Frequently Asked Questions

Who are we?

Former bookseller, librarian, and education advocate Elizabeth founded The Book Truck in 2011 in response to a lack of literacy outreach programming for teenagers. We work to bring the love of reading to teens and young adults by providing access to books which are interesting, high quality, and always free of charge. Our day-to-day staff is small and dedicated, and works out of our office in Long Beach, California. 

How do we distribute books?

Once we connect with a school or other organization that serves teens, we meet to figure out what works best for their particular needs. Then, we arrange to provide hand-selected books along with educational materials to help students and adults get the most out of our resources. 

Are the books really free? Who pays for them?

Yes, we provide all of our materials free of charge. Through grants and donations our nonprofit is able to bring books and literary resources to an increasing number of students and young people. 

What kind of books do you carry?

We stock books from a diverse range of genres and representations. Our staff keeps an eye out for award winning books, but also best sellers and viral hits making the rounds online. The books on our truck are new or like-new, curated by our staff and teen volunteers. We have high standards for the quality of books that we provide, and take into account feedback from the organizations we serve to offer personalized selections when able.  

If you want to bring Lit Boxes to your organization you can fill out our Lit Box Application. We’re just waiting to hear from you to get started on next steps. 

More about our book selection

To help our bookshelves feel accessible to all teens, our books are organized into clearly labeled genre categories. Our Thriller and Dystopian section is marked with a skull & crossbones, while the Romance categories are clearly labeled with hearts, for example. We provide an easy-to-read description key to empower students to discover titles they’ll love, giving them the vocabulary to navigate school libraries, local libraries, or bookstores with newfound confidence.

What teens are saying about The Book Truck’s young adult literacy programs:

“I think reading is important because it expands our minds and gives us a new perspective on life. It also helps us forget about our problems and have a good educational experience.”


“It helps me imagine things that take me out of reality. Read to Dream.”


“Reading is important because it’s another world you can escape to.  I read so that I can stay away from drugs.”


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