Ms. Porter's Second Grade Library Class versus Barnes and Noble Bookstores

Eight-year-olds can be fierce Davidic champions. For example, second-graders in Concord were mad because they couldn't find my books in most of the chain stores in Massachusetts. I was cc'ed as this letter went out to Barnes and Noble last week, and reprint it here with permission. Thanks, Ms. Porter's class!

June 2nd, 2010

Barnes and Noble Inc
122 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10011

Dear Madam or Sir,

Mitali Perkins is a very good author. We think other customers would like to read her books. We think many of your customers would like her style of writing. We highly recommend them because her writing is very good. Her books can teach life lessons.

For example, we read one of her books called Rickshaw Girl and we loved it. In Rickshaw Girl, Naima, who is the main character, lives in a time when girls are not allowed to work and she feels that that is not fair. Naima lives in a small poor village in Bangladesh and she can’t afford to go to school at the same time as her sister.

We think it’s a book from which you can learn. It is a “Windows” book about someone else’s experience or a life different for various people. I hope you buy and sell these books so people can learn about India and Bangladesh. This book is a “mirror” for Indian-Americans and we think they should have a chance to read books about their heritage.

So we were surprised when we figured out that most of your bookstores in Massachusetts don’t carry her books. Why do you not carry Mitali Perkins’ books in your bookstore?!  

Is it because you don’t know who Mitali Perkins is? Do you not carry her books because your customers have not asked if you have them? Is it because you don’t know about her books? Or is it because Barnes and Noble doesn’t carry Indian-American books? Do you not carry her books because they are not well-known? Or do you think it is because the customers won’t like them? Is it because your bookstore likes to carry series titles because you will make more money with repeat customers? 

You are a big bookstore. Therefore, we would expect you to carry her books because you have room for different kinds of books. Do you want to carry her books and if you don’t why not? 

Will you please get her books in all your stores sooner rather than later? Please reply and tell us why you don’t have her books in your bookstore.

Yours Sincerely,

Dictated by Ms. Porter’s Second Grade Library class 

Nashoba Brooks School
200 Strawberry Hill Road
Concord, MA 01742