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Book drive for unaccompanied immigrant children kicks off July 10

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Book drive for children being held in U.S. border facilities is planned
La Casa Azul bookstore in East Harlem to gather books for minors detained after crossing border alone

A New York bookstore is launching a book drive for unaccompanied immigrant children on July 10. The shop, La Casa Azul Bookstore, asks that the books be new or gently used, for pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, culturally appropriate and in Spanish.

About 50,000 unaccompanied minors from Mexico and Central America have arrived at U.S. facilities on the border of Mexico since Oct. 1. The underequipped immigration facilities are not prepared to handle that volume of children crossing the border alone.

Some of these unaccompanied minors are being moved to other parts of the country. It's those who are being transferred to New York for deportation proceedings that La Casa Azul book drive will benefit.

La Casa Azul is collaborating with the Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/Safe Passage Project to make sure the books reach the children facing deportation.

"Bookstore staff will deliver books to local shelters and provide them directly to children and teenagers who are currently in deportation proceedings," the site explains.

Books for the drive can be purchased at La Casa Azul, in East Harlem. New and gently used books can also be shipped there. The book drive will take place from July 10 to Aug. 10.

The bookstore does not have an online storefront, but e-mail inquiries about the book drive, in English or Spanish, can be sent to


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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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