Books on Bases


Books on Bases was created by Blue Star Families to positively impact the lives of military children through the power of reading. With the generosity of partners and supporters such as Disney, BAE Systems, Sleeping Bear Press, Operation Paperback, United Concordia and Random House, Blue Star Families donates books to military children, base libraries, Department of Defense schools, military-impacted public schools, and community libraries.

Children of military families face unique challenges when their parent(s) are absent for long periods. They frequently move, experience life changes 
and their friendships are affected by their geographic location. This lack of stability can impact their education, interests and outlook on life.  

One of the best ways to promote literacy in children is to read to and with children, as often as possible. A book is a toolbox for a child, teaching them societal, cultural and historical information in relatable ways. A book also offers opportunity for escapism, stress-life, self-expression and dialogue over thoughtful matters that may otherwise be difficult.

The Books on Bases program offers reading material to military children via donations to local and base libraries, Department of Defense schools and military-impacted public schools. With generous contributions from corporate and nonprofit partners, Blue Star Families holds donation drives and read-along sessions for children to enjoy, connect with other children and experience the warmth of caring adults.

How it began

On September 10th,  2009, Blue Star Families and K.I.D.S launched the National Books on Bases, Smiles on Faces program with an event in Fayetteville, NC.  The Ft. Bragg event included the distribution of approximately 4000 books to military base libraries as well as every DOD school in the state of NC and approximately 20 military impacted public schools in the local area.  Children with parents serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard benefited from this significant donation to their schools and libraries.  The educational impact of library donation is far greater than direct donation to children. 

Since the launch in 2009, Blue Star Families has distributed books to military children, and military-impacted schools and libraries across the country. These books will provide on-going support in the effort to promote literacy in America’s children. To date Books on Bases has distributed over 100,000 books and impacted over 120,000 military children worldwide. If you'd like to bring Books on Bases to your military community, email Check out the map below to see all the many places BOB has landed. 

This year’s Read Across America day theme was “Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat!"  

BSF organized nine events across the country. The Read Across America campaign is headed by the National Education Association (NEA).  This is the program’s 16th year, working to motivate children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. Check out the downloadable activity kit below! 

Read Across America Activity Kit 

Read Aloud Day was March 6 and Blue Star Families’ Books on Bases prepared four classroom outreach events in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Fort Meade, Maryland, Pennsylvania and in Stuttgart, Germany where Carmen Carlisle, the BSF Chapter Director, read to first grade and third students. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.  

Who We Are

Blue Star Families is a bridge between military families, the shapers of policy affecting military life, and the nation.  Our members are military spouses, parents, and families from all branches of service, including National Guard and Reserve. The American military is the most diverse on the planet and our members are equally diverse. Our members are of every age, race, sex, religion, political affiliation and service member rank.  Blue Star Families seeks to connect, support and empower military families by offering solutions that make military family life more sustainable.

Get Books for Kids in Your Military Community