Join TSLAC for the Spring 2021 #TXBookChat Virtual Series

Please join us for the #TXBookChat series. The Texas Center for the Book recently launched its third lineup of virtual literary events for spring 2021. This online program from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission launched in 2020. The #TXBookChat series offers brief discussions and programs with authors, librarians, and literary professionals. These informal “coffee chats” last about 30 minutes and offer a quick look into different aspects of the state’s literary world. #TXBookChat series seeks to bring together diverse voices and perspectives.

#TXBookChat continued on January 21, with a Graphic Novels for Today’s Readers session, and you may watch the recording here. There are three more conversations scheduled for the spring. All programs begin at 11:00 a.m. CST.

  • February 11 Love of Writing: Fueling Literary Dreams – Join author and Texas Center for the Book Coordinator Rebekah Manley in discussion about her debut book and the sparks that keep her writing dreams burning bright.
  • March 25 How to Participate in Read Across Texas – Get the inside scoop on how to participate in this year’s statewide community read on the theme of Recovery.
  • April 15 National Student Poet of the Southwest: Texan Ethan Wang – Join the 2020 National Student Poet of the Southwest for a poetry reading and discussion of his work.

“The Texas Center for the Book is so excited to reach even more book lovers in 2021,” said Coordinator Rebekah Manley. “Our book chats bring Texas authors, illustrators, librarians, and literacy advocates into readers’ homes, and we have some wonderful discussions planned for our third installment.”

The events take place on the Zoom platform, and registration is required. Visit to learn more about upcoming events and reserve your spot.

Texas Center for the Book Seeks Literary Landmark Applications

Literary Landmark Roundup header - logo surronded by red lasso

There is one week left to enter into the Texas Center for the Book’s 2021 Literary Landmark Roundup! This is a project to increase the number of official Literary Landmark sites in Texas. The Center seeks nominations from libraries, historical associations, Chambers of Commerce, educational institutions, museums, and literary societies, among others. Nominations are being accepted online at through February 8, 2021.

Literary Landmarks are special places located across the country that attract tourists, book lovers, and history buffs to educate the public about the important literary works and history in their state. Made possible by funding from the Summerlee Foundation of Dallas, this special push for more Texas landmarks will provide funds to cover the application fee, which also includes cost of the foundry-made Literary Landmark plaque, and will assist local institutions in creating awareness of the site’s importance to the state’s literary heritage.

To apply to become one of five new Texas sites through the Literary Landmark Roundup, first identify a site in your community. A Literary Landmark is a location tied to a deceased literary figure, author(s), and/or their work. It could be a writer’s home or birthplace, a library where work was crafted or is housed, an author’s burial site, a special place where literary figures met and discoursed, or an establishment where an author worked or did research. Creative applications are encouraged.

The second step is collecting and submitting the information needed to nominate the site, including a location description, background material, a bibliography, named groups or individuals who will be responsible for the site, an outline of plans for a dedication ceremony (in person or virtual), and a publicity strategy. The deadline to apply online is Monday, February 8.

Five new Literary Landmark sites will be notified by March 15. These qualifying sites will receive funding and support to finalize their Literary Landmark. With assistance from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, 2021 Literary Landmark Roundup recipients must submit their official application to United for Libraries, the national organization that administers the program, by May 1, 2021.

A list of Literary Landmarks by state can be found on the United for Libraries website.

2020 Texas Great Read Selection Butterfly Yellow Available Statewide as a Free e-Book

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and the Texas Center for the Book are thrilled to announce that any resident of Texas will be able to read the 2020 Texas Great Read, Thanhhà Lại’s award-winning young adult novel Butterfly Yellow, free online through E-Read Texas, from Nov. 16 – Jan. 16. 

TSLAC is partnering with Biblioboard to make this and thousands of other e-books available to Texas residents. The Biblioboard website is geofenced so that any user located in Texas can access it, no login or password required. And there are no simultaneous user restrictions, so that means there are no holds or waitlists. A special web page has been set up for Butterfly Yellow and can be accessed via the Texas Great Read web page by clicking on the “Read the Book” link.

In addition to the full text of the Butterfly Yellow e-book, readers and teachers across Texas will be able to access multimedia support materials, including interviews with the author, teaching guides, and other resources from Teaching Books/Book Connections. Libraries looking to promote the availability of the e-book to their patrons can visit the Texas Great Read webpage to download promotional graphics and blurbs to help in marketing.

