ALA and NEH announce second round of We The People “Freedom” Bookshelf awards to 500 libraries

Contact: Lainie Castle, ALA

For Immediate Release

July 12, 2005

ALA and NEH announce second round of We The People “Freedom” Bookshelf awards to 500 libraries

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced that they have selected the second round of school and public libraries throughout the country to receive free copies of 15 classic books from the We the People Bookshelf project. The theme of this year's bookshelf is “freedom.”

“Classic books enrich the lives of young readers by expanding their minds and awakening their imaginations,” said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. “The We the People Bookshelf assists libraries in delivering quality programming to their communities, while encouraging the reading and exploration of great books and great themes in American history.”

Cole announced the new awards as part of the NEH's We the People initiative, which supports projects that strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture. A total of 1,000 public and school libraries in 49 states each will receive a set of the 15 books, posters, bookmarks, bookplates and online planning and promotional materials from the NEH and the ALA.

The We the People Bookshelf on “freedom” contains the following books:

  • Grades K-3: “Sam The Minuteman” by Nathaniel Benchley, “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses” by Paul Goble, “Paul Revere's Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter.

  • Grades 4-6: “ The House of Dies Drear” by Virginia Hamilton, “Ben and Me” by Robert Lawson, “To Be a Slave” by Julius Lester and “The Complete Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S Lewis.

  • Grades 7-8: “ Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, “Across Five Aprils” by Irene Hunt and “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth George Speare .

  • Grades 9-12: “ Miracle In Philadelphia” by Catherine Drinker Bowen, “My Antonia” by Willa Cather, “Animal Farm” and “1984” by George Orwell, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

The awards were given to public and school libraries, including those in private schools, community colleges, tribal schools, military base schools, and home school consortia . Libraries selected will receive the bookshelf in early September 2005, and organize programs or events to raise awareness of these classic books and engage young readers. In addition to the 15 books in English, each Bookshelf will contain the following Spanish titles:

  • Grades K-3: “El Cuento de Pedrito Conega” by Beatrix Potter

  • Grades 4-6: “El León, La Bruja & Ropero” by C.S. Lewis

  • Grades 7-8: “Fahrenheit 451” (in Spanish) by Ray Bradbury

  • Grades 9-12: “Mi Antonia” by Willa Cather

A complete list of the 1,000 school and public libraries that received the We the People Bookshelf on “freedom” and additional information about the We The People Bookshelf can be found on the Internet at

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.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities sup ports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, new technologies exhibitions and programs in libraries, museums and other community places.