Social Media Director Andre is 18 years old and has been a Wonderland BookSaver since its inception in 2012. He is a student at Fairfield College Preparatory School and plays basketball and violin. He loves both reading and helping people that are in need – so from the start, the Wonderland BookSavers has been a perfect fit for him. In this picture Andre is organizing some of the new books the WBS received from First Book when they were in Tennessee. Andre really enjoys spending time with friends and being part of a team of kids who work hard to help their community. His favorite book is Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs. Andre is looking forward to being a Wonderland BookSaver for many years to come.
Brooks Morgan BarryChairman of the Board and founding member My name is Brooks Barry, I am 19 years old and the president and a core founder of the Wonderland BookSavers, Inc. I have been reading, saving and donating books since I was 8 years old. My passion for reading arose from my homeschooled education, in which I was given the opportunity to read an abundance of fascinating literature. I soon realized that others were not given this opportunity, pushing me to save books and donate them around the world as well as throughout my local community. Some of my favorite works of literature include The Lord of the Flies, Their Eyes Were Watching God, MAUS, and Alice in Wonderland. So far we have experienced amazing success in the Wonderland BookSavers. Although I initially began the Wonderland BookSavers to distribute literature, it soon became much more than that. I am proud of the number of communities we have been able to impact and the number of children, young adults, and adults that we have reached. Now, in addition to our 825,000+ books distributed worldwide, we have donated thousands of shoes, school supplies, clothes, sports equipment, blankets and more, as well as helping specific communities such as Kyamaganda Community Development Organization in Lwengo District, Uganda, in establishing a piggery farm, libraries, farm land for their orphanage, and much more. What I am most proud of in the Wonderland BookSavers is the change I’ve seen in the lives we’ve touched. I have personally been in contact with many of our recipients through chats, calls, pen-pal programs, or even photos and videos. I have seen the amazing impact a single book can have and I am excited to continue our work, helping every person we can.
CEO Ex-Officio, and founding member, Claire is a senior at Crown College studying history and education and has been participating as a founding member of the Wonderland BookSavers since its inception in 2012. She is so blessed to be part of this mission toward literacy (2 Timothy 2:21)! Claire leads her college Christian Fellowship program and works to expand the grassroots mission of WBS by hosting blanket-and book-kit events and inviting friends to box books. Her favorite book that she read as a Wonderland BookSaver is A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, because it encourages persistence: the mentality of “one hill, one valley, one day at a time” is the spark behind WBS donating over 400,000 books worldwide, and keeps her and the other teammates inspired to continue this project. Her goals are to sustain the legacy of Wonderland BookSavers by getting others involved, to foster peace and connectivity by starting pen pal relationships between schools in Connecticut and schools in Africa, and to bring “Bridge Pi” information hubs to African schools with USACF so that remote schools can access a variety of curricula in their native dialects. Wonderland BookSavers for Life!
Warehouse Manager Creed is 15 years old and has recently joined the Wonderland BookSavers. As Warehouse Manager, Creed is in charge of seeing that all the books are properly sorted, boxed and weighed for shipping. He has to work hard to keep everything and everyone organized and moving quickly when the trucks arrive. Creed is a member of the Pequot Library’s Banned Book Club, and the Secret Service Club. He hopes to be a Navy SEAL one day.
Head Book & Blanket Division Ella has helped in the Wonderland BookSavers since she was a toddler. She is now 12 years old and is happy to be an official member of the Wonderland BookSavers! Her favorite book is the Bible and her favorite story in the Bible is David and Goliath. David was the youngest of his siblings, and Ella is the one of the youngest members of the Wonderland BookSavers! Even though David was small, he was strong and he killed the giant Goliath – who everyone else was afraid of – with a few stones and a slingshot. Ella, who is also small, is excited to be able to be a strong member of the Wonderland BookSavers, by being in charge of the blanket division. She loves reading and donating books to other children so that they can be happy and learn and enjoy their books.
