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The CBC Partners with the unPrison Project to Build Prison-Nursery Libraries for Incarcerated Mothers and Their Babies

April 23, 2015

New York, NY — April 23, 2015 –In honor of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10, the last day of Children’s Book Week 2015, the Children’s Book Council (CBC) is partnering with The unPrison Project — a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to empowering and mentoring women in prison, while raising awareness of their families’ needs — to create brand-new libraries of books for incarcerated mothers to read with their babies at prison nurseries in 10 states: California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, New York, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

17 of the CBC’s member publishers have joined this meaningful endeavor by donating copies of 45 hand-picked titles for children ages 0-18 months for each library. The books will be paired with simple interactive reading guides— fostering mother-child dialogue and bonding — and will be hand-delivered and organized in the nurseries by Deborah Jiang-Stein, founder of The unPrison Project and author of Prison Baby. Jiang-Stein was born in prison to a heroin-addicted mother, and has made it her mission to empower and mentor women and girls in prison.15 additional titles have also been donated by these publishers to stock visiting room libraries for inmates and their older children.

CBC members participating in the effort are:

  • ABRAMS Books for Young Readers
  • Candlewick Press
  • Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Creston Books
  • Disney Publishing Worldwide
  • Finding My Way Books
  • Five Star Publications, Inc.
  • HarperCollins Children’s Books
  • Holiday House, Inc.
  • Kane Miller, a division of EDC Publishing
  • Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • National Geographic Kids
  • Nobrow (Flying Eye Books)
  • Penguin Young Readers Group (Nancy Paulsen Books)
  • Random House Children’s Books
  • Scholastic, Inc.
  • The RoadRunner Press

“Of the 200,000 women in prison in the United States, 80% have children. Reading together can be one of the most powerful ways for mothers and their children to stay connected during a prison sentence, but visiting rooms in prisons are vastly underserved and books are hard to come by,” says Deborah Jiang-Stein, founder of The unPrison Project. “These prison-nursery libraries will fill that void for mothers and their babies.”

“This year, Mother’s Day falls on the last day of Children’s Book Week, May 4-10. This project will bring much-needed books to mothers and their children — a fitting capstone to the week-long celebration of literacy,” says Jon Colman, Executive Director of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader.


About the Children’s Book Council (CBC)

The Children’s Book Council is the nonprofit trade association for children’s book publishers in North America. The CBC offers children’s publishers the opportunity to work together on issues of importance to the industry at large, including educational programming, literacy advocacy, and collaborations with other national organizations. Our members span the spectrum from large international houses to smaller independent presses. The CBC is proud to partner with other national organizations on co-sponsored reading lists, educational programming, and literacy initiatives. Please visit for more information.


About The unPrison Project

The mission of The unPrison Project (UP) is to empower, inspire, and cultivate critical thinking, life skills, self-reflection, and peer mentoring for women and girls in prison as tools to plan, set goals, and prepare for a successful life after their release, and at the same time bring public awareness about the needs of incarcerated women and their children. The unPrison Project is a registered 501(c)3  nonprofit. Learn more at


About Children’s Book Week (CBW)

Established in 1919, CBW is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Each year, official events – which give kids the opportunity to connect with their favorite authors and illustrators in person – are held from coast to coast.In 2015, official events will be held in all 50 states. Learn more at


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Nicole Deming
Communications Director
The Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader
P: 212/966-1990 
E: nicole.deming[at]

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