Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Little Libraries, Big Heroes” as Want to Read:
Little Libraries, Big Heroes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Little Libraries, Big Heroes

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  601 ratings  ·  117 reviews
From an award-winning author and illustrator, the inspiring story of how the Little Free Library organization brings communities together through books, from founder Todd Bol's first installation to the creation of more than 75,000 mini-libraries around the world. ...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Clarion
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Little Libraries, Big Heroes, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tori My sister's LFL is doing well, so far. She has had it about three months. It is in her front yard and on a street where people walk a lot. She leaves …moreMy sister's LFL is doing well, so far. She has had it about three months. It is in her front yard and on a street where people walk a lot. She leaves it full of best sellers and literary books and they are taken quite a lot. I think it can depend on the neighborhood it is in and if anyone is tending it. Thank you for taking care of those you find!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  601 ratings  ·  117 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Little Libraries, Big Heroes
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
A full 5 stars book for me!

I love Little Free Libraries but I’d never known how they had started. This book educated me.

The story of the founder(s) is so touching and so interesting. I appreciate how the original founder had difficulty reading when young and how when as an adult mourning the death of his mother (who’d always encouraged him) he came up with this idea as a way to share the books his mother loved and as a way to strengthen a feeling of community in his neighborhood.

The story is t
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing

A colorful telling of the inception and growth of the Little Free Library movement, from creator, Todd Bill’s childhood love of reading to his desire to share such after his mother, another avid reader, passed away. Starting the expansion with friend, Rick, they began to make more Libraries out of scrap wood and offer them up locally. That gave way to road trip dispersal and finally to a mail order nonprofit that, as of last count, has about 80,000 registered LFL’s worldwide.

Highlighting a few
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I also love libraries and the idea of the Little Free Library (and have been fortunate enough to see some around, though we have yet to build our own) and I enjoyed reading about how the idea began and flourished. I love books that feature "everyday" heroes, and especially books where children are able to be heroes. I love that this shows how libraries can be so very necessary, that bringing books to people can be a heroic act, and that any one, even in difficult circumstances or even if one is ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A perfect non-fiction story for a picture book, with stand-out art from John Parra.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Book & Library Lovers / Readers Looking for Children's Books About Making a Difference
Author Miranda Paul and illustrator John Parra join forces in this inspiring picture-book examination of the "Little Free Library" movement, from its creation to its worldwide growth and influence. Conceived by Minnesotan Todd Bol, who had struggled with his own reading as a boy, and who, as an adult man, was mourning the death of his mother, the first "Little Free Library" was intended to bring people together, offering a space where readers could exchange books. A small, play-sized wooden "sch ...more
Laura Hook
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book sharing the history and power of Little Free Libraries across the world. Also a great Author's Note at the end. I can't wait to read to my students at school and then take them out to show our LFL we have. ...more
How the Little Free Library began and how it’s grown.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

Little Libraries, Big Heroes is about the man who started the free little libraries - the who, what, how, when, where and why of it all. It has cute illustrations to accompany the story.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book chronicling the start of the Little Free Libraries movement. Todd Bol and Rick Brooks started a movement of providing books and dreams and stories to everyone, especially where there were none. This book is a beautiful telling of their story. Excellent illustrations as well.
Laura Miller
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Little Libraries, Big Heroes is a fun informational book for grades kindergarten through 5th grade. It is easy for students to relate to. The book paints a beautiful story of Todd Bol, who did not believe he was capable of being a hero; but that did not stop him. Todd’s inspiration illustrates to students that it only takes one person to make a difference. Little Libraries, Big Heroes is an encouraging read for students to never give up. It teaches students that if something does not work out, t ...more
Amy Layton
With cozy and colorful illustrations, Little Libraries, Big Heroes tells the story of Little Free Libraries.  It's a topic perfectly fit for a picture book, given that many children are actually ambassadors for multiple LFLs!  This book is both a biography and a history, as Todd Bol's childhood and adulthood formed him to be the book- and community-lover that he is today.  And even more interesting, perhaps, is the way in which he created the idea for a Little Free Library, and eventually enacte ...more
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting story of how the Little Free Libraries came to be. I was amazed at how quickly this phenomenon spread across the world.
I love this true story! Very encouraging and inspiring. 📚
Melinda Bender
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fun look at the inspiration of how the little libraries came to be and how the sensation of establishing a community library grew across America. Fostering the love of reading is something that anyone can help to do by adding a little library to their neighborhood. Inspiring book!
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An exciting book about the power of ideas, how an everyday person can start something big, and the impact of reading!
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is all about inspiration! Inspiration can take place in the life of a very ordinary person, making their life not so ordinary. Enter Todd “ordinary” kid who had an encouraging mother who told him “he could do anything.” Todd struggled with reading as he was growing up. But after his mother passed away, as an adult, he wanted to celebrate her love of reading. And thus, the first Little Free Library was born. Be sure to pay attention to the valuable author notes at the back of t ...more
Jenna Grodzicki
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have long been intrigued by the idea of the Little Free Libraries (LFL). What an amazing way to get books into the hands of readers. This book highlights the life of LFL founder Todd Bol, and the incredible impact his creation has made. LFL can now be found all over the world, including areas where access to books was previously limited and refugee camps where people had no books of their own. Miranda Paul highlights the power of books and the idea that even young people can help make a differ ...more
Abby Johnson
This colorful, exuberant book tells the story of Little Free Library founders Todd Bol and Rick Brooks and how they became everyday heroes by getting their idea for little, free libraries off the ground. There are now more than 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries in 88 countries around the world and it all started with an ordinary Wisconsin guy who wanted to commemorate his book-loving mother.

