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 fifth year, United Way's Women United, 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.

Would you like to help us wrap the books?

United Way's Women United members and prospective members are invited to a book wrapping party at Highland Brewing's event center December 13.  Bring your friends! 

Check out photos from last year's party, where our team wrapped 2,000 of the more than 3,000 books we helped collect!


Big Thanks

Women United is proud to be sponsored by the great team at Beverly Hanks & Associates


Agencies and Schools Helping to Distribute Books

United Way is partnering with a number of organizations to get these books into the hands of local students. Here is the latest list: 

ABCCM Angel Tree

Asheville Middle School

Asheville Primary School

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Bell Elementary School

Boys and Girls Club

Cane Creek Middle School

Caring for Children

Children First/Communities In Schools

Claxton Elementary School

Delta House

Isaac Dickson Elementary School 

Eblen Charities

Eblen Intermediate School

Emma Elementary School

Enka Intermediate School

Enka Middle School School

Erwin Middle School School

Estes Elementary School

Girl Scouts

Girls On The Run

Hall Fletcher Elementary School

Jones Elementary School

Montford North Star Academy

North Buncombe Middle School

Open Doors

Owen Middle School

Reach Out and Read Carolinas

Read 2 Succeed

Reynolds Middle School

Tammy & Dex Christmas' for Kids

Valley Springs Middle School

Vance Elementary School


Which Books Are Popular? 

Your Barnes & Noble Booksellers will be happy to help you pick a great book but we also asked local educators to tell us which books kids (of all reading levels) like to read - here are a few. 

  • 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.


How You Can Live United, Year-Round