As Noah Smith Drelich ’07 works to improve the literacy of the children living on this impoverished reservation (scroll through these posts for previous updates), he knows it is more than simply raising this year’s reading test scores (which currently average five years below grade-level).

Noah has begun inspiring his students to love to learn and love to read. The looks on their faces as they open the boxes is priceless. As he finds himself needing more shelving for his library, Noah is inspired by his students and those who are sending the books. As the students take on new reading challenges, it is important to provide the students with a variety of interesting and challenging books to keep up the momentum. Who knows which of these students will be inspired to come to Williams because of your generosity?

Challenge 2,000

As Wick notes, “200 is a great start. Let’s go for 2,000.”

Some guidelines/suggestions in selecting books for Noah’s Library [thanks to an anonymous Williams parent for helping to compile this guide]:

  • Books for middle and high school girls and boys
  • Reading levels: from second grade (easy chapter books), lots clustered around middle school level, through books typically read in high school English classes
  • Books can be New or Gently Used
  • Hardcover books will last longer than paperbacks, but paperbacks are welcome.
  • Used books should be in Excellent Condition. (Please, no torn or yellow pages; cover intact, no writing, spine in excellent condition.) Please no magazines and no text books.

If you are unsure what to send, you may want to check out the books listed on these sites for some ideas:

American Library Association – Best Books for Young Adults
A Children’s list (pdf)
Booklist Editors’ Choice List for Youth

Books should be sent to:

Noah Smith-Drelich
PO Box 293
Wanblee, SD 57577

Or, if you need a physical address:
Noah Smith-Drelich
Wanblee, SD 57577-0293

Here are Amazon wishlists compiled with the help of a wise parent. We will update and revise as needed. The nice thing about the wishlist is that it will allow you to make sure that the books you are purchasing have not already been purchased by someone else.


Fiction Wish List for Pine Ridge


Non-Fiction Wish List for Pine Ridge

There are also some widgets to the left sidebar – they will stay there for the duration of this book drive and hopefully remind you to think of Noah and the kids on the Pine Ridge reservation every time you check EphBlog. Books purchased through the links above or through the sidebar will be automatically shipped to Noah (you can obviously use any other bookseller if you like, and if you think of other books that would be appropriate, go ahead and send those too!).

UPDATE – we just got, from Noah, these comments from students in his class:

“Thank you for the books you gave us. It means a lot to us.” –Carl

“Thank you for the books you have sent us. We appriciate it. We were really excited to read different books. Thank you very much for these neat books.” –Danielle

“I would like to say thank you for donating books to our class. Now we have many books to choose from and it will help us be more of readers. We really appreciate it.” –Torey

“Wopila Tanka [Lakota for thank you very much–Noah] for the books!” –Ty

“I just want to say thank you for the books. When I first came to Crazy Horse School, I didn’t like reading that much, but since I came to Mr. Drelich’s room, he pushed me so even though I said no, but after he pushed me to read. Now I can’t stop reading. I read almost 10 books since the school year started. Now when I grow up I want to start my own library. So thank you.” –Tiffany

[post edited by Ronit 04/29]

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