In Which We Invite You to Join Us For the Ultimate Virtual Road Trip
by Matthew
August 28, 2022

The Busload of Books Tour is about to begin.

In service of our mission, we’ll be traveling through all fifty states in the year ahead.

We’ll visit state parks and national monuments, roadside attractions and hole-in-the wall eateries. From the Black Hills (South Dakota) to the House on the Rock (Wisconsin) to the Pencil Sharpener Museum (Ohio), we’ll be exploring our country’s stunning variety of physical and cultural landscapes.

We hope our family’s adventures will double as a fun and interesting virtual road trip for anyone who cares to follow along.


  • We’ll be posting daily photos, stories, and reels on Instagram and Facebook, all our videos on YouTube, and I’ll be offering more in-depth storytelling on the Tour blog.
  • We’ll be posting a few recurring features in every state: 1) a fun and fact-filled essay by our wonderful intern Isabel 2) a video by our 14-year-old daughter Alden, and 3) a top-secret project featuring Jasper, age 5 (stay tuned)
  • Robbi will be sketching if and when she feels like sketching but refuses to commit to any sort of sketching schedule, so don’t ask or even hope, or she will stubbornly not sketch.
  • Wherever we go, we’ll be asking the people we meet the same three questions and will share their responses with you.


  • If you’d like to to follow along, the Busload of Books Tour website is the best hub for accessing it all.
  • The blog (which you’re reading right now) is where we’ll share the daily, long-form stories of our travels.
  • The Join Us page provides links to our various social channels.
  • The About page is best for sharing the Tour with your friends.
  • If you don’t already follow the Robbi & Matthew Instagram, that’s where we’ll be posting all our livestreams:
  • To keep up with our videos, including all our Daily Minutes, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
  • The Everywhere, Wonder Instagram account will chronicle the grand and small treasures we’ll discover as we travel.
  • Those of you who love ridiculous, unphotogenic dogs can follow Dumbles as he worries his way across the USA.

Some of you have said you’d like to come with us.

Others have said you’d never do so in a million years. To any and all, we hereby invite you to claim your virtual seat on the bus.
We’re going to see and experience so much in the coming year.

We’d love to share it all with you.






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: 6.18.24
In which Robbi reports from a rainforest near Anchorage.

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And they’re off!
Robbi and the kids (the dogs) left home early afternoon yesterday. They flew to Seattle last night and caught an overnight flight to Anchorage, where they landed just after midnight Alaska time. To kill time during their 12-hour layover, they’re going to rent a car and drive down the Turnagain Arm to Portage. It’s a gorgeous stretch of road along the water.
Later today, they’ll catch a flight to King Salmon, a small tundra town which is the jumping-off point for many sport fishing adventures—and the place where the fishermen in our district catch the bush planes that take them to their various fishing camps.  
The whole trip will take about 36 hours, at which point Robbi and the kids will land on the beach and be greeted by Robbi’s brother in a pickup truck. They’ll drive to our compound, take the plywood off the windows, head to the spring to get water, hook up the solar panel, and then start setting up our fishing lines.
It’s so much work to get started every year, but they’ll be up and running by the time I reach the tundra late next Monday evening. It’s possible I’ll jump off the plane and straight into my waders. Once the fishing starts, it waits for no one.
PS - This illustration is from our picture book Sunrise Summer, which tells the story of Alden’s first season as a member of the fishing crew. It’s a great way to get a glimpse into our lives in Alaska.

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The Daily Minute: 6.17.24
In which we tape up the coolers, and Robbi’s hair proves tundra-ready.

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The Daily Minute: 6.16.24
In which Robbi leaves for Alaska tomorrow and the dogs are running free.

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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!