©2019 by Books for Border Kids

The Books for Border Kids bookdrive has ended.
Though the Books for Border Kids bookdrive has ended, Denise Chavez of Casa Camino Real Bookstore in Las Cruces, NM is continuing to distribute books to refugee children at the U.S./Mexican border. She and her staff are working with a wide range of groups and organizations throughout the country in this ongoing effort. She will continue to accept new and used book donations and/or dollar donations. For dollar donations, members of her bookstore staff will make book selections from a recommended list. Denise has indicated that she would be happy to hear from anyone who is interested in contributing in some way to getting books in the hands of these children. We suggest contacting her to discuss your ideas or plans. You can also view the Casa Camino Real Bookstore Facebook page. Denise can be contacted in the following ways:

    Denise Chavez, Owner
    Casa Camino Real Bookstore
    314 Tomillo Street
    Las Cruces, NM 88001

    Email: comezone09 AT comcast DOT net
    Bookstore phone: 575-523-3988
    Cell Phone:: 575 649 9173

While Books for Border Kids organized its drive with a group of dedicated volunteers, two independent children’s bookstores in their community and in cooperation with Denise Chavez’s staff, other individuals and groups have organized in different ways. The advantages of working with a local bookstore are their expertise in identifying appropriate books, letting others know about the drive and providing a mechanism for people wanting to purchase new books for the the children. In our case, the bookstores also provided free shipping to the distribution center in New Mexico. Should you need more detailed information about Books for Border Kids’ drive, please feel free to contact:  Joan Poritsky, jporitsky AT gmail DOT com or Julie Sellergren, juliesellergren AT comcast DOT net.

Our Story

Books for Border Kids (BBK) was created by a group of concerned individuals in Minneapolis and St. Paul who wanted to inspire hope in young refugee children now on our border with Mexico.

Because we believe that books can stir a child’s imagination and enrich young lives, we teamed up with two independent children’s bookstores – Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul and Wild Rumpus Books in Minneapolis -- to facilitate the purchase of bilingual, Spanish, or Portuguese books through our Books for Border Kids website. Both bookstores agreed to ship the children’s books free of charge to a distribution center in New Mexico.

Denise Chávez, author and owner of Casa Camino Real Bookstore in Las Cruces, New Mexico, has been collecting books and distributing them to refugee families at the border over the past year with the support of many volunteer groups in the area. Denise is well-known and respected in the broader independent bookstore community and enthusiastically agreed to help us curate the recommended book lists, and distribute the books purchased for the children.
The book drive began September 1 and ended October 31, 2019.

Latest News
October 31, 2019

As of today, we have donated 1500 books and several thousand dollars to refugee children near the US/Mexico border!!  Thanks to all the donors and to the following people and organizations for their support:


Publisher's Weekly Magazine

League of Women Voters, Minneapolis

Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine 

James Lenfestey, Poet and MN Book Award Finalist

Kerri Miller,  Minnesota Public Radio

Joyce Sutphen, Minnesota Poet Laureate

Ada Alden, early childhood educator

Joyce Johannson, senior advisor, First Book

Southwest Journal

Lone Star Literary Life

Roseville Area Schools

Wild Rumpus Books

Red Balloon Booksellers

Robbinsdale ESL students from 22 countries

And to each and every donor who purchased a book and/or donated funds.





Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How were the books selected for the recommended list?

A: Author and bookstore owner Denise Chávez, who has delivered books to children on the border for other initiatives, guided our selections. Suggestions included bilingual, Spanish and Portuguese books that were uplifting and had stories about the children’s own country and culture. We included books by native speakers of Spanish and Portuguese and added other book titles suggested by Wild Rumpus and Red Balloon bookstores, librarians, and books used by children studying Spanish. BBK focuses on children from early childhood up to 8 years old.

Q: Did BBK books go to children in detention centers?

A: No, detention facilities are prohibited by law from accepting any donations from outside groups. BBK  distributed books through a wide range of charitable organizations set up to assist children and their families who have been released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) or the U.S. Border Patrol. Many are awaiting transport to sponsors or other care facilities or are waiting for their asylum court proceedings to conclude.  BBK books were also distributed in Juarez, Mexico through humanitarian groups operating there. These children were waiting to submit their asylum claims at the port of entry or were children with families who were sent back to Mexico to await the processing of their asylum claims.  


Q: Where can I learn more about Denise Chávez?

A:  Check out her Wikipedia page,  her author profile on Goodreads, and her bookstore, Casa Camino Real.


Q: Are BBK book donations tax deductible?

A: BBK is not a 501(c) (3) charitable organization; neither book or cash donations are tax deductible.


Other questions? Let us know.

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