Pair this with other books that celebrate books and the power of reading to build a community, like
I've worked in libraries for many years, I've known of "Little Free Libraries" for quite some time, but it took a childrens' picture book to teach me about their start! I'm biased, of course, but I love the concept of Little Free Libaries. And I like the angle of this picture book, how there are everyday, ordinary heroes making important contributions to society...even the smallest gesture makes an impact! ...more
Michelle Schaub
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Little Libraries, Big Heroes is the engaging biography of Todd Bol, the founder of the Little Free Library movement, but it is also much more. It’s an inspiring account of how ordinary people can spread an extraordinary idea. Miranda Paul’s writing is top notch and John Parra’s illustrations reinforce the magic of this book and Little Free Libraries all around the world.
Ben Truong
Little Libraries, Big Heroes is a children's picture book written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by John Parra. It about a book-sized celebration and history of the Little Free Library movement created and started by Todd Bol.

Todd Herbert Bol was the creator and founder of Little Free Library, a global public bookcase nonprofit organization. In 2009, he used wood from his old garage door to make the first library-on-a-stick as a tribute to his mother, while living in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Paul's te
Cara (Wilde Book Garden)
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Oh my gosh I love this so much.

This short little picture book manages to perfectly capture the power and beauty and glory of storytelling, and the worth and strength of ordinary people, in just a few beautifully illustrated pages.

This book is I think officially affiliated with the Little Free Library program, and naturally (since it is a biography/timeline of the creators and the program) focuses on their work specifically, but I never felt like they were being pushy or sales-oriented.

Also, a fe
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Within our towns and cities are people making a difference; not asking anything in return they share their good deeds with others. Read about Tod Bol (1956-2018) and Rick Brooks’ brilliant brainwave in “Little Libraries, Big Heroes,” a true story by Miranda Paul about how the men made book-sharing available 24-7.
You might think Tod was an avid reader as a kid—not so—he struggled but his mom was a teacher, spent her life teaching reading and reminding her son that he was gifted in ways he might
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The day before Christmas 2019, someone knocked at our front door and was gone by the time my husband answered the bell. There was a gift on our front porch - a book entitled Little Libraries, Big Heroes, signed by a couple with a big Thank You! This is because I have a Little Free Library (have had it for years now) and it is used by many passers-by. I've been left many thank notes and sometimes pictures from youngsters which is always a treat. This is a wonderful book - all about the founders o ...more
I purchased this book at my fall Highlights workshop, read it, then put it away to share. I don't have a Little Free Library and wish I did, but this story of one small idea started by Todd Bol, the founder of this movement is so inspiring, perhaps especially for booklovers everywhere. Miranda Paul narrates it from start to the worldwide success, showing young Todd supported by his mom after a hurtful comment at school. After her death, he wanted to share her love of reading with others, hammer ...more
Sheri Levasseur
I will never pass another free little library again and wonder if it's not one of Todd Bol and Rick Brooks inventions. The craze seems to have hit all parts of the U.S. and globally. I love this story not only because it is about the little free libraries, but about ordinary heroes and how one person can bring people together. From an instructional standpoint, this could easily be included in a unit about civics, heroes, volunteerism or even libraries, themselves. Pair it with a fave of mine, th ...more
“How many libraries could two ordinary guys create? How far could ordinary people spread an idea? They agreed on one thing—they wanted to find out.”

Anyone can be a hero. Heroic actions don’t have to be grandiose. Ordinary people with ordinary actions can get extraordInary results. Such is the story of the Little Free Libraries that were the brainchild of Todd Bol and Rick Brooks. Inspired by his mom teaching the neighborhood kids to read, Tod built his first Free Library and installed it in his
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Todd Bol, the creator of the Little Free Library movement. I appreciate any story of someone who sees a need and works to fill it. Anyone who works to get books into the hands of those that don't have them is a hero in my book.
But I just have never really warmed to the LFL movement. Sure, the little boxes on someone's front lawn are cute. But as a librarian, I believe we have Big Free Libraries in nearly every school, town, and city in the country. Staffed by trained librar
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-6-biography
Little Free Libraries are scattered around our community, we even have one at our school. They have become so popular, and are created and cared for around the world. It's delightful that Miranda Paul chose to introduce readers to Todd Bol, the inventor of the concept and actual design and creation of the Free Little Library. A struggling reader himself when he was very young, through the encouragement of his mother he developed a special appreciation for books. With the help of a friend, they e ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m not crying, you’re crying. No but really, this book made me cry. It’s not only the poignant story of the founder of the Little Free Library movement, Todd Bol, but also of all the other ordinary people and stewards, from kids to teachers to your next door neighbor, who have helped spread free access to books through Little Free Libraries all around the world, and through them helped to strengthen their communities around the shared joy of books and reading.

Also the artwork is gorgeous (by J
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom
  • The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
  • Just Like Beverly: A Biography of Beverly Cleary
  • Nana Akua Goes to School
  • A Map Into the World
  • Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
  • Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist
  • Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando
  • Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival
  • The Evil Princess vs. the Brave Knight
  • What Is a Refugee?
  • My Papi Has a Motorcycle
  • The Great Santa Stakeout
  • Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border
  • The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come
  • Finding Narnia: The Story of C. S. Lewis and His Brother
  • Butterflies on the First Day of School
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Miranda Paul has worked as a teacher, volunteer zookeeper, and freelance writer--among other things. She is passionate about creating stories for young readers that inspire, entertain, and broaden horizons. Miranda is also a thrill-seeker, and one of her bravest moments involved reciting poetry from inside a crocodile pit. (Yikes!)

In addition to being a picture book author, Miranda is a team membe

Related Articles

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
45 likes · 65 comments