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Love books? These 12 tiny libraries might steal your heart.

Because everyone should have a book to read.

Love books? These 12 tiny libraries might steal your heart.

Have you spotted one of these in your neighborhood?

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


It's cute, huh? Sort of like an oversized, adorable mailbox you'd see in a fairytale but with books inside.


They're called Little Free Libraries. And they're popping up everywhere.

Any passerby can drop by, pick up a book that piques their interest, and then return a different book they'd like to share. Take a book, give a book, basically!

The coolest part? Anyone can start one. All you have to do is fill a box with some page-turners in a place that's accessible to the folks you want to share with (i.e., your front yard). The box can be built from scratch or purchased.

Then the magic begins!

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


The nonprofit responsible for these charming boxes — named Little Free Library, naturally — has experienced an explosion of interest around its idea. (Seriously, I know explosion sounds dramatic, but the numbers will back me up here.)

Since Little Free Library got off the ground five years ago, 28,000 boxes have sprung up across the globe!

Little Free Libraries are in every American state, every Canadian province, and in 80 other countries around the world. In fact, Little Free Library told Upworthy there's about 40 million books in circulation through their boxes. (And that's a modest estimation.)

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on

This is a simple idea that has a huge effect on kids.

Books are hard to come by for kids in some neighborhoods around the U.S. — and that's putting it lightly. A study published in 2001 found that while each kid in a middle-income area had an average 13 books at their disposable, as few as one book was available for every 300 kids in low-income neighborhoods.

Those book deserts can play a big role in shaping young people's lives, according to Kristine Huson, director of marketing and communications at Little Free Library.

"[Reading can be] the cornerstone to someone having a successful life," she said. That's why the organization works with schools and police departments that are focused on community engagement to put books into the hands of kids who otherwise may not get the chance to read for fun.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on

But don't fret, grownups: Little Free Libraries are for you, too!

While the nonprofit aims to make books more accessible for children, they are also quick to point out the benefits Little Free Libraries offer everyone. Reading, for example, can significantly reduce stress and ward off cognitive decline as we grow older, Huson said.

It can also act as a neighborhood icebreaker. In fact, one communal box of books can transform an entire neighborhood.

"People have said, 'I put a Little Free Library up, and I met more neighbors in a week than I've met in 10 years of home ownership,'" Huson said.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on
A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on


If you decide to build or buy your own Little Free Library, make it official through the organization. This way, your library will be added to the organization's world map, which pinpoints exactly where anyone can find a Little Free Library.

You'll also get a sweet charter sign confirming your library is part of the global network on top of other cool perks.

A photo posted by Little Free Library ® (@littlefreelibrary) on



Isn't it refreshing to know that even in a world with iPhones and flatscreens, sharing a copy of your favorite book can still make a big difference? *sigh*

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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