Oprah, Publisher's Weekly, and Charlesbridge

Last week, PW reported on children's book publisher Charlesbridge's expansion into middle reader or "bridge" titles. Now check out this news release from US NewsWire:
WASHINGTON, May 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Children and youth living in poor countries and in regions recovering from conflict will receive award-winning books through an Oprah's Book Club Award of $50,000 given by Oprah's Angel Network, a public charity formed in 1998.

"This generous grant from Oprah's Angel Network will enable us to distribute children's books that depict a culturally diverse world while promoting tolerance and understanding," said Maya Ajmera, president of the Global Fund for Children (GFC). "GFC's books will reach children and youth in countries where poverty and violence are the backdrop of their lives. We hope our books will help them become productive and caring global citizens."

Under the grant, some 17,000 books will be distributed to children and youth in such countries as Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, and in the Middle East. They will be selected from the collection of 16 titles and four resource guides developed by GFC, an innovative grantmaking organization committed to advancing the dignity of the most vulnerable children and youth worldwide, and published in partnership with Charlesbridge Publishing.

Yet another sign that this small, independent publishing house in Watertown, Massachusetts is moving in a wonderful, expansive direction. I'm delighted that Rickshaw Girl (Middle Reader, Spring 2007) allows me to journey along for the ride.