Friday, October 21, 2011

Best-Selling Authors Contribute Stories and Poems to Benefit Darfuri Refugees

Collection of Stories and Poems, What You Wish For, Engages Young People with Themes of Hope and Aspiration

Eighteen authors with combined sales of more than 600 million books, including mega-bestsellers R.L. Stine (Goosebumps, Fear Street), Ann M. Martin (The Baby-sitters Club), Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency), Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries), and Cornelia Funke (Inkheart) have contributed to What You Wish For (ISBN 9780399254543), a collection of stories and poems for ages 12+ that went on sale recently.  The Reston-based 501(c)(3) charity Book Wish Foundation organized the book, which is being published by Penguin/G.P. Putnam’s Sons, and will donate 100% of its proceeds to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to fund libraries in Darfuri refugee camps.  UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Darfur advocate Mia Farrow wrote the foreword.

The all-star roster also features Newbery medalists Karen Hesse (Out of the Dust) and Cynthia Voigt (Dicey’s Song), National Book Award-winner Joyce Carol Oates (them), John Green (Looking for Alaska), Francisco X. Stork (Marcelo in the Real World), Jeanne DuPrau (The City of Ember), and Sofia Quintero (Efrain’s Secret); poets Nikki Giovanni, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marilyn Nelson, Gary Soto, and Jane Yolen; and graphic novelist Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole).  Their contributions explore the shared theme of wishes in the context of friendship, love, family, bullying and other topics teens care about.  The American Library Association’s Booklist magazine awards a starred review to the collection in its October 1 issue.

Book Wish Foundation Co-Founder Logan Kleinwaks said that “What You Wish For offers literary riches to its readers, and its readers return the gift many times over by helping the Darfuris.  By buying this book, anyone can join forces with these incredible authors.”  To increase the humanitarian impact of purchases, online bookseller Better World Books ( will donate its net profits from sales of the book.

Information about where to purchase What You Wish For, and the progress of the refugee camp library initiative, can be found at