CEO Ex-Officio Emma has been participating in the Wonderland BookSavers since its establishment in 2012, and is a proud founding member. She is currently 20 years old. She has always immensely enjoyed reading and relating to literature, and being inspired by it. She has recently enjoyed The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This book is about defying the odds and working hard to accomplish whatever the team desires to accomplish, “Perhaps the seeds of redemption lay not just in perseverance, hard work, and rugged individualism. Perhaps they lay in something more fundamental – the simple notion of everyone pitching in and pulling together.”
Assistant Head of Acquisitions and Distribution My name is Emmeline and I am very excited to be part of the Wonderland BookSavers. I love to read and to volunteer. I also love to act, sing and dance, and love everything about musical theater. One of my favorite books I read this year was Inside Out and Back Again by Thanha Lai. It is a book in verse, which I loved, about a little girl named Ha who is a Vietnamese refugee in the United States after the Vietnam War, actually it is the author’s own story. It was very sad but also very inspiring. We were so inspired by Thanha Lai’s story that we held a bake sale at our community bookstore in Brooklyn to raise funds for Syrian refugees. It was a lot of fun. My favorite trip this year was to Peru where I got to teach English and read books with young children. One of my favorite memories was playing chess with one of the children. Elizabeth. I taught her the names of the pieces in English and she taught me a lot about chess! We had a lot of fun. Some of my other favorite books are the Underland Chronicles, Harry Potter and The Land of Stories. I love all my Wonderland BookSaver friends and love bringing books to kids around the world.
Jack Williams “Wills”
Jack William “Wills” is the youngest member of the Wonderland BookSavers at age 10. His favorite activity is boxing books and then weighing the boxes before they are shipped. He also has enjoyed his many trips to the Red Cloud Indian school and meeting the children who attend. Wills’ favorite books are Burgess Seashore and the Hardy Boys Series. In his free time, he loves to do woodworking and play with his puppy Poppy.
Book Club Georgia is a new Wonderland BookSavers member who has already helped load several thousand books onto trucks, sending books to Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. As head of the Book Club segment of the Wonderland BookSavers, Georgia will keep members up to date with the latest reading and discussion topics. She helped make our yearly quotation posters, focusing on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Head of Christian Ministry & Communication I am reading The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson, to a pre-kindergarten class. Can you tell that it is St. Patrick’s Day? Henry has 5 siblings. Activities that he enjoys include playing the violin, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, and soccer. His favorite subject is reading. His favorite book from the Wonderland BookSavers is Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. One of his favorite books outside of the Wonderland BookSavers is Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. He has been a member of Wonderland Booksavers since 2012 and has enjoyed participating in Destination Imagination representing WBS. His favorite community service is Reading for Kindness and looks forward to sharing it with children across the United States and the world.
Ex-Officio A founding member of the Wonderland BookSavers, Maddie possesses an energetic personality as well as an unquenchable curiosity. She strives to become adept at many different activities. Maddie is devoted to reading, sailing, lacrosse and her academics. Her favorite book that she has read in Wonderland BookSavers is Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. She is intrigued by the concept of a dog, an animal of fidelity, shaping a boy into a man as his father is absent during critical years of the boy’s life. Outside of Wonderland BookSavers, Maddie’s favorite book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald since the book accurately describes a society brimming with pleasure yet concealing the unseen plagues which are the fruit of such a lifestyle. Her favorite community service project within Wonderland BookSavers was their first book donation, in 2012, to New Beginnings Family Academy, because it was when she fully understood the importance of books to those who lack literature.
COO Ex-Officio My name is Pierce and I am 22. I have been a member of the Wonderland BookSavers for years. When we first started I helped organize and box all the books. At that time we thought 20 or 50 boxes of books was a lot of boxes. Soon we thought 100 boxes was a lot. Now we can put 100 boxes on a truck and the truck is filled and we still have 100’s more ready to send out across the world. One thing that has been so surprising about this project is the number of kids that have gotten involved. Originally there were just 4, then 7, now 15. In total, we have had over 1,000 kids helping us with our donations. Having two younger brothers, I am accustomed to understanding and communicating with younger children, and I love getting kids excited about reading, books and helping kids around the world get a better education. In this picture I am packaging school supplies that we will be sending to Zimbabwe.
