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'The gift of reading': Wilmington Public Library provides free books for parents to gift to kids

Parents in Wilmington can get free books to give to their children as holiday gifts through Wednesday. 

The Wilmington Public Library and North Wilmington Branch Library began a child and teen book giveaway this week. Roughly twenty different books geared to ages 0 to 18 are available while supplies last.


“We understand how difficult 2020 has been for all of the families in our community,” said Administrative Librarian Renee O’Donnell, who organized the giveaway. “This was a way that we thought that we could help give back to our community and remind them what a fabulous outlet reading can be for kids, especially when they’re stuck indoors, or they’re not able to play outside with their friends.”

Parents can choose one book for each child or teen in their household. 

The titles available include “Hair Love,” the picture book inspired by the Oscar-winning short film, and “Stamped,” the young adult “remix” of Ibram X. Kendi’s history of racist ideas.

O’Donnell emphasizes the goal is to help parents give gifts to their children. 

“This is not from the Wilmington Library to the kids, this is from the parents to the kids,” O’Donnell said. “So they can wrap it up, and no matter what holiday you celebrate, these are yours to give to your kids.”

O’Donnell says the titles were chosen by the library’s Youth Services Department with quality  in mind. 

“She was trying to find new titles, titles that the kids may not have already at home,” O’Donnell said. “And we also have a huge age range. … We did not want to forget our middle-year readers and our teenagers during this difficult time.”

Parents can also sign their children up for kids’ library cards, which never have fines or fees associated with them.

As of Friday, the books available included:

  • Llama Llama Loose Tooth Drama by Anna Dewdney
  • Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras) by Asia Citro
  • Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
  • Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney
  • Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey
  • New Kid by Jerry Craft
  • Baby-sitters Little Sister: Karen’s Witch by Ann M. Martin
  • Baby-sitters Little Sister: Karen’s Roller Skates by Ann M. Martin
  • Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander 
  • You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
  • Twins by Varian Johhnson and Shannon Wright
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: a Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
  • I Love All of Me by Lorie Ann Grover
  • My Favorite Color by Aaron Becker
  • Lola at the Library With Mommy by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw
  • You Are Ready! The World Is Waiting by Eric Carle
  • Reptiles by Jill McDonald
  • Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel

Pickup hours at the Wilmington Public Library:

  • Fri. Dec. 18 — 9:00AM – 4:45PM
  • Sat. Dec. 19 – 9:00AM – 4:45PM
  • Mon. Dec. 21 –  9:30AM – 5:45PM
  • Tues. Dec. 22 –  9:30AM – 5:45PM
  • Wed. Dec. 23 –  9:30AM – 5:45PM

Pickup hours at the North Wilmington Branch Library

  • Fri.  Dec. 18 — 11:30AM – 3:45PM
  • Sat. Dec. 19 – 11:30AM – 3:45PM
  • Mon. Dec. 21 –  11:30AM – 7:45PM
  • Tues. Dec. 22 –  11:30AM – 3:45PM
  • Wed. Dec. 23 –   11:30AM – 7:45PM

This story has been updated.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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