In Which We Spend a Wonderful Afternoon at Rock Hall Elementary School
by Matthew
June 1, 2022

Last Thursday we spent the afternoon with the students and teachers of Rock Hall Elementary School.

They had used their Title I funding to purchase a hardcover book for each student and teacher. Robbi and I talked observation and storytelling with a group of preK–1st graders and collaboration with the 2nd–5th grade crowd.

After our presentation and Q&A, principal Gillian Spero led the kids outside to see the bus. It was a thrill seeing their eyes light up when they saw the mural.

They rushed from spot to spot, pointing out discoveries, looking for the characters from their new books, and asking questions: “Is that your dog?” and “Are you really going to live in there?” and “Who did that ridiculous drawing?”

Answers: “Yes!,” “Apparently so,” and “Definitely Matthew.”

As is always the case when we go into schools, the kids had fun, asked great questions, and were excited to meet the people who’d written the book they’d been given.

This is our favorite part of what we do. We love to make books, but they’re just stacks of paper until they find themselves in the hands of a kid.

From that moment forward, anything is possible.



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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:

The Daily Minute: 12.9.22
In which, having just arrived in Texas, we plan to spend the night in Jasper County.


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Robbi got this text from Erica Bridwell (known to friends and colleagues as “B”), the first-grade teacher who hosted Jasper during Tuesday’s visit to North Pike Elementary School in Summit, Mississippi. We signed a copy of Everywhere, Wonder for B, and Robbi had written in the dedication to “keep fighting the good fight.”
It’s a difficult time to be a teacher, especially at a school with limited resources and especially when serving kids who bring additional challenges to school. Educators need a boost every bit as much as their students do.
We’re sharing this to show that the tour is also for them, and maybe even more so. 
“We miss y’all! It felt like a part of us left when y’all did. Y’all have NO IDEA the impact you’re making not only on kids, but adults too! I haven’t had the easiest school year so far. I have felt defeated, frustrated, and overwhelmed. My connection with my students has felt faint and really nonexistent… I’ve struggled to find ways to motivate them, encourage them more… then y’all come along and somehow it has put fire back into me. Your words have made me reflect since I read them… “keep fighting the good fight…” it was powerful. I had that “full moon feeling” that feeling of how much I love what I do. I thought of what it means to me and what those kids mean to me. I remembered why God chose me to do this. Your kind words lifted me up. So thank you. Thank y’all. What y’all are doing is amazing! Safe travels! I’ll be following!”

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The Daily Minute: 12.8.22
In which we bask in the sweet Louisiana night and brace ourselves for the enormity of Texas.


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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!