I went to the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. today with my delightful friend Carrie. The store’s profits support 826 Seattle, a free tutoring center that helps struggling children and adolescents, and the store itself is brilliant. The lady at the cash register greeted us by saying (totally deadpan, mind you), “Let me know if you have any questions about our space travel supplies.” (The store stocks everything from mars ‘goo’ and space rocks to books on cold fusion.) Greenwood Space Travel and the 826 non-profit were started in part by Dave Eggers, the famed short-story writer.
To help students develop their writing skills and self-confidence, 826 publishes a number of student-written and created books. I purchased one entitled It’s Supposed To Be About Happiness, a collection of short stories written by students of John Marshall School. J.M.S. has since closed its doors but once provided counseling and education to children with behavioral problems and backgrounds of abuse and neglect. The book is enlightening, well-written, poignant, and often funny. Its stories detail the lives of the contributing adolescents, their struggles, their triumphs, and what happiness means to them. Profits go to a good cause (helping struggling students!), and the book is a joy to read. Available here. xo-m