Candlewick Press Joins the Launch of Open eBooks, Provider of Free, High-Quality eBooks to Underserved Children

Program supports President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative

February 23, 2016 –The launch of Open eBooks, a new initiative and e-reader app that will make thousands of popular, top-selling eBooks available to children in need for free, was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama today.

The initiative is designed to address the challenge of providing digital reading materials to children living in low-income households, and offers unprecedented access to quality digital content, including a catalog of eBooks valued at more than $250 million.


President Obama announced a nongovernmental eBooks effort in support of the ConnectED Initiative at the April 30 Kids Town Hall held by the White House at the Anacostia Branch of the District of Columbia Public Library. ConnectED is multi-pronged effort designed to provide all youth with access to high-quality digital learning tools. Since it launched, over 20 million more students have been connected to high-speed broadband in their schools and libraries and millions more are taking advantage of its free private sector resources. Open eBooks complements the new digital infrastructure to provide an opportunity for kids in need to have a world-class eLibrary in their homes.


A coalition of literacy, library, and publishing partners joined together to make the Open eBooks program possible. The initiative’s partners Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), First Book, and The New York Public Library (NYPL), with content support from digital books distributor Baker & Taylor created the app, curated the eBook collection, and developed a system for distribution and use.  They received financial support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and content contributions from major publishers including independent children’s publisher Candlewick Press, based in Somerville, Massachusetts.


Candlewick Press titles in the initial roll-out include works by celebrated authors and illustrators Megan McDonald, author of the best-selling Judy Moody series; National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature emeritus and two-time Newbery award winner Kate DiCamillo; Peter H. Reynolds, author and illustrator of the beloved Creatrilogy, comprising The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color; Stephan Pastis, creator of the hugely popular middle-grade Timmy Failure series; Silas House and Neela Vaswani, authors of the acclaimed middle-grade novel Same Sun Here; and Tanya McKinnon and Victoria Bond, authors of the young-adult novel Zora and Me, which received the John Steptoe New Talent Award. Candlewick plans to add all relevant titles as the program continues.


Educators, librarians, after school or community program directors, and others working with children from low-income and military families are encouraged to access the Open eBook resources by clicking the registration link at:


ABOUT CANDLEWICK PRESS Candlewick Press is an independent publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For over twenty years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature emeritus Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia. The Walker Books Group has a unique ownership structure that includes all of its employees worldwide. Visit Candlewick online at


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Phoebe Kosman, Assistant Director of Marketing, Publicity, and Events | 617-588-4445