In Which Our Bus Is Nearly Packed and Our Hearts Are Full of Gratitude
by Matthew
August 23, 2022

We embark on the Tour one week from today.

As I contemplate our pending departure, I alternate between bursts of excitement, fits of panic, and passages of restorative gratitude.

Robbi and I have dreamed on this project for more than a decade but never thought we’d be able to actually pull it off. It was just too complex—and way too expensive.

But over the past two years, more than a thousand people and families have contributed to the Tour—some through financial donations, some by lending their time and expertise, and others by cheering us on when the challenges seemed insurmountable.

Here we are with a bus and an itinerary and 25,000 books—still tending to a few final details but otherwise ready to begin this adventure. Thanks to you.

We love that this trip has no sponsors. Only partners who believe in our mission.

Which is to say, this might be our dream, but for all of you who’ve helped us get to this point, it’s your adventure, too.


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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: 2.21.24
In which, 35 training sessions later, Jasper is ready to pilot the big cart.

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Robbi and I are heading to your fair city on Sunday for a busy week of back-to-back school visits. We’ll be doing many presentations, various lunches, several dinners, and an evening meet-and-greet. (This is where you come in.)
Should you care to meet us or greet us or give us a hug, we’ll be at the Glenside Library in Glendale Heights from 3:30-5:00pm next Tuesday night (Feb 27), meeting and greeting and hopefully seeing you.

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The Daily Minute: 2.20.24
In which Robbi is on strike, Jasper shows no mercy, and Dumbles holds strong opinions we cannot comprehend.

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The Daily Minute: 2.19.24
In which we are scheming and dreaming of fewer hats and no joy.

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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!