Donate Books

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 program! We have an Amazon wishlist that should give you an idea of the kinds of books we carry — Young Adult or teen-friendly Adult crossover titles by popular authors. We stock titles from all genres and time periods, and value the representation of diverse authors and stories.

As a small organization, every bit of extra help is greatly appreciated. We have very limited storage space so we need to use it wisely! After a book drive, we ask that groups sort out any books that are not a good fit for those that we serve (intended audience too young, old, or damaged books), and then email us to arrange a drop-off to our office in Long Beach. We are not able to offer donation pickups at this time.

Types of Books We Carry

The Book Truck provides high-quality books to the teens we serve in an effort to spark lasting joy and a lifelong interest in books and learning. Donations that will make it to our shelves are brand new and gently used books which are teen-friendly and high-interest.

Check out our Amazon Wishlist for some ideas!

How to Organize a Book Drive

 

1) Get in touch!

If you (or a group) decide to hold a book drive, contact us at info@thebooktruck.org or through our contact page. We can send along helpful tips materials to help get you started. 

2) Choose your target audience(s).

Who will be donating books and how long will the book drive last? Some ideas and tips:

In addition to asking friends and family, you could hold a book drive at your school or other organization that you belong to such as a religious or community center. A large event like a birthday or bar/bat mitzvah can be a great opportunity to reach a large number of people to donate books for a good cause. Book drives lasting 1-2 weeks will generate much more buzz along with the right advertising materials (which we can provide!)

3) Spread the word! 

Post flyers in high traffic areas at school or other gathering places. To reach a larger audience consider sending a mass email or posting on social media, or go the more traditional route by making an announcement at a school assembly. Some donors have held successful virtual book drives by posting links to our Amazon Wishlist.

4) Gather the goods

Go through donated books and sort out any that are not a good fit for our readers (books that are too old, too young, or damaged); they will need to be donated elsewhere. Pack the books in small (banker-sized) boxes or sturdy bags, and please be gentle with the books!

*Extra credit* Book Sort

If you or your organization want to go the extra mile and help us get the books 100% shelf-ready, you can organize your own Book Sort. We’ll provide you with zoom training, The Book Truck Genre Guide, and stickers that you can use to label your donated books into teen-friendly categories ready to be loaded right onto The Book Truck. 

​5) Arrange for a drop-off

Contact us at info@thebooktruck.org to arrange a drop-off at our office. We do not offer donation pickup at this time.

What kind of books should you collect?

First and foremost, the books that you donate should be in EXCELLENT condition – new or like-new only. And since we only distribute books to teens and young adults, they should be teen-friendly (with teen characters). We love to see books featuring diverse authors or characters in all genres as well as books that are making the rounds on social media or in theaters. Graphic novels, inspirational titles about real life, sports, and self-help books are always popular with our readers. For more specific suggestions you can check out our Amazon Wishlist

Which books will not make the cut?

  • Textbooks or old library books
  • Unattached books in a series (for example, don’t donate book 2 without book 1)

  • Books aimed at young kids

  • Stories about adults with adult problems (there are exceptions for popular authors or titles – always consider if the book is teen-friendly!)

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.