We inspire learning and illuminate diversity by bringing world-renowned authors to every single student on Nantucket.

Worlds discovered within the pages of books can transform lives. Characters who live in our imagination open up new roads to travel, new adventures ahead. When we walk in another’s shoes, we learn compassion and empathy. We learn the world is a lot bigger than the one we know.

Our mission at the Nantucket Book Foundation has been to unleash the power of words to change and enlarge our students' worlds. Through reading, they discover that although they live on an island, there is no boundary to imagination.

"Just as the stars above Nantucket charted the course of your great fleets, it is the books in the hands of eager young readers which will chart the course of your community."

Jack Gantos

The Nantucket Book Foundation is dedicated to bringing exemplary authors to our schools, and to getting books into the hands of all our children across the island. We know that the intersection of the actual writer connecting with students makes the work of literature come alive. Words originate from the thoughts, ideas, and inspiration of an actual human being, who, as Jason Reynolds, 2019’s NBF Visiting Author, told our students, “is just like me.” Jason said that “while he may live what seems to be an extraordinary life, he’s a super ordinary guy who has built this life for himself through literature and through literacy. There’s something to that,” Jason continues. “To tear down some of the mysticism of being an artist or a person who works in this world. You can do this, too.”

We know that these author visits inspire our students and our teachers, infusing the classroom with new energy, fresh ideas, and most of all, hope. The world always feels a bit more open after each visit.

This critical work is part of our shared mission with the Nantucket Book Festival, in bringing compelling and thought-provoking authors from around the world to our island.

The Visiting Author Program was created by Mary Haft and is supported in part by grants from the Community Foundation for Nantucket’s Nantucket Fund, The Nantucket Golf Club Foundation, and the Nantucket Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. We are also grateful to Nantucket Book Partners and support from our generous donors for making these visits possible.