This November 4, independent bookstores nationwide will have the opportunity to participate in “Celebrating Twain: A National Read-Aloud-A-Thon,” organized by Random House Children’s Books to promote the September 26 release of Mark Twain’s never-before-published The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine.
In addition to celebrating Twain’s previously unfinished fairy tale, which was brought to life by author Philip Stead and illustrator Erin Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee), the event will also mark the 150th anniversary of Twain’s very first book, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches.
Stores are encouraged to put on their own Twain-themed events; for example, having local authors read their favorite Twain stories or essays, offering Twain trivia, performing scenes from the book, or hosting story time events. Booksellers can contact their Random House Children’s Books sales rep to order the Readers’ Theater Event and Merchandising Kit, which contains storytelling and coloring activities and readers’ theater events based on the book.
Stores that have already signed up to participate in the Read-Aloud-A-Thon include:
- Towne Center Books, Pleasanton, California
- Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, California
- BookBar, Denver, Colorado
- Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Georgia
- Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, Illinois
- Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kansas
- Main Street Books, St. Charles, Missouri
- Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, North Carolina
- Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, New York
- Third Street Books, McMinnville, Oregon
- The King’s English, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vermont
- Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, Washington
- Third Place Books, Seattle, Washington
- Liberty Bay Books, Poulsbo, Washington
- Vintage Books, Vancouver, Washington
- The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Washington
At Vintage Books in Vancouver, Washington, customers will share, either in writing or in person, how Mark Twain’s writings have touched their lives, while Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, will stage a short performance of The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine with local high school students.
“We’re super thrilled to be a part of this read-aloud-a-thon,” said Abby Rauscher, the kids’ book specialist at Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, New York. “Books are magic, after all, and Purloining has a bit more than the average ratio of magic to words.”
To get involved or to order the event and merchandising kit, booksellers can contact their Random House Children’s Books sales rep.