our behalf.
  • We’ll be using the DonorsChoose platform to set up micro-giving campaigns to help teachers in every state buy classroom supplies.
  • We’re partnering with the Washington College Department of Education on a major research project to measure the impact of one-time author visits.

At every step, we’ll be bringing you with us—providing a first-hand glimpse of America’s incredible diversity of cultures, communities, and landscapes via daily photos, sketches, and videos.

Thanks to a handful of extremely generous supporters, we’ve raised funds to cover trip expenses and renovate the bus. But now we need to fill it with books.
Every $5 you contribute puts a book in the hands of a deserving kid. $150 buys books for an entire classroom.

To contribute, head to our GoFundMe page and sponsor a book or two (or more, if you’re able).
Many more stories to come, but for today, we wanted to share our excitement and invite you to be part of our adventure.

Please help us put books on the bus!

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The Busload of Books Tour is a year-long project to promote literacy and raise awareness of the challenges facing our nation’s public schools.

Author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr (that’s us) and our four kids will spend the 2022-2023 school year traveling the country in a school bus/tiny home, visiting Title I schools in all 50 states (plus DC), and giving away 25,000 hardcover books to students and teachers from underserved communities.

As we travel, we will be blogging, vlogging and posting frequently to social media. All of our content will be appropriate for bringing families and students along on our ultimate road trip.

The latest on Instagram:

At BWI, waiting to board the first of four flights. The mail has been held. The coolers are packed. I’m ready for another summer in Alaska.

Looking forward to smelling the tundra, drinking from the spring, looking for agates, picking fish, baking cakes, and seeing the Bristol Bay sunrise.

But mostly looking forward to seeing my crew. Apparently, the fishing is already underway. When I finally get to Coffee Point, I’ll hop out of the bush plane and into my waders.

So long for now. Will be back before you know it with more photos and stories to share.
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The Daily Minute: 6.23.24
As Matthew packs for Alaska, he needs your help deciding between protein and joy.
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The Daily Minute: 6.22.24
In which garlic is needed, Goji is cold, and we are grateful to the librarians and students of Japan.
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Whoever you are, take your seat on the bus!

Our adventure is your adventure. Our country is your country, too. Follow along with us!