Help us bring diverse, high-interest books to homeless, foster care, and low-income teens
Give Books To Our Teens!
We are always in need of great books for our teen literacy donation program! Explore our most popular book requests or check out our Amazon Wish List to find out what books we’re most in need of right now.
Because we are a small operation with very limited storage space, we are only able to accept books that we will be able to use. Since we work exclusively with teens, the books that are most useful to our literacy donation program are young adult books or adult books that have crossover appeal (like Steven King and Nicholas Sparks). Learn more about the books we carry below.
Note: We do not accept textbooks, books that are old/damaged, or books that are too young or too mature for a teenage audience. We gladly accept gently used books but request that they be in excellent condition. For some of the teens we work with, these are the first books they’ve ever owned, and they truly treasure them.
Types of Books We Carry
Our goal with our teen literacy donation program is to get teens excited about reading. To make this happen, we have to carry the books they want to read. This means making sure that we are stocked with high quality, popular titles from every genre and time period, especially books by diverse authors.
We use continual feedback and surveys from our teens to make sure we’ve got what they want. This includes everything from books made into popular movie franchises (like The Hunger Games and Divergent) to books about difficult subject matters they encounter in their own lives (like abuse, drugs, and prison). It also includes classic literature (like Edgar Allen Poe and The Outsiders) and true-life stories about people overcoming hardships. Our teens’ tastes are as varied as their individual interests, and we want to make sure we have something for everyone. At the Book Truck, no genre or style is looked down on. All books have value.
Explore top requested titles in our Amazon wish list.
Hold a Book Drive. Here’s How to Get Started.
1) Get in touch with The Book Truck. If you (or your group) decide to hold a book drive, let us know through our contact page. We will send you all the helpful materials you need to get the ball rolling.
2) Plan the details of your drive. Decide WHO you will ask for books. You could…
- Hold a book drive at your school, religious center, or in your neighborhood.
- Ask for books from your friends and family.
- Ask guests at an event, like your birthday party or bar/bat mitzvah, to donate books.
Next, decide WHERE, WHEN, and for HOW LONG to hold the drive (PRO TIP: 1-2 week book drives with a lot of advertising work well).
3) Get the word out. Decide how you will tell people about the book drive. You could…
- Write a detailed e-mail and send it to friends/family
- Announce your book drive in a group setting, like a school assembly or place of worship
- Post flyers at your school or other local places
4) *Optional* Organize a Book Sort. If you would like to help us get the books 100% ready to head out on the truck, contact us about organizing a Book Sort with you and a small group of your friends.
5) Prepare books and arrange for drop-off.
- Go through donated books and sort out any that are too old, too young, or damaged (they will need to be donated elsewhere). For more information, see types of books to avoid below.
- Pack the books in small (banker-sized) boxes or sturdy bags.
- Get back in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange a drop-off.
Book Drive FAQs
How do I write a promotional email?
Sending e-mails to your family, friends, or neighbors is a great way to spread the word about your book drive. Your e-mail should generally include:
- An introduction of yourself or your group (WHO ARE YOU?)
- A short description of what The Book Truck does.
- A description of your book drive, such as:
- The exact location and date of your book drive, or where the books can be shipped
- A description of the books you are looking for (refer to the next section: “What kind of books should we collect?”)
- The kinds of books you are NOT looking for (refer to the section: What kind of books should we avoid?)
What kind of books do you collect?
Because we only distribute books to teens, we have strict requirements about the books that can be donated to The Book Truck. We accept…
Books in EXCELLENT CONDITION (new or like new)
Books that interest TEENS
Some of your and your friends’ favorite books
Books that feature characters of diverse ethnicities (like books by Walter Dean Myers, Jacqueline Woodson or Matt de la Pena)
Books about sports
Books about real life problems
Books recently made into movies
What kind of books should we avoid?
Books in a series that don’t include the first book (i.e. Harry Potter 4 without also giving 1-3)
Books aimed at young kids or adults (with the exception of adult books that also appeal to teens, like Stephen King and
You can also ask for cash donations, which will allow us to buy the types of books listed above or others on our wish list.
Are you a teen who loves reading and talking about books?
Become a volunteer at our teen literacy events! We'll train you to become an official book expert to help other teens find and take home the perfect books. Once you're trained, you'll be able to volunteer at any of our teen literacy events across LA County.