Public libraries that participate in E-Read Texas can also access the Butterfly Yellow e-book through their SimplyE app, along with thousands of other e-books. E-Read Texas is a recently launched statewide e-book program made available to eligible public libraries in Texas. The collection currently includes more than 6,000 high-quality e-books from top publishers. While many of the e-books in the collection have limits on the number of simultaneous users, more than half the e-books are available for simultaneous use with no wait lists or holds. To learn more about E-Read Texas, please visit the E-Read Texas webpage, or contact Karen McElfresh.

A linkable graphic that has the text "Texas Great Read" and shows the book cover and the logos of the partnering organizations.

About the Book

In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.

Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn’t know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her.

Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn’t remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.

About the Author

Thanhhà Lại is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Inside Out & Back Again, her debut novel in verse, winner of the National Book Award and a Newbery Honor, and Listen, Slowly, honored with inclusion on numerous “book of the year” lists. Lại was born in Viêt Nam and lives in New York with her family. Lại is also the founder of Viet Kids Inc., a non-profit that changes the lives of Vietnamese students through the purchase of bicycles, tuition, uniforms, and rice. For information about Lại and her work, visit

Applications NOW BEING ACCEPTED for $200 Lone Star Día Grants from First Book

The Texas Center for the Book has partnered with First Book to help libraries and literacy nonprofits celebrate Children’s Day, Book Day!

The Lone Star Día Grant program is open to libraries and literacy nonprofit organizations serving children in need. We invite you to apply for a $200 credit toward brand new books from the First Book Marketplace to help support your upcoming Día celebration in April 2020!

To learn more about the guidelines and application process, visit our Lone Star Día page.

Please note, grants are awarded in the order they are received. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible. We have a limited number of Amazon gift cards to share with libraries and literacy nonprofits that do not qualify for First Book Marketplace. Therefore, be sure to both sign up with First Book and fill out the Lone Star Día Grant application to qualify.

Children's Day, Book Day. Lone Star Día
Book Grants Available, Spring 2020

$2,000 Texas Center for the Book Literacy award: Nominate a literacy-based organization by Sept. 1!

We’re passing along the following information from our friends at the Texas Center for the Book! For more information, please see the full press release.

TCFB Literacy Award Graphic

Dear Literacy Fan,

Please help a worthy, literacy-based organization receive $2,000. The short nomination form is due by Sept. 1.

The winning organization receives a $2,000 cash award to assist in its future work promoting reading and combating illiteracy. Additionally, an honorable mention recipient will receive $500. The Literacy Award is formally presented during the Annual Texas Authors Celebration that kicks off the Texas Book Festival in the fall.

Nonprofit organizations whose primary purpose is to support and encourage literacy are eligible. Anyone may submit a nomination, and eligible organizations are encouraged to self-nominate. This award is made possible by the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas and was inspired by the Library of Congress Literacy Awards. The winner will receive the Texas Center for the Book’s nomination for the 2020 Library of Congress State Literacy Award.

While this award promotes partnerships with libraries, please note that library friends organizations, public libraries, school and academic libraries, and other library entities are not eligible for nomination. However, these entities are encouraged to nominate literacy organizations within their local and/or regional communities.

By Sept. 1, please nominate here:

Thank you for your time,


Rebekah Manley, MFA

Coordinator | Texas Center for the Book

Free Books and Webinar for Statewide Community Read

The Texas Center for the Book (TCFB) recently launched their second statewide community read. Read Across Texas – Know Your Neighbor: Cultivating Communities of Compassion kicks off this spring, with libraries throughout the state signing up to host reading and discussion programs.

Find out more at our webinar on Tues., Mar. 19 at 2:00pm Central when TCFB’s Coordinator Rebekah Manley will discuss the resources and book grants. Our special guest Rev. Jennifer Elisa Veninga, Ph.D. will give insight on leading conversations about compassion. Dr. Veninga is a Professor of Religious and Theological Studies from the School of Arts and Humanities at St. Edward’s University in Austin.

Please note, there are limited book grants available through the Read Acoss Texas program. If you are interested in doing this program, be sure to submit an application for your books asap: