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The Story Lady

A librarian named Storybook Maze wants to make sure more kids have books to read.

Storybook Maze and a child hold up children’s books while standing behind a table on which books are displayed.

Storybook Maze

Librarian Storybook Maze (left) often hosts events where she gives books to kids for free.

Something wonderful happened when Storybook Maze started reading to her niece on her front steps in Baltimore, Maryland. As Maze got deeper into the story, more and more kids from the neighborhood gathered at her feet, wanting to hear what would happen next. Maze was thrilled. “Go home and read a book!” she told her audience when story time was over. When Maze found out that many kids don’t have books at home, she wanted to do something about it.

Maze became a librarian, but that didn’t solve the problem. Many neighborhoods don’t have libraries, so there’s no easy way to get books. That’s when Maze decided to take the books to the neighborhoods.

Side by side of a woman and young child looking at a book vending machine and Storybook Maze posing in front of bookshelves.

Storybook Maze

Storybook Maze (right) sets up vending machines in neighborhoods without libraries.

Maze has dedicated herself to finding ways to put books in kids’ hands. She regularly hosts story times in which she reads to kids in different Baltimore neighborhoods. And, using donated books, Maze has set up book vending machines and temporary bookstores in neighborhoods without libraries. Both of these offer books for free to anyone who wants them. Maze also posts videos on social media to let people know about the need to put books in more neighborhoods, so everyone has a chance to read.

Storybook Maze smiles at a child while sitting behind a table of books and holding up a book called Queen of Kindergarten.

Storybook Maze

Storybook Maze introduces a kid to a book she might like!

Maze’s next goal is to fill a brightly colored trolley (a type of vehicle) with books and take it to kids all over Baltimore. She’s currently raising money online to pay for the trolley and the books.

“As the wheels of the Book Trolley turn, so [will] the pages of countless stories waiting to be discovered,” Maze wrote on the fundraiser website.

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Did You Know?

All over the country, people have set up Little Free Libraries where anyone can leave a book or take a book. These little libraries are often placed outside people’s homes.

A small green and yellow shed on a post is labeled Little Free Library and is filled with books

© Steve Callahan/Dreamstime.com

Books on Wheels!

When people live too far from libraries to get books, bookmobiles often come to the rescue! Bookmobiles are libraries on wheels. Librarian Mary Lemist Titcomb invented the American bookmobile in the early 1900s to reach readers who lived in more isolated parts of her home state of Maryland. The first bookmobile, which started operating in 1905, was a horse-drawn wagon that could carry about 200 books.

Today, there are bookmobiles all over the United States and many other countries. Check out the slideshow!

Buyenlarge—Archive Photos/Getty Image; New York Public Library Archives—The New York Public Library Digital Collection; Afro Newspaper/Gado—Archive Photos; © Lan123/Shutterstock.com; San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images—Hearst Newspapers

The Creator of Captain Underpants

The cover of The Adventures of Captain Underpants next to a photo of Pilkey illustrating Captain Underpants on a stage.

© 2024 Scholastic Inc., © Ben Gabbe/Getty Images, Photo Composite Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Dav Pilkey (right) draws his famous Captain Underpants character for an audience at a film festival.

Do you have a favorite author? Dav Pilkey is the author and illustrator of the hilarious Dog Man series, which follows the adventures of a crime-fighting dog. You may also know Pilkey from the equally popular Captain Underpants series.

Pilkey created the Captain Underpants character when he was a kid. Read more about this writer’s life at Britannica.

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Word of the Day

distribute

Part of speech:

verb

Definition:

: to give or deliver (something) to people

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