December 2015 | Barbara Basbanes Richter

Gifts of Books for the Holidays

During this season of giving, some charities and organizations provide much-needed food and clothing, while others nourish the soul through gifts of books. Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt (HMH) donated nearly 100,000 volumes throughout the country during the holidays. These contributions are part of a sustained, yearlong program during which the publisher provided 3.6 million books to adults and children worldwide.

In its Boston hometown, the publisher worked with the Department of Children and the Globe Santa program to distribute holiday-themed books to charities such as the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, while nearly 3,000 homeless children received 15,000 brand-new books at the annual Christmas in the City banquet held on December 20 at the Boston Convention Center. Titles included longtime favorites like Martha Speaks, Curious George, Merry Christmas, Strega Nona, and The Polar Express.

"At HMH, we are committed to changing people's lives by fostering passionate, curious learners," said HMH's Chief Content Officer, Mary Cullinane. "Every page a child turns provides them with the opportunity to explore new worlds and engage their imaginations in ways they never knew possible. Our donation program strives to get more books into the hands of young readers and helps to close the literacy gap."

Contact your local libraries and school systems if you're interested in bringing holiday tidings of hope and happiness for children in need through the power of great books.