In addition to the books we always need, we occasionally get requests for books that are rarely donated—and that would make a significant difference to the woman making the request.

You can help by ordering from our Amazon Wish List or purchasing from any bookstore
The next time you place an order, please add one (or more) of the books on the list. This will help you meet the minimum for free shipping and the books for incarcerated women will be sent directly to our address.

Also browse our special requests below (updated July 13, 2017)
They’re organized in four categories—fiction, nonfiction, spiritual/self-care and educational—and requests made within the last week are in blue at the top. Some books are also on the wish list, and some may be on your shelves, in that box in the basement or at the next garage sale you hit.

And remember, there are many kinds of books we always need—they often don’t even make it to a bookcase before being grabbed to fulfill a request.

Please bookmark this page on your smartphone for easy reference.

If you can donate any of these books, please add a note that they’re from the Special Requests list. This will help us match the items to the requests faster. All books must be paperback. Used books are fine unless noted. (Some prisons require books in new or like-new condition.)

Fiction, etc.

  • J.K. Rowling, Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • Michael Phillips, The Soldier’s Lady and Never Too Late (Carolina Cousins #2 and #3)
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Refugees
  • Lesbian erotica
  • FTM/transman
  • Fiction in Arabic
  • Fiction of all kinds in large print (used and new)

Nonfiction, etc.

  • Bruce Lee/Jeet Kune Do martial art and philosophy
  • Khmer Rouge genocide/Cambodian killing fields 
  • Old Master paintings (must be in new condition)
  • Rare jewelry (must be in new condition)
  • Adolescent psychology
  • Nonfiction of all kinds in large print (used and new)

Spiritual, self-care, etc.

  • Torah Hebrew/English in large print
  • Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book
  • MacArthur Study Bible and other study Bibles in Spanish (must be new)
  • Study Bibles, esp. large print, NLT, Life Application and others (multiple requests, used and new)
  • High blood pressure
  • Native American medicine (must be new)
  • PTSD in large print
  • Multiple Personality Disorder in large print 
  • Women survivors of child sexual abuse in large print
  • Jesus Calling Devotional Bible
  • Large print Bibles, esp. NIV, KJV and NKJV (multiple requests, used and new)
  • Wicca (multiple requests)
  • Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (multiple requests)
  • Spiritual and self-care of all kinds in large print (used and new)

Educational, etc.

  • Cardiology
  • How to build a carburetor/small engine repair
  • Service dogs (multiple requests)
  • SAT study guide, 2017 or 2018 edition
  • GED math review
  • Basic genealogy 
  • Group games/icebreakers
  • Ivan Denison, Flipping Your HABE (or other books on overturning a conviction)
  • HVAC training (must be new)
  • Dental hygienist career
  • Medical assistant career (multiple requests)
  • Starting and running a restaurant
  • Nursing careers—especially LPN, RN and Nursing Assistant (multiple requests)
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (or other recent edition)
  • Family law (especially Florida law)
  • Criminal law (multiple requests)
  • Educational materials of all kinds in large print (used and new)

You can drop off your books 2-5 pm any Saturday or Sunday

4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
(Hermitage and Sunnyside)
Only two blocks from the Montrose Brown Line stop and plenty of free street parking

To mail books, please send them by USPS (Media Mail)

Chicago Books to Women in Prison
c/o RFUMC
4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Please ask if you’d like a tax donation receipt.

Do you have questions or need to make special arrangements? Get in touch at chicagobwp@gmail.com.


3,179 packages so far in 2017!

That’s 2,750 packages of books and 429 blank journals—and counting. In 2016 we sent 3,901 packages (3,310 packages of books and 591 blank journals). Many thanks to all our supporters! (updated August 13, 2017)

Donate quickly and easily

Or send your check or money order to 4511 N. Hermitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60640. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your gift may be tax-deductible.

Help us fill special requests

Learn what we’re looking for now (updated July 13, 2017)

• Check out our Amazon Wish List
(and feel free to use it at other stores)


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