Free books for nonprofits and juvenile detention centers. Sample books for schools.

links image map Newbery Books Caldecott Books C.S. King Books Ages 9 Up  Tweens Young Adult Baby / Pre K Picture Books Special Collection / Poetry Fairy Tales Bully Books History / Social Studies Black History Women in History Native American Science and Math Nature Nature Links Educational / Homework Language Arts Art and Games Music and Dance ETC Outreach News I Want to Contribute ETC Newsletter Home Page Search Site Email ETC Welcome to Embracing the Child
Nonprofits and Juvenile Detention Centers: To apply for free books, complete the survey and return by email. Please Note BLUFORD in Subject Line.

Traditional Schools - Are you aware that you can purchase the Bluford Series books for $1 each directly from the publisher, Townsend Press
If you would like a sample set of Bluford (survey completion not required),
1. Please email with SAMPLE BLUFORD in the subject line.
2. Include within the body of the email: Your Name, School/Organization, and complete shipping address and ZIP. No PO boxes. No home addresses.
Please limit your requests to two teachers per school. If you do not receive books, it means that the 2 set limit has been reached for your school.
Please follow instructions. Our arrangement with the publisher does not allow us to make exceptions.
Email with any questions. Please do not call.
Thank you.

The Bluford Series

The Bluford Series novels from Townsend Press were written to appeal to both intermediate and advanced readers. While content in the series is sophisticated enough for high school students and beyond, the reading level for the novels is between 5th and 6th grade. Each novel contains less than 200 pages, encouraging even reluctant readers to read from cover to cover. Topics, themes, and situations in the Bluford Series were chosen to engage students' real-life experiences. By having immediate relevance to students' lives, the books are more likely to keep students' interest--and teach them the value and pleasure of reading.

Taking into account recent research on gender and reading, an effort was made to ensure that students of both sexes would find the Bluford books appealing. To account for the varied preferences of young readers, the Bluford Series includes elements of many popular genres for this age group, including mystery, romance, action, and a touch of the supernatural.

Brief description of the books in the Bluford Series (Note there are sequels.)

Lost and Found: This, the first book in the series, centers on the life of Bluford sophomore Darcy Wills. Darcy contends with the return of her long-absent father, the troubling behavior of her younger sister Jamee, and the beginning of her first relationship.

A Matter of Trust: The sequel to Lost and Found, this book centers on Darcy's growing conflict with her old friend, Brisana Meeks. Amid jealousy and competition, Darcy fights for her relationship with Hakeem Randall and struggles with her fears over her own family's future.

Secrets in the Shadows: This book focuses on Roylin Bailey, a Bluford sophomore who appears in A Matter of Trust. Roylin makes a terrible mistake: He steals money to buy a gift for the girl of his dreams and finds himself in a nightmare he cannot escape.

Someone to Love Me: This story is about Cindy Gibson, a Bluford freshman who first appears in Lost and Found. Cindy struggles with a stormy relationship with her mother, ongoing trouble at school, a dangerous boyfriend, and worse. Will her fragile family survive?

The Bully: Darrell Mercer, a 9th grader at Bluford, is at the center of this story. Darrell and his mother move to the Bluford area in the middle of the school year. Physically smaller than his peers, Darrell quickly becomes a target for Tyray Hobbs, the freshman class bully.

The Gun: The sequel to The Bully, this book is about Bluford freshman Tyray Hobbs, the tormentor of Darrell Mercer. The tale traces Tyray's troubled home life, his desire to rebuild his reputation, and his quest to get revenge on Darrell, the only boy who ever stood up to him.

Until We Meet Again: Sequel to A Matter of Trust, this story continues the tale of the Wills family. Darcy learns that Hakeem, her first boyfriend, is moving out of the state. Then her grandmother's health declines and a mysterious new person comes into her life.

Blood Is Thicker: This sequel to Until We Meet Again follows the story of Hakeem Randall after his move to Detroit. Far from Bluford High, Hakeem quickly finds himself in a world of trouble, and his family is at the center of it. To complicate matters, a new girl hopes to make him forget Darcy forever.

Brothers in Arms: Martin Luna, a new student at Bluford High, is at the center of this story. Haunted by the tragic death of his little brother, Martin seeks one thing: revenge. But his mother wants more for her only remaining child. Will Martin listen to her, or will he allow anger to control him?

