Odyssey Bookshop Wins The Great Greene Challenge!

Indie Bookstores Battle for Books in The Great Greene Challenge. Pride is Injured but Diversity Wins!

In an upset more embarrassing than the Mid-Day PDA, Odyssey Bookshop has beaten Eight Cousins in a challenge of their own making. "It was never about winning," insists Eight Cousins employee, Sara Hines, "No, really. What's important is that we all loved Varian Johnson's The Great Greene Heist. As long as kids are reading it, aren't we all winners?" "Right, right," agreed Odyssey children's buyer, Hannah Moushabeck, "It’s about celebrating diversity in children's books, sharing a great story and of course, bragging rights.” The Great Greene Challenge began on a slow Sunday in May. Author Kate Messner issued the opening shot in her blog post "More Than Words: A challenge for everyone who’s been asking for more diversity in kids’ books," in which she states that one of the best ways to support diversity in kids books is to read and buy diverse books. As booksellers, Hines and Moushabeck agreed. Eight Cousins, feeling confident, challenged Odyssey Bookshop to a hand-sell off. Odyssey Bookshop, with a perhaps unhealthy, competitive streak, accepted. Other independent bookstores across the country joined the noble cause with authors such as Varian Johnson himself, John Green, and Shannon Hale piping in and offering prizes like bottles of wine and signed books to the winners.

"We regret nothing," Hines declares, "The challenge offered so many opportunities to have conversations about diversity with staff members, customers, and librarians at our local schools. We even have plans for ongoing programs. Look, just because we publicly embarrassed ourselves, doesn't mean we didn't hand-sell our hearts out.  Moushabeck stated, " This project not only introduced our customers to a wonderful book with diverse characters, but it gave people instructions on how to make a difference. We’ve all been demanding diverse books but here was a simple, easy way to help. Plus, we got to show off our butt-kicking bookselling skills."

What's next? Hopefully more diversity in kids books and more readers discovering the joys of The Great Greene Heist. As for the two bookstores, will there be any more challenges? Hines declined comment, hanging her head in shame, while burying it in a book but Moushabeck enthusiastically responded, "Bring it on! We love a good bookselling battle. Hey, have you read The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher?"

Note: No booksellers were injured in the making of the Great Greene Challenge.

Book List
ISBN-13: 9780545525527
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books, 5/2014

ISBN-13: 9780385376525
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 7/2014

Carol's Pick

ISBN-13: 9780803739093
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Dial, 4/2014
Yes, it's a summer romance -- but it's so much more. Fitzpatrick weaves everything together so gracefully: economic goals and opportunities, a little brother with disabilities, plenty of humor, the purposes of marriage, ethnic and cultural divisions, aging, more humor, athletics, and above all, life in a beach community. Readers who love Sarah Dessen will be delighted to discover Huntley Fitzpatrick.

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