By Lynne Adkins

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Hundreds of young Camden schoolchildren had the chance today to pick out free books, to keep and enjoy.

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The book giveaway is the brainchild of 14-year-old Alexa Grabelle of Voorhees, NJ (photo below), who for four years has collected more than 50,000 donated books and given them away to needy children.

(Alexa Grabelle, in 2014 photo by KYW's Cherri Gregg)

(Alexa Grabelle, in 2014 photo by KYW’s Cherri Gregg)


Grabelle says the organization she founded at age 10, Bags of Books, was created to keep kids learning over the summer and loving reading.

“The students can shop for books of their choice, books that they’re interested in, so they can start their own personal libraries,” she explained to KYW Newsradio.

With so many free books, how do you choose?  Go with a favorite.

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“Um, my favorite is princesses,” said one little girl.  Can she read it by herself?   “Almost!”

The 500 students circulated up and down the aisles, shopping bags in hand, making selections.

“I got Bob the Builder — it’s my favorite!” said one.

And that little girl we spoke with earlier was delighted to share her finds: “It’s a princess book!  And Strawberry Shortcake.”

Other popular choices included books on football, magic, and ghost stories.


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