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 March 19, 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.

  • Danielle Steel, Wings (must be new)
  • David Johnson, April’s Rain
  • Mexican authors translated into English
  • Mike Mullin, Sunrise (third book of Ashfall trilogy)
  • Lesbian erotica
  • Charles Bukowski (especially Post Office and Factotum)
  • FTM/transman—many suggestions here
  • Sigmund Brouwer, The Last Temple and Out of the Shadows
  • Fiction in Arabic
  • Fiction of all kinds in large print (used and new)

Nonfiction, etc.

  • Albert Einstein biography
  • Adolescent psychology
  • Motorcycles, dirt bikes, etc.
  • Nonfiction of all kinds in large print (used and new)

Spiritual, self-care, etc.

  • Amplified Bible (featuring multiple English word equivalents to each key Hebrew and Greek word)
  • Study Bible in Spanish (must be new)
  • Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (multiple requests)
  • Catholic Bible (must be new)
  • Study Bibles, esp. large print, Life Application and others (multiple requests, used and new)
  • Large print Bibles, esp. NIV, KJV and NKJV (multiple requests)
  • Spiritual and self-care of all kinds in large print (used and new)

Educational, etc.

  • Milady Standard Cosmetology (multiple requests)
  • Study materials for cardiac ultrasound technician
  • Cookbooks in Spanish 
  • Starting and running a restaurant
  • Starting and running an import/export business
  • Nursing careers, especially LPN and RN
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (or other recent edition) 

  • Ivan Denison, Flipping Your HABE (or other books on overturning a conviction)
  • ACT review (2017 edition)
  • Milady Standard Nail Technology (multiple requests)
  • Hair styling/hair cutting
  • ASL (beginning and more advanced, used and new)
  • 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 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
4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Do you have questions or need to make special arrangements? Get in touch at

1,275 packages so far in 2017!

That's 1,140 packages of books and 135 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 March 23, 2017)

Donate quickly and easily

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All or part of your gift may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution. Please check with your tax adviser.

Help us fill special requests

Learn what we're looking for now (updated March 19, 2017)

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

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