Applications available for We The People Bookshelf Grants

Contact: Laura Hayes, ALA


For Immediate Release

September 12, 2003

Applications available for We The People Bookshelf Grants

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are accepting applications from school (K-12) and public libraries for “We The People Bookshelf” grants.
The grant initiative awards up to 500 libraries throughout the country each a set of 15 books for young readers from the NEH’s “We The People Bookshelf” reading list.
Libraries that receive the grants are required to use the “Bookshelf” selections in programs for young readers in their communities.
Libraries interested in applying for the “We The People Bookshelf” grants can view the application and guidelines at

Applications are now being accepted online until October 22, 2003.
There will also be a second opportunity for grant consideration from December 15, 2003, to February 15, 2004.

The “Bookshelf” grants are part of the NEH’s
We The People
initiative, which encourages and strengthens the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture through libraries, schools, colleges, universities, and cultural institutions.
nnounced by Lynne Cheney, past NEH Chairman and wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, and NEH Chairman Bruce Cole, the “We The People
Bookshelf” highlights a short list of classic books for young readers at different grade levels.
NEH plans to issue a “Bookshelf” list each year on themes related to American ideas and ideals.
The 2003-2004 theme is “courage” and features the following books:

Grades K-3

· "The Cabin Faced West”

“Anansi the Spider” by Gerald McDermott
“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” by William Steig

Grades 4 to 6


“The Dream Keeper and Other Poems” by Langston Hughes

“The Matchlock Gun” by Walter D. Edmonds

“Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder

“My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George

Grades 7 to 8


“Johnny Tremain” by Esther Forbes

“Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” by Frederick Douglass

“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Grades 9 to 12


“The Red Badge of Courage” by Stephen Crane

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

“Profiles in Courage” by John F. Kennedy

“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

“To Kill a Mockingbird”
by Harper Lee

The books on the “Bookshelf” list were selected by librarians and a blue-ribbon panel of historians and authorities on children’s literature from NEH’s
Summertime Favorites list, an annual book list of 300 recommended titles for young readers from grades K-12.
The 2003-2004
Summertime Favorites list was updated with advice from the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), both divisions of the ALA, with help from children’s literature experts and librarians.

Support for the “
We The People
Bookshelf” grant project is provided by the National Trust for the Humanities and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Questions about the “We The People Bookshelf” should be directed to the ALA Public Programs Office at (800) 545-2433 x. 5045 or or the NEH at (202) 606-8589 or
Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.

The ALA Public Programs Office fosters cultural programming by libraries of all types.
Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members and works to establish libraries as cultural centers in their communities.