Little Girl’s Books Lost in Fire Replaced by Authors Across America

Little Girl’s Books Lost in Fire Replaced by Authors Across America

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Heidi VanSumeren has always been a voracious reader and writer, long before a fire destroyed her family’s house and the 8-year old found herself without her beloved possessions–her books.

Children’s book illustrator and author Bob Shea met her at an elementary school reading event and was moved to action by her loss.

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Shea used Twitter to call his followers to rally behind the young girl.

Fans hearing Heidi’s story of bravery started sending their love in every form: books, book shelves, pencils, letters of encouragement – even furniture. The outpouring of support came not only from Shea’s fans, but from librarians and children’s authors all over the world.

Heidi received enough books in the mail to fill a library of her own.


“It was a simple thing,” Bob Shea told MLive. “She’s a sweet little girl. She loves books and needs books. I said, ‘I can help.’”

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Since her story made national news, Heidi and her family have expressed appreciation for receiving the mailed gifts and storing them at her grandmother’s house in Michigan while they take time to get back on their feet once again.

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