Book To Action 2022 Charity Drive

Every year, the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries (MAALL) Book to Action program organizes a book drive for a local charity to support the region where their annual conference is held. The 2022 conference is happening virtually and the MAALL Book to Action coordinators chose to support a charity in Vermillion, South Dakota this year. Outside of a Dog Books & Games is proud to partner with MAALL and United Way of Vermillion to provide books to children in need in our area.

At Outside of a Dog, we believe in the power of diverse stories to both reflect our own lives back to us and to act as windows into the lives of others. We think everyone should be able to find stories about people like themselves and about people completely different than themselves. We believe that we’re better off when we have lots of kinds of stories informing our views of the world. To that end, we’ve selected 10 books representing diverse authors and subjects written for kids ages 0 – 10.


Ancestor Approved
Edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith
In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog). They are the heroes of their own stories.

Aaron Slater, Illustrator
by Andrea Beaty
Aaron isn’t like the other kids in his 2nd grade class. When he tries to read the letters and words get all jumbled. When he tries to write, nothing comes out… until Aaron learns that he has another way to tell stories. Printed with a dyslexia-friendly font, this is story of a boy with dyslexia who discovers that his learning disability may inform who he is, but it does not define who he is.

Cherries and Cherry Pits
by Vera B. Williams
No one can tell a story quite like Bidemmi. When she starts to draw, her imagination takes off. Enter her world, look at her pictures, and watch her stories grow and grow—just like the forest of cherry trees she imagines right on her own block.

Born on the Water
by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson
The 1619 Project’s lyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States, thoughtfully rendered by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and Newbery honor-winning author Renée Watson.

by Alex Gino
When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy named George. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. Melissa thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. When her teacher says she can’t even try out for the part she wants in the school play because she’s a boy, Melissa comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award and Children’s Stonewall Award.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
The 26 characters in this rhythmic, rhyming baby book are a lowercase alphabet with attitude. “A told b, and b told c, ‘I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree'”–which probably seemed like a good idea until the other 23 members of the gang decided to follow suit. The palm tree standing straight and tall on the first page begins to groan and bend under its alphabetical burden. First the coconuts fall off, then (“Chicka chicka… BOOM! BOOM!”) all the letters also end up in a big heap underneath.

El Deafo
by Cece Bell
Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here, she’s different. Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the schoolThis is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All.

Tar Beach
by Faith Ringgold
Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the ‘tar beach’ of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one’s world by flying over it.

Alma and How She Got Her Name
by Juana Martinez-Neal
If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.

Saturday at the Food Pantry
by Diane O’Neill
Molly and her mom don’t always have enough food, so one Saturday they visit their local food pantry. Molly’s happy to get food to eat until she sees her classmate Caitlin, who’s embarrassed to be at the food pantry. Can Molly help Caitlin realize that everyone needs help sometimes?

A great story to address/destigmatize food insecurity as well as usage of food banks.

Button Pusher
by Tyler Page
Tyler’s brain is different. He has a hard time paying attention. He acts out in goofy, unpredictable, immature, and sometimes dangerous ways. Nobody, including Tyler himself, understands why he does these things until his doctor diagnoses him with ADHD. But the label is only the start of Tyler’s journey. Tyler’s preteen years are full of challenges. The biggest of all? Understanding how his race car brain is part of who he is.

Grandad’s Camper
by Harry Woodgate
A little girl hatches the perfect plan to get her Grandad adventuring again. Gramps and Grandad were adventurers touring the country in their amazing camper. But after Gramps died, Grandad hasn’t felt like traveling anymore. So, their amazing granddaughter comes up with a clever plan to fix up the old camper and get Grandad excited to explore again. This beautiful picture book honors love and reminds us not only to remember those we have lost, but to celebrate them.

Tacky the Penguin
by Helen Lester
Tacky’s the odd bird out among all his friends. Will this nonconformist teach old penguins some new tricks and help save the day? This hilarious series following the adventures of one superlative penguin is a modern classic. From beloved children’s book author Helen Lester, and cherished illustrator Lynn Munsinger, Tacky the Penguin is a delightful tale about being true to yourself–even when it means being a little different from everybody else.

Anansi and the Golden Pot
by Taiye Selasi
Reimagine the story of Anansi, the much-loved trickster, for a new generation. Kweku has grown up hearing stories about the mischievous spider Anansi. He is given the nickname Anansi by his father because of his similarly cheeky ways. On a holiday to visit his beloved Grandma in Ghana, Anansi the spider and Anansi the boy meet, and discover a magical pot that can be filled with whatever they want. Anansi fills it again and again with his favorite red-red stew, and eats so much that he feels sick. Will he learn to share this wonderful gift?

Bodies Are Cool
by Tyler Feder
this picture book is a pure celebration of all the different human bodies that exist in the world. Highlighting the various skin tones, body shapes, and hair types is just the beginning in this truly inclusive book. With its joyful illustrations and encouraging refrain, it will instill body acceptance and confidence in the youngest of readers.

One of Each
Support all kinds of readers by donating one of each book listed above.