Working in the Community

The ability to read is the most important skill a child will learn. Through our school visits during the Spring of 2012, we learned that reading during the summer was of vital importance for kids to retain reading skills obtained during the school year.

In May of 2012, we visited a school that was closing over the summer. Sadly, all of the books in their library were destined for the recycling bin. We, however, had an idea for those books. Those books would become the base collection for a Summer Book Swap, where kids could bring their gently used books to trade for other books, allowing them the opportunity to get fresh reading material for summer!

We rented a U-Haul, loaded the books, found sponsors for space and food, recruited volunteers— and the very first Summer Book Swap was held in Westland, Michigan (co-author Joe Kelley’s hometown).

Here is a video from the event, where we also released our second book, Clipper the Comet:

Another major initiative was our birthday wishes for 2012. In 2012, Joe turned 40 and Nick turned 30. All we wanted for our birthdays was for our message of encouragement to spread further, to children all across the country.

Through donations received at, we were able to purchase and donate copies of Pete the Popcorn to school libraries across the country.

Here is our video which introduced our campaign:

None of our community service initiatives would be possible without the help and support of loyal readers and friends. We thank you so very much for being there! We also hope that these activities will inspire you to hold a book swap in your school or community— or to go out and help a child (or adult) learn to read!

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