Summer of Secrets: Darcy Wills is at the center of this tale, a sequel to Until We Meet Again. Darcy hides a painful secret from her friends and family. Yet others-including her parents and her childhood friend-are keeping secrets of their own. When the truth finally surfaces, Darcy's entire world is turned upside down forever.

The Fallen - This sequel to Brothers in Arms picks up the story of Martin Luna as he struggles to rebuild his life after the death of his little brother. In trouble at Bluford High School for fighting, Martin faces an even bigger problem at home: Frankie, the most feared homeboy from his neighborhood, is hunting him.

Shattered - This sequel to Summer of Secrets continues the story of Darcy Wills as she begins her junior year at Bluford High School. Eager to repair her relationship with her old boyfriend Hakeem, Darcy discovers that one of her biggest fears has come true. And worse: her closest friends have been secretly lying to her.

Search for Safety tells the story of Ben McKee, a new sophomore at Bluford High School. At home, Ben is living a nightmare. His mother has married Larry, an abusive man who wants nothing to do with his stepson. And when Larry loses his job and starts drinking, Ben finds himself—and his mother—in grave danger.

No Way Out - Bluford High freshman Harold Davis is trapped. Medical bills for his sick grandmother are piling up, and a social worker has threatened to put him in a foster home. Desperate for money, he reluctantly agrees to work for Londell James, a neighborhood drug dealer. The choice leads him into a world of dangerous streets where no one is safe. Will Harold escape the violence that surrounds him, or will he become its next victim?

Schooled - There’s no backing down for Lionel Shephard. With a dream of joining the NBA, all he wants to do at Bluford High is play basketball. But everyone’s trying to stop him. His father thinks basketball is a waste of time; his teachers don’t know he can barely read and threaten to fail him; and his dropout friend Jamar wants him to quit school. Unsure where to turn, Lionel must make a choice. Will he pursue his dream or get caught in a nightmare?

Breaking Point - Follows the story of Vicky Fallon, a Bluford sophomore who appears in Brothers in Arms and The Fallen. In this story, Vicky can't take it. Her father has lost his job. Her parents are constantly fighting, and her troubled little brother is out of control. Once an honor student, Vicky is quickly falling behind in her classes at Bluford High. Now her teachers, friends, and her new boyfriend, Martin Luna, want answers. Pressured from all sides, Vicky knows something is about to snap. But the explosion that hits her home is worse than anything she could imagine.

The Test - Follows the story of Liselle Mason, a former Bluford student who first appeared in Until We Meet Again. Liselle Mason is in trouble. For weeks, she ignored the changes in her body and tried to forget her brief relationship with Oscar Price, her moody classmate at Bluford High. But when Liselle's clothes stop fitting, and her brother notices her growing belly, she panics. A pregnancy test confirms her biggest fears. Unwilling to admit the truth, Liselle suddenly faces a world with no easy answers. Where will she turn? Who will she tell? What will she do?

Pretty Ugly - Follows Jamee Wills, the little sister of Darcy Wills, who has appeared in many titles including Lost and Found, A Matter of Trust, and Until We Meet Again. A freshman at Bluford High, Jamee never expected Vanessa Pierce and her friends to go this far. The trouble starts at cheerleading practice when Vanessa begins teasing Angel McCallister, a shy new girl at school. When the insults turn nasty, Jamee tried to stop them. She wins Angel's friendship but makes many enemies. Now Jamee is a target, and someone is texting lies and pictures of her all over Bluford. Unwilling to tell her family or snitch on her fellow cheerleaders, Jamee is cornered. Will her next move solve her problems---or make them worse?

Promises to Keep - No one likes Tyray Hobbs. Once a feared bully, he’s become an outcast. At Bluford High, his peers taunt him for how he treated them. At home, his parents punish him for the trouble he’s caused. Unable to escape his reputation or his past, Tyray is desperate. And when an unlikely friendship develops, he clings to it like a lifeline. Now that connection is threatened, and Tyray faces his toughest decision yet. Will his next move lead him to ruin or redemption—or both?

Survivor - Tarah Carson has hidden the secret for years. No one—not her mother, her friends at Bluford High, or even her boyfriend, Cooper Hodden—knows what her uncle did to her years ago. Tarah hoped to keep it that way. But an upcoming reunion is forcing Tarah’s past into the present. And Uncle Rudy, the man who scarred her for life, is returning. Haunted by memories, Tarah plans to avoid him at all costs. But when her decision threatens to cause even more suffering in her family, she must face her past and biggest fear—alone.