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Bernie’s Book Bank distributes age-appropriate, high-interest and culturally relevant books to the children we serve.

Books We Use 

Bernie’s Book Bank believes in providing children free access to developmentally appropriate books that will engage them by reflecting their own lives and providing insight into a full range of human experiences.  This concept, as articulated by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop in her “Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors” speech, is reflected throughout our Book Philosophy.

Bernie’s Book Bank provides each child we serve with a bag of 8 new and gently used books; each bag contains a variety of fiction and non-fiction titles, including picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, mysteries, biographies, science fiction, sports, science, technology, and more. The content of these age-appropriate books may explore diverse themes arounds socioeconomics, abilities, gender, and family dynamics.

Bernie’s Book Bank’s Book Philosophy is a living document that is revisited regularly. Team members use the Philosophy and guidance from outside experts to set guidelines that determine which books we distribute.

Each book is vetted to ensure it is:

  • Age-appropriate. We serve children from birth to 6th grade and divide our books into 5 age groups so that children receive books appropriate to their reading and personal development.
    • ‘Under 6’ program participants (U6)
    • Kindergarten to 1st Grade (K/1)
    • 2nd to 3rd Grade (2/3)
    • 4th to 5th Grade (4/5)
    • 6th Grade (6)
  • High-quality. Books that entice children to read them.   Books that are visually appealing and include engaging themes and topics of interest to the children we serve.
  • Culturally relevant. Books that include a variety of settings and characters from all backgrounds.

Note: We provide bilingual/Spanish language books to U6 partners that serve Spanish-speaking families. We provide Spanish language books to school-age children as supply allows.

You don't have to work in education to know that there are many factors in learning to be a successful reader, but none is as important as having actual access to personal books. Bernie's Book Bank comes walking right into the classrooms on a regular basis and makes the impossible possible for these children.

Jane Vester

Librarian, McCall Elementary School