Another book desert might be getting a little rain, as book vending machines come to Detroit, thanks to JetBlue Airways. Daily Detroit reports that some parts of the Michigan city have "only one book for 42 children." JetBlue will install book vending machines in five Detroit community centers, as part of its Soar with Reading program.
This isn't the first time JetBlue showcased its dedication to literacy. During the summer of 2015, southeast Washington, D.C. got book vending machines from the airline. Most of machines were taken down once the summer was over, and it seems that the Detroit installations' time is similarly limited.
That's not to say that JetBlue's book vending machines can't do good things for children in Detroit, however. Kids ages 14 and younger can take out free books — 100,000 total — which are theirs to keep. The book vending machines are intended to help children in book deserts — that is, areas without adequate book stores and libraries — build home libraries, which strongly influence children's future success.
Titles available in Detroit's new book vending machines include Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt, The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and 17 Magic Treehouse installments by Mary Pope Osborne.