"Libraries are one of the few resources where people can be sheltered, educated and entertained without having to pay, and it pains me that they are under such threat," the author says

By Sam Gillette
October 18, 2019 12:39 PM
Jojo Moyes
DAVID HARTLEY/Shutterstock

Based on a true story, Jojo Moyes’ latest novel, The Giver of Stars, follows five women in Depression-era Kentucky who travel across the mountains on horseback in order to deliver books to isolated families. Now the Me Before You author is honoring the courage of those long-ago librarians by giving away hand-painted mini libraries!

Moyes’s publisher Pamela Dorman Books / Viking has created a sweepstakes for the chance to win a Little Free Library and become part of the global book-sharing movement. Four winners will receive a library, a registered plaque, and 10 copies of the novel to get a Little Free Library started in their respective communities. The contest is open now and ends on Nov. 3.

“I was built in a library. My parents didn’t have much money when I was growing up, so the weekly visit to the local library was a key part of my education, and my love of reading,” the British author explains. “Libraries are one of the few resources where people can be sheltered, educated and entertained without having to pay, and it pains me that they are under such threat so it’s particularly gratifying that, like the pack horse librarians, with The Giver of Stars I am able to bring libraries to communities with a Little Free Library.”

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RELATED VIDEO: Creating The Giver of Stars Little Free Library

Set to be adapted into a major motion picture, The Giver of Stars is part love story, part adventure tale. Alice Van Cleve (née Wright) moves from the U.K. to Kentucky after an impetuous marriage. Soon after, she joins the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky as part of then-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt‘s literacy program and makes friends with the independent Margery O’Hare. The two women, along with the other equally dynamic librarians, are quickly caught up in the politics of the rural area, experience danger while delivering the books, and fall for men who love them as they are.

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Keep reading for an an excerpt from The Giver of Stars. (Mrs. Brady had just proposed a traveling library during the town meeting.)

“I’ll do it,” said Alice, into the silence. 

Mrs. Brady squinted, raising her hand above her eyes. “Is that Mrs. Van Cleve?”

“Yes, it is. Alice.”

“You can’t sign up,” Bennett whispered urgently.

Alice leaned forward. “My husband was just telling me that he believes strongly in the importance of civic duty, just as his dear mother did, so I would be happy to volunteer.” Her skin prickled as the eyes of the audience slid toward her.

Mrs. Brady fanned herself a little more vigorously. “But… you don’t know your way around these parts, dear. I don’t think that would be very sensible.”

“Yes,” Bennett hissed, “you don’t know your way around, Alice.”

“I’ll show her,” Margery O’Hare nodded to Alice. “I’ll ride the routes with her for a week or two. We can keep her close to town till she’s got a nose for it.”

“Alice, I—” Bennett whispered. He seemed flustered and glanced up at his father.

“Can you ride?”

“Since I was four years old.”

Mrs. Brady rocked back on her heels in satisfaction. “Well, there you are, Miss O’Hare. You have another two librarians already.”

“It’s a start.”

Margery O’Hare smiled at Alice, and Alice smiled back almost before she realized what she was doing.

From THE GIVER OF STARS by Jojo Moyes, published by Pamela Dorman Books / Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Jojo’s Mojo Limited.

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