Little Free Library and 20th Century Fox and have teamed up to promote the film based on Markus Zusak’s 2006 bestselling novel, The Book Thief, which opened on November 8 in a limited number of theaters and will be released nationwide November 27. The partnership marks the first time that Little Free Library, which has more than 12,000 “take a book, return a book” mini neighborhood libraries in 54 countries, has partnered with a major motion picture company.
As part of the promotion, 20th Century Fox has provided two custom-built Little Libraries, one in New York City and one in Los Angeles, which feature a trailer for the film playing on solar-powered monitors, copies of The Book Thief, and dioramas recreating scenes from the movie. In addition, Knopf donated 400 copies of the novel to distribute to Little Libraries across the country.
Little Free Library put out a call on its Facebook page to find “stewards”– individuals who host mini libraries in their front yards, coffee shops, community centers, or schools – who were interested in receiving two copies of The Book Thief to add to their collections. “Obviously, many people love the book, and we had a great response,” said Rick Brooks, co-founder and program director of Little Free Library. “Within 24 hours, all the donated copies were spoken for.”
Given The Book Thief ’s young protagonist, a girl in Nazi Germany who finds solace in purloined, banned books, the movie promotion involving Little Free Library is especially fitting. “We were thrilled when 20th Century Fox approached us about featuring the book in its promotion of the film,” Brooks said. “This is a nice, thoughtful way to generate interest in both a beloved book and a terrific movie, and we’re pleased to be able to spread news of both through Little Free Library.”
Chris Petrikin, executive v-p of corporate communications at 20th Century Fox, was equally optimistic about the potential of this promotional teamwork. “Partnering with Little Free Library on The Book Thief is a great opportunity,” he said. “Our hope is that through this partnership we will help bring attention to the power of words, excite people to see our film, and inspire them to read Markus Zusak’s incredible novel.”