Author Wins IndieBound Points Contest

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To mark its first anniversary, IndieBound has drawn a winner for the points contest -- Julie Hahnke of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Hahnke, author of The Grey Ghost, a Summer Kids' Indie Next List pick, won a $50 gift card to her local indie bookstore, Spirit of '76 in Marblehead.

The contest awarded visitors to points for creating a profile, for contributing to a discussion, leaving a note for another user, becoming a fan of a store, and participating in other activities on the site. Hahnke's name was selected randomly from the IndieBound community members who had accumulated more than 100 points.

In a note on, Hahnke, who is using her prize to purchase children's and teen books for a secondary school library in Ghana, explained what independents mean to her:

Huzzah! to Indies all across the country! It's your energy and excitement that has fueled The Grey Ghost's success. I'm grateful for your enthusiasm, and my question is, what can I do for you?

In a scary economy where financial stability is as fragile as a spider's web, it's tempting to let the lowest price drive our purchase decisions. And yet, price isn't everything. In many ways, it's the least thing.

When bookstores support authors, when communities support their independent businesses, and when authors support communities, we create a web of mutual benefit for everyone that's adamantine hard. It's all about dreaming and our desire to realize our dreams. Our dreams are all different, but if we support others as they strive to realize theirs, we'll find a community of mutual respect and gratitude circling around us, helping us realize our own.

That's what IndieBound is about -- building and sustaining communities one dream and one transaction at a time!

I thought it would be appropriate to use my IndieBound gift card to help support another community -- one that's far off geographically, but very close to my heart.

My dear friend and illustrator, Marcia Christensen, is the Queen Mother to an African village in Ghana. Marcia and her husband, Jim, have been supporting this community for years, building a church, creating a school, establishing scholarships, and developing a library at a nearby secondary school for girls.

With my IndieBound gift card, I'm purchasing children's and teen books for the secondary school library in Mawuko, Ghana. I've chosen some of my favorites, picking titles that represent broad cultural diversity for a range of ages. Here's what I'm sending them:

  • The Grey Ghost (Julie Hahnke, PublishingWorks, donated by Hahnke)
  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak, Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • If Not for the Cat (Jack Prelutsky, Greenwillow)
  • Under the Persimmon Tree (Suzanne Fisher Staples, Square Fish)
  • Aleutian Sparrow (Karen Hesse, Aladdin)
  • Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (Simon & Schuster Children's) --J.H.