Everybody knows that reading is important. But how much encouragement are we giving our kids to develop their passion for a good story? To help more kids access great books in their communities, Amazon is donating more than $50,000 worth of books to libraries across the country.

We’re supporting community street libraries by donating more than $30,000 worth of children’s books to support communities that have taken it upon themselves to invest in reading and instill a love of books in the next generation.

We are also donating an additional $20,000 of books to bolster 40 primary school libraries across the country, in partnership with the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation and this year’s Children’s Laureate, celebrated Aussie author Morris Gleitzman. Each school chosen by the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation will receive a $500 voucher to spend on books alongside a recommended list of books chosen by Gleitzman and the Foundation. Our customers can also access the recommended titles with a discount of 20% on amazon.com.au/booksdonation.

From the Jodie McGregor Flowers Library in Annandale, NSW, to the Hovea Street Library in Crescent City Beach, WA, Australia’s grassroots street libraries have welcomed our donation as a way of helping to connect families and children via book-sharing. Among the books appearing in community libraries across the country are several titles from Gelitzman, who says that reading is critical to children’s development, and as the current Australian Children’s Laureate he knows this all too well.

“There is so much competing for kids’ attention these days that it is more important than ever for us to play an active role in developing their love of reading,” said Gleitzman. “We are excited to partner with Amazon Australia to give new books to libraries in some of the schools that are most in need across the country.”

Explaining the impact both school and community street libraries can have on growing minds, Gleitzman pointed to a study by the Australian National University’s School of Sociology[1] that found people who grow up in book-filled homes have higher reading, mathematics, and technological skills. “We know that reading from an early age has an enormous effect on a whole range of skills as children move through life," he said. "This generous donation from Amazon Australia of more than $50,000 worth of books to libraries both in schools and in local communities will mean there will be more books in the hands of more Aussie kids."

To discover more about how reading changes lives, customers can visit the Australian Children's Laureate Foundation. For more information on how to start a community street library head to StreetLibrary.org.au.

The Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation’s Book Picks for Kids

“As a children's author and the current children’s laureate, I’m part of a community of people who believe that reading changes young people’s lives for the better. Our love of books makes us friends, and like all friends we recommend books to each other. Now, thanks to our friends at Amazon Australia, we can share our favourite books with you too. We hope you enjoy them—and share them with your friends,” Morris Gleitzman said.

K-2, ages 5-7
· Monster Party, by the Children of Rawa Community School and Alison Lester and Jane Godwin
· A is for Australian Animals, by Frane Lessac
· Pig the Tourist, by Aaron Blabey

Years 3-4, ages 8-10
· Miss Franklin, by Libby Hathorn and Phil Lesnie
· Grimsdon, by Deborah Abela
· Ninja Kid, by Anh Do
· Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables, by Tim Harris

Years 5-6, Ages 11-12
· Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan
·Young Dark Emu: A Truer History, by Bruce Pascoe
· Don’t Follow Vee, by Oliver Phommavanh
· Detention, by Tristan Bancks

[1] Joanna Sikoraa, M.D.R. Evans and Jonathan Kelley, “Scholarly culture: How books in adolescence enhance adult literacy, numeracy and technology skills in 31 societies”, (2019) 77 Social Science Research 1.