Gifts for Middle School Students

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Many local organizations that distribute holiday gifts find that middle school youth often fall off the radar when people are making their donations. There are many reasons, but one is that this age can sometimes be a little harder to shop for.

For the fourth year, United Way Women’s Leadership Council, with help from our volunteer center Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, will collect books for middle school youth and get them to programs serving kids in need. Companies, faith communities and neighborhood groups often find this is a great way to promote volunteerism around the holidays and to make an impact in the life of a middle schooler. Let us know and we'll send you a poster to get your co-workers, friends and family members involved.



Book Drive Runs Now Through December 31

Throughout the months of November and December, Barnes & Noble Booksellers at the Asheville Mall will host a book drive so customers can donate books to local middle school youth. Just purchase the books and leave them with your cashier. We'll collect the books at the end of the month and get them to kids in Asheville and Buncombe County.

You can also drop off new, unwrapped books at our office located on 50 South French Broad Avenue in Asheville. If you do, please drop them off by Dec 13 so we can wrap them up for distribution. If you have questions, please contact or call (828) 239-1032.

Can't get out to shop? Donate here and we'll do the footwork for you.


Special Serafina Surprise

We love Serafina and so do the kids. Lucky for us, Robert Beatty the author of this new book series is a local and he loves what we are doing. So together we've assembled a special match. For every Serafina book sold at the Barnes & Noble at the Asheville Mall, Mr. Beatty will donate another and and one of our donors will do the same. So your one book purchase, becomes three! What a gift and what an impact we can have.

Want to have your Serafina books signed? Head over to Barnes & Noble on Saturday December 10, 2016 11:00 AM for a special opportunity to meet the author!


Which Books Are Popular? The full list is here:

We've asked local educators to tell us which books kids (of all reading levels) like to read. Below is a list, or print your own list right here.

  • A Song for Bijou
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Between Shades of Gray
  • Bone Series
  • Bud, Not Buddy
  • Call it Courage
  • Cirque de Freak
  • Cracker
  • Divergent Series
  • Dork Diaries
  • Ettiquette & Espionage series (AKA The Finishing School series)
  • Feed
  • Football Genius Series
  • Girl, Stolen
  • Hatchet
  • Heroes of Olympus
  • Holes
  • Hunger Games Trilogy
  • Ink Heart Books
  • Kane Chronicles series
  • Kira Kira
  • Legend series
  • Lockdown  
  • Lunar Chronicles (series)
  • Maniac Magee
  • Matched Trilogy
  • Maze Runner
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series
  • North by Night
  • Number the Stars 
  • Okay for Now
  • Out of My Mind
  • Percy Jackson Series
  • Randi Rhodes, Ninja
  • Redwall Series
  • Serafina Series
  • Sounder
  • The Bronze Bow
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • The Great Green Heist
  • The Maze Runner Series
  • The Mighty Miss Malone  
  • The Outsiders
  • The Series of Unfortunate Events
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Touching Spirit Bear
  • Warm Bodies
  • Warriors Don’t Cry
  • Watsons Go To Birmingham
  • We Beat the Streets
  • Wimpy Kid Series
  • Any Book By: Ally Condie, Christopher Paul Curtis, Sarah Dessen, Sharon Draper, John Green, S.E. Hinton, Lois Lowry, Mike Lupica, Walter Dean Myers
  • And finally, we could really use non-English language versions of these books for students who are transitioning to English from their native languages of Spanish, Ukrainian, Marshallese and Pompei. Having books in their native language helps ease the transition to learning English and helps ensure that they don't lose a love of reading during that difficult time.

Would you like to help us wrap the books?

United Way's Women's Leadership Council members and prospective members are invited to a book wrapping party at Hi-Wire Big Top on December 14th from 5:30pm-7pm. WLC members are encouraged to bring along friends as guests. The more the merrier! Please sign up to reserve your spot at a wrapping table.

Check out photos from last year's party, where our team wrapped 1,700 books!


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