Dec 22 2011
12:09 pm

My daughter is a newly-certified English teacher at Austin-East and has asked if our law firm could purchase a large number of copies (50-100) of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" for students' use. I'd like to do this, but am at an absolute loss as to the most efficient and cost-effective way to go about it. Any (good) ideas?


gonzone's picture

First check the used book

First check the used book stores. McKays around her may have many good copies. It probably doesn't matter that they have been a little used as I'm sure she plans to use them for many years as a resource.

I would personally contribute to putting such a fine work of literature into the hands of students.

knoxrebel's picture

Thanks! We read that book

Thanks! We read that book together when she was about 11 and it has always been her favorite, and mine as well. Keep the ideas coming folks, as I think this is a worthwhile effort. And thanks for the offer to help.

Pam Strickland's picture

Excellent idea. Buying from

Excellent idea. Buying from the publisher in bulk is a great savings.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

I would ask the publisher or

I would ask the publisher or Scholastic about purchasing in bulk for a donation. Be sure you use the words "for a donation" in your request. Please make sure your daughter knows about DonorsChoose.

gonzone's picture

Donors Choose is a great

Donors Choose is a great idea! They will purchase classroom items for teachers.

Pam Strickland's picture

And get the larger amount.

And get the larger amount. They always come on handy over the years. If you need help getting in touch with the publishers, I'm sure the fine folks at Union Ave. Books would be glad to help you with that.

onetahiti's picture

places to try

Try First Book ((link...)). They have new books at 80-90% off retail.

I'd also try AKJ Books ((link...)), an educational books wholesaler. They offer 20% off on any order, 30% on orders over $150, and 35% on orders over $5,000.

That said, often Amazon still offers the best price.

For used books, try or Amazon.

Or, spread the cost around by using

-- OneTahiti

marytheprez's picture

Hey, I put your query on my FB book page and

I expect lots of good feed back. My daughter loved it so much, my grandson has "Atticus" in his name...she influenced her inlaws to name one of their new twin babies to name one of them "harper"...and she works at Lawson McGhee...maybe she will send a few suggestions!

Mark Harmon's picture

One suggestion to add

These all are good suggestions. The only one I can add is that many schools, colleges, and libraries used this book as a required reading for a book discussion program. Some may have leftovers willing to donate or sell at a very reduced rate.

Bird_dog's picture

Splendid book

My grand niece is named Harper. Harper Lee's neighbor was Truman Capote, aka Dill Harris from meridian mis'ippi. Truman Capote's Mother's first husband was my friend's late father, got it? Too Southern... I picked up a free copy that was taken out of circulation from the library.

Gregg Lonas's picture

check here:

onetahiti's picture



-- OneTahiti

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Yes, McKay's always has a good supply of To Kill a Mockingbird, likely due in part to the fact that for several years the title has been required summer reading for Knox County's rising ninth graders headed into Honors English.

As for Scholastic, be aware that they operate a warehouse--and conduct an annual "warehouse sale" open to the public--in nearby in Alcoa. I'm sorry to learn of A-E's need only today, though, because that annual sale ended yesterday, the 21st! Generally, they offer many (most, really) titles for just 50 cents each.

Also, around March, your daughter may want to visit the Friends of the Knox County Public Library's annual sale--especially toward the end of that week, when prices drop even further and culminate in a $2-a-bag bonanza on the last day (Saturday). Many of these books are new ones, not withdrawn from the shelves, that have been donated from Friends specifically to raise funds for the sale.

Then too, snapping up in bulk the most recent of the library's "community read" titles is a great way for an English teacher to inexpensively supply every student in her class a copy of some classic she'd like to have the class read. One year, Powell High's English Department Head was nearly in tears when I was able to offer her 30 copies of Ernest Gaines' A Gathering of Old Men, acquired at the Friends sale following its having been a "community read" title. There, too, I paid just 50 cents each (thanks, Jim Ullrich).

Although I wouldn't suggest snooping out a specific title this way, your daughter can get the very best prices on books in thrift stores. Goodwill's price on children's/young adults' titles is 4/$1.00, except that all seven stores put on a storewide half-price sale on the last weekend of every month, making children's/young adults books 8/$1.00.

Community Chest, on Broadway in North Knox and on Emory Road in Powell, tops even that: Their everyday price for paperbacks is 10 cents each or 12 for $1.00! Over the last 15 years, I have put literally thousands of books in the school-level and classroom-level libraries of my community's schools this way, the vast majority of them Newbery Award-winning titles.

One very last thought is to be mindful of the condition of any used books you may purchase for kids and teens, as many DO "judge a book by its cover," especially reluctant readers. We can better ensure that they'll pick them up if we offer only clean, undamaged copies with current-looking graphics/pix.

(I'm also glad to help with your daughter's request--although I'll need to get through the next few days of holiday furor first.)

knoxrebel's picture

Much thanks!

I really appreciate everyone pitching in with these great ideas. From all of this, and our own research, I'm confident we can get this done in time for the next semester. Again, thanks a bunch for your time and attention to a worthwhile effort.

Don Daugherty

Bbeanster's picture

Good luck with this, Don.

Good luck with this, Don. Your daughter works for one of my favorite principals and I'm sure he'll take note of her dedication.

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