CEO Ex-Officio I am 23 years old, but I have been boxing books and loading trucks with the Wonderland BookSavers since I was 13 years old! My fascination with primary source research and African history has guided my involvement with Wonderland BookSavers. One year I led a National History Day project (along with Maddie and Claire), focusing on King Leopold of Belgium’s Congo Genocide. Providing children in need with opportunities to read is a priority for me because I believe reading is not only the key to success, but also to a life long love of learning. Wonderland BookSavers is special to me because we make positive change in people’s lives by providing them with the resources needed so they can develop their own abilities and strengthen their own environment, thus truly making a world of difference.
In this picture I portray a 10ft. Yeti made of 100% recycled materials who brings both “physical and spiritual warmth to children in need” Destination Imagination Global Finals 2015 Da Vinci Award
President I am 15 years old. I have been collecting, boxing and donating books since age 6. As a child, I loved being able to discover new books as I sorted, choosing ones to read and helping to sort our books into correct categories for donation, always imagining the children who would receive and unpack our books. As I grew older, I was accorded the honor of being the treasurer and I learned the importance of managing financial donations, and keeping accurate records. I learned the importance of explaining our mission so that others could contribute, helping our company grow. Additionally, I joined our team members as we traveled throughout the country, from the East Coast to the West Coast, hand delivering thousands of books to children’s centers throughout the country. Last year I was given the opportunity to become the vice-president. In this position I was responsible for working directly with our donors and recipients, assisting with fundraising campaigns and making decisions regarding which efforts would yield the best results. This year as WBS president, I am responsible not only for the success of our community contributions, but also for inspiring our team. This new position is a bit daunting, but I am looking forward to all the new adventures my team and I will experience as we continue to work towards our goal: Helping children realize the magical awesomeness of reading!
Head of Acquisitions and Distribution My name is Sebastian and I am 19 years old. I am one of the newer members of the Wonderland BookSavers team, joining in 2017, and the first member to live outside of Connecticut, in New York City. I think knowledge is the most valuable and fulfilling gift in the world, and I passionately believe books and reading are the key to knowledge. I am immeasurable grateful to be able to share the love of literature and learning with children all over the world. One of my favorite trips so far was to a shanty town in Lima, Peru where I was able to help paint a community center and a small outside play area, and help build their small but growing library with Spanish language books we brought down. One of my favorite moments in Peru was reading with the children, particularly an I Spy book – the kids were obsessed with finding every last hidden picture and we all erupted in laughter every time as they scrambled over each other to find them. My hobbies are reading, theater and Model UN. My favorite books to date are Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Utopia by Thomas More. Blink is a fascinating book about how humans “thin slice” events, or process lots of information quickly, and let their instincts make quick decisions. Utopia is a 16th century philosophy book with elements of satire, but also political revelation. I love it because of its strange yet logical conclusions, and its hilarious jabs at society. One of the first WBS books I read was A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. It is a book about overwhelming strength in which a teenage boy named Salva leads 1500 Sudanese “Lost Boys” hundreds of miles on foot to safety in Kenya – taking small steps but eventually making it through the worst of circumstances. I think about it often, “Do you see those bushes? You only need to walk as far as those bushes.”
Alison is our founding Team Manager. She has introduced us to our community partners and encourages us as we continually strive to accomplish new goals. She keeps us focused on our goal of global literacy. Alison graduated from School of Visual Arts in New York City, studying fine art photography. She has worked in carnivals as both a puppeteer and face painter. More professionally, she has worked as a business consultant with clients that include Toys R Us, Time, Inc., The Wall Street Journal and many others. Currently, she is Ex-Officio President of the Board of Pequot Library and president of Glimm Analytics. She is the mother of eight children, and a team manager for several National History Day and Destination Imagination teams, all of which have successfully competed, over many years, at the National and Global levels. In addition to supporting the Wonderland BookSavers, Alison enjoys writing for her quirky blog, Homeschool HappyMess.