Books About Giving Back

The following books tell clever, moving stories of caring for others, the spirit of giving, and the power of generosity. A special thanks to Clare Doornbos at DIESEL, A Bookstore, at the Marin County Mart in Larkspur for her personal list of books. And don't miss how you can give to the DIESEL, A Bookstore Giving Tree (see below.)


Picture Books


The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peňa

A young boy is reluctant to help his grandmother at the homeless shelter, but as he travels on the bus down Market Street, he remembers all the things he likes about helping others.


The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

A story about bringing a garden to an otherwise drab city, based on the High Line project in New York.


Marvelous Cornelius by Phil Bildner

Based on the true story of a garbage collector who made a heroic difference in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


Chapter Books


Augie & Me: Three Wonder Stories by R. J. Palacio

Most middle school readers have read Wonder, the story of Augie, a boy with severe facial disfigurement and his experiences at a new school. This companion book of three short stories is told from the point of view of three of the supporting cast of Wonder; the bully, the old friend and the new friend. These different perspectives continue the theme of empathy and kindness that Wonder, so brilliantly introduced.


A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Midnight Gulch is a town with a Snicker of Magic and Felicity wants to stay, unfortunately her mother has a wandering heart and wants to move on. With the help of a new friend Jonah, Felicity performs random acts of kindness that help her see what the community and her family need to stay together.


The 7th Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

After a teenage boy throws a rock at the local β€œjunk man” he's sentenced to help the same man with his work. This is a story of mutual salvation and transformation that asks us to look beyond the ordinary and into the truth.


Young Adult Books


Me & Earl & the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Snarky Greg is a terrible human being who likes to stay unnoticed. Unfortunately, his Mom forces him to make friends with a local girl who's dying of cancer and despite his protestations, this changes everything, just not always in a good way.


The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Room 13B is the meeting place for a teen OCD outpatient group. Not the place you would expect to find heroes. But as they work together, the group forms a series of dysfunctional alliances that gives them a sense of community and the strength to face their challenges.


Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

From the outside, 16-year old Sydney seems to have every advantage, but all she really wants is for her family to notice her. This is the story of her (unofficial) adoption by a family from the wrong side of the tracks who give her the emotional support she needs.


The Laurel Dell Giving Tree at DIESEL, A Bookstore in Larkspur

In the holiday season of 2015 the generous customers and staff of DIESEL, A Bookstore in Larkspur raised over $1000 for books for Laurel Dell School Library. We'd like to better that total this year and provide their school library with the new books they need and the means to buy more during the coming year. We encourage our customers to buy a book from the librarian's wishlist or a store gift certificate from our Giving Tree which will all be donated to the school library.

Laurel Dell School serves 250 children from ages 4 to 11 in the Canal area of San Rafael. Most of these children speak English as a second language, some are the children of migrant worker families, some of the children are homeless.

The school librarian is paid for only 10 hours a week, but she is a force of nature. Her annual budget of $200 is supplemented by her dumpster diving for library fixtures and asking more wealthy schools for their unwanted books. She is always learning and happy to spend extra time with the kids, she recently told us that she is learning Arabic at lunchtime with the help of some of the children and a parent.

DIESEL, A Bookstore believes that all children deserve access to new books and we are proud to support their librarian in her endeavors. The Giving Tree campaign will begin in the week before Thanksgiving and run through the end of the year.