March 2013 Newsletter

1,242,109 books distributed to date!

Thank YOU & Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Celebrating Women's History Month


March is Women's History Month and we're celebrating with a list of great female heroines in children's books.  Thanks to Dianne Johnson, veteran teacher, former Bernie's Book Bank Board Secretary and all-star volunteer for compiling a list of books EVERYONE should read!



Dianne writes, "Amanda Beal in Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli is one of my very favorite characters because she loves her books so much that she carries them in a suitcase wherever she goes AND she shares a book and her family with the homeless boy, Maniac Magee!"

Primary Grades

Marie Boyer in Baby in a Basket by Gloria Rand

Sarah Noble in Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Daigliesh

Caddie Woodlawn in Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink


Intermediate Grades

Opal in Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo          

Sarah in Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachan

Claudia in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

Wanda in The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Regina in I am Regina by Sally M. Keehan

Yolanda in Yolanda's Genius by Carol Fenner

Lily in Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Gilly Hopkins in The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Lina in City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Charlotte in The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Catherine in Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Hannah/Chaya in The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolan

Kit Tyler in The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare     

Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Volunteer Spotlight
    Meet Lori Buckels, who helps us each week in the office with our administrative work! Lori has been volunteering with us since October 2011, when she came in with her son, Lucas, on Make a Difference Day with a group of fellow College of Lake County employees. Lori is an adjunct faculty member at CLC, whose courses include Word Processing, Keyboarding and Administrative Office Procedures.

      She says,"As an educator and parent, I understand the effect good reading skills have on a child's education. I whole-heartedly believe in and want to be a part of Bernie's mission!"

      In her free time, she loves to read, work puzzles, walk and spend time with my family. Her favorite children's books are A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein and The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. Thanks, Lori!

In This Issue
Thank YOU & Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Women's History Month
Volunteer Spotlight
Featured Partner
A Message from Brian
Our Mission  


Bernie's Book Bank facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of quality new and gently used children's books to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among

at-risk infants, toddlers and school age children living throughout Chicagoland.


We have distributed more than 1 MILLION books since 2009.

We will distribute 1 MILLION more quality books in 2013.



Join Team Bernie!

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little girl
Every $100 donated to Bernie's Book Bank provides 12 age-appropriate books a piece to more than 30 children. 

We can distribute a book for just $.25!
scammon kids

We want to give a great big "Grazie!" to R&V Italian Market and Deli for their generous support of Bernie's Book Bank.


They're not just our neighbor, but our staff and volunteers' "go to" place to grab lunch or pick up dinner on the way home.


They are located at 13801 Laurel Drive in Lake Forest, just down the street from our processing center.  They offer a great selection of subs and sandwiches, fresh salads, homemade soups, delicious pastas, Italian specialities and a wonderful selection of fresh breads and treats.   They also have a complete selection of imported products from Italy and tons of options for catering your next gathering or event! 


Check them out the next time you visit us!  



A Message from Brian

Dear Fellow Berniacs,


Can you feel it?  Spring is on its way!

To quote John Muir, "Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm."

As Bernie's Book Bank continues to blossom, we could not be more joyful or enthusiastic about our growth and our mission!


We invite you to continue to grow along with us.  As the days get longer, the sun gets warmer and buds begin to form, we ask you to consider getting more involved: you will NOT regret it.


By collecting books, volunteering or investing financially in Bernie's Book Bank, you will be helping us prepare a fertile foundation for tens of thousands of Chicagoland at-risk children!


Brian Floriani
Executive Director
Bernie's Book Bank
847-780 READ (7323)