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.



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!