More Books for Future Leader-Readers

Three of the first books to our new library at Hope House

There was a boy in rural Indiana many years ago. When he was around 9 years old—the age of many Hope House boys—he learned to read. The library in his house had only three books because he was from a simple family. He needed more books. So one day he walked a long distance of many miles to borrow one from a farmer. I don’t know any kids who would walk miles for a book. You probably don’t either. This young Indiana boy was Abraham Lincoln and among many other things, he was a great reader. Another president, Harry Truman, is credited with saying, “all leaders are readers.”

We don’t want our boys to walk miles for books. However, we do want our boys to read and to become leaders in the community. We are like the family in Indiana who had a small library of few books. We need more books.

The need to begin a library growth project became clear while I was working with one of our new readers. He had just completed our new reader curriculum, which consists of short readings from a workbook. He had successfully progressed through the course and was excited to read his first “real” book. But we only had one picture book for him. So we began to think how we could get more books, not only for him and our young ones but also for our teens in middle and high school. I did not expect the response we would get from the boys.

First we cleared some shelves and then set up a library wish list and catalogue. A few local partners generously donated our first brand-new books. A new space was sectioned off for the library and we created a sign-out system. In the first 10 days I’ve lent out 23 books to 9 boys. They are reading books faster than we can acquire them. One of the boys, who is reading over 50 pages daily since sign-outs started, asked me when we’re getting more books.

My vision for the library is to have over 200 new titles by January, everything from picture books to chapter books and young adult novels. All those books need to be laminated so that they’ll last a while. I want our kids to be able to take out a book for school or for night reading. I want a space set apart in the library classroom with a rug and two bean bag chairs so our young boys can sit and read about knights and dragons and Peter Pan. We need more books and we need the library supplies to care for those books. Will you help us? Will you help our boys become leader-readers?

To learn more about how you can help with the library growth project, please contact Isaiah Cory at

#HopeHouse #Education

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