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Candlewick Press marks 25 years of business in US with largest book donation in its history

Partnership with First Book to bring 275,000 books, beloved authors to underserved populations

SOMERVILLE, MA – January 26, 2016 – Candlewick Press today announced plans to mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of its U.S. office by donating over 275,000 of its acclaimed books to the nonprofit First Book. The donation, the largest in Candlewick’s history, will be the centerpiece of a year-long celebration of reading for all, with some of Candlewick’s most honored and bestselling authors joining in the festivities to encourage underserved children to find themselves in books.

Karen Lotz, President and Publisher of Candlewick Press and Group Managing Director of Walker Books, said that the donation was an ideal celebration of Candlewick’s values as the publisher marks a major milestone.

“As we approach a quarter century of aspiring to deliver on our mission of publishing the very best books for children, we understand that if children from families with access to well-funded home and local libraries are the only ones who know our books, we will have failed. We therefore are thrilled to partner with First Books’ exceptionally broad and visionary program, which reaches 220,000 classrooms and community programs, in making our beautiful books available to all children in America, regardless of their personal circumstances,” Lotz said.

Candlewick Press opened its doors in North America in 1991, and in the quarter-century since has published award-winning authors and illustrators and such iconic titles as Guess How Much I Love YouWhere’s Waldo?, Dragonology, and Because of Winn-Dixie.  

To celebrate, some of Candlewick’s most distinguished and beloved authors, including Megan McDonald, author of the internationally best-selling Judy Moody series, and Kate DiCamillo, 2014-15 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will connect directly with young readers via promotions tied to such literacy campaigns as National School Library Month, summer reading, and back-to-school. Each initiative over the course of the year will include a donation to First Book, putting new, high-quality books in the hands of hundreds of thousands of needy children.

“We are so grateful Candlewick chose First Book to receive and distribute this unprecedented donation of their books to children from low-income families,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “Every child, without exception, ought to have access to equal, quality education, and Candlewick’s generous donation is helping us follow through on that goal.”

Candlewick’s Lotz said that she looked forward to sharing further details about the reading and donation initiatives over the course of 2016.

“We’re deeply grateful to the authors and illustrators who have helped us build the strong and successful company we have today. And we are just as thrilled to have First Book’s help in sharing the visionary creations of our authors and illustrators with children everywhere— because great books build better futures for everyone!” Lotz said.

About Candlewick Press:

Candlewick Press is an employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For over 20 years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love YouWhere’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the vibrant Walker Books Group, one of the world’s largest fully independent children’s book publishing companies, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Visit Candlewick online at www.candlewick.com.

About First Book: First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 135 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit us online or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

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Contact: Tracy Miracle

Executive Director of Publicity & Marketing Campaigns

Candlewick Press – 99 Dover Street, Somerville  MA 02144

617-588-4404 – Tracy.Miracle@candlewick.com

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