Bookmark Award

Books for Children to Improve Literacy and Build a Library at Home

Desert Sage Auxiliary’s Pocket Books are short books that target early, disadvantaged readers. Books are written and illustrated by Desert Sage members and fit easily into a child’s backpack or pocket enabling them to have a book of their own.

The purpose of the Desert Sage Auxiliary Pocket Book program is to provide books for children from underserved populations to improve literacy, facilitate family reading experiences, and to build a child’s library. Desert Sage Books™ are written in English and Spanish and focus on key literacy concepts in three (3) distinct series; emergent literature (short vowel and single word emphasis); concept books (colors, shapes, alphabet and numbers); and early readers (simple words and repetition). Currently there are 18 copyrighted books available for distribution.

On Friday, October 19, 2018, the Desert Sage Pocket Book program was awarded first place in the Las Vegas Book Festival 2018 Crystal Bookmark Award. This award was created to honor “organizations in Southern Nevada advancing the cause of literacy and recognizing extraordinary literary achievement.”

Desert Sage Auxiliary distributed its “one millionth” Pocket Book in February 2019. To celebrate this milestone, Desert Sage participated in a special event at Hollingsworth Elementary School to kick-off a school-wide reading contest.

Standout Comments from Principals and Teachers:

The principal of Robert Taylor Elementary wrote: “over 80% of our students qualify for free lunch by federal poverty guidelines, and many have limited access at home to reading materials. These pocket books are a great way for students to have books at home to practice reading with their parents.”

A teacher at M. L. King Jr. Elementary wrote: “Loved them – especially that their Spanish-speaking parents could share them.”

Comments from Students Receiving Pocket Books:

“I get to take these books home and keep them forever?”

“That’s so cool!”


“We get to keep these?”

500 Pocket Books were provided for students attending at-risk schools in 2022-23.

These numbers reflect school and agency closures due to COVID-19.