Happy Birthday, Mr. Schu!

Today’s blog post is by Erica Perl, First Book’s director of publisher relations and the author of many delightful children’s books.

This Sunday is a very special day. It is the birthday of a friend of First Book and of mine, an inspired educator, blogger and children’s books advocate: John Schumacher, the man we all know as Mr. Schu.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Schu!I knew of Mr. Schu long before we actually met. My already-high opinion of him (School Library Journal Mover-and-Shaker and cover boy that he is) went through the roof this summer as I received photos, videos, emails and tweets about his Adventures Out West, a kidlit roadtrip he took with many of his favorite new books in tow.

Whether at the Grand Canyon or Las Vegas or Standing-On-A-Corner-In-Winslow-Arizona, Mr. Schu is always a fine sight to see (I dubbed him Johnny Orangeseed because one of the books he carried cross-country proudly was my When Life Gives You O.J.). He always has a book in his hand, a smile on his face and something positive to say about authors, bookstores, libraries, and children’s books he loves. Returning home from these adventures, did he kick back and put his feet up? Noooo! It was back to school time and he was determined to bring fabulous books to kids not just his library but the whole school (bathrooms included!). Books to kids, the motto of First Book, is what Mr. Schu eats, sleeps, and breathes.

That’s why some of Mr. Schu’s friends proposed the idea of donating to First Book in his name as a birthday gift. We discussed the fact that Mr. Schu has a LOT of friends and fans, all of whom love him and everything he stands for. So we decided to open this up to everyone who wants to provide books to kids in need (for all sorts of good reasons, and especially in honor of Mr. Schu’s birthday). If you’d like to participate – and, for extra fun, have First Book send Mr. Schu an e-card to let him know that you did — just click here and give whatever feels appropriate. By the way, Mr. Schu’s email address is mrschureads at gmail dot com (you need this for the e-card part at the bottom of the donation page). You can also go visit a local Title I school in your area and help them register (easy! online!) with First Book, if you’d like!

Follow @firstbook and help spread the word by sharing and retweeting this blog post and using the hashtag #happybdaymrschu all weekend and beyond to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR. SCHU!

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Posted in Authors & Illustrators, Books & Reading
6 comments on “Happy Birthday, Mr. Schu!
  1. Colby Sharp says:

    I am so thankful for all I have learned from the amazing Mr. Schu!

  2. Erica Perl says:

    He is a peach, isn’t he? I hope he’s watching and enjoying this with a big slice of cake… and a good book!

  3. pb! says:


  4. Mr. Schu says:

    I am speechless! Thank you for your kind birthday wishes. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  5. Mrs. P says:

    Happy Birthday! Reading is cool and so are you!
    Your friend,
    Mrs. P