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  Back to Country: U.S.A.| Type: Educational Non-Profit
 We the People Bookshelf
  What is it?

We the People Bookshelf is a 'set of classic books for young readers' chosen each year according to a given theme and awarded to libraries across the U.S.

  PaperTigers says...

This is one of those initiatives where everyone is a winner and books end up where they should be: in the readers' hands.

  Tell me more…
  • The We the People Bookshelf is part of the We the People project set up by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to enhance the teaching and understanding of American history.
  • The Bookshelf was set up in 2003 to promote reading and to highlight books which provide insight into "abstract or general ideas through the power of particular stories". The book selection was based on the NEH Summertime Favorites list, updated in 2003 also.
  • The theme of each year's selection is announced in September.
  • The previous three themes have been: Courage, Freedom and Becoming American,which included Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say, Dragonwings by Laurence Yep and Barrio Boy by Ernesto Garlaza.
  • The theme for 2006-07 is The Pursuit of Happiness and the selection spans from Aesop's Fables to the present, including Pam Munoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising and Laurence Yep's The Journal of Wong Ming Chung.
  • Libraries who wish to receive the Bookshelf are invited to apply online. 2,000 libraries received the Bookshelf in 2006.
  • Libraries who receive the Bookshelf then run a program of events over the year to "highlight the theme and encourage young readers to explore the selected books".
  • The American Library Association collaborates with the NEH to assist in delivering the sets of books to the selected libraries.



And how do I get in touch?






Posted: May 2007

We the People
National Endowment for the Humanities
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW - Room 511
Washington, DC 20506





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