Maria Keller, Spring Superhero

Maria Keller is a very special kid who loves to read books.  She is now thirteen years old, but when she was just eight years old, she realized that some people didn’t have as many books in their homes as she did.  So she started collecting books and donating them to places that help kids in need, like homeless shelters, schools, and hospitals.  You know, if there are more books to choose from, it’s more likely you’ll find one that you love!

We think it’s awesome that Maria took something that she enjoyed doing – reading – and helps other people enjoy it, too! 

Maria’s been a really busy girl since her organization, Read Indeed, started 5 years ago.  She’s reached her goal of collecting ONE MILLION books (wow!) 5 years early, and is now on a mission to make sure that places in all fifty states of the United States of America get some of her books.  While she’s been busy collecting books, people have noticed.  She was featured on Ellen DeGeneres’ website, and in early March, she accepted the Jefferson Award.  It’s a very special award for people who make a difference in the world.

Scroll down for more information on Maria!

If you want to be eligible to become the Global Game Changers Superhero, just like Maria:


Read all about Maria!

1. Have you gotten any friends or family to get involved in your charity work? What have they done?

During the past 5 years, I have received help from many, many friends and family, who have held book drives and who volunteer at the Read Indeed warehouse. They sort, count, and package books for delivery. I also have about 200 ongoing volunteers to come to the warehouse to help.

2. Do you have any advice for other kids who want to get involved?

I would like other kids to hold book drives in their school, church, neighborhood, etc. They can then work with me to find places in their own locations to donate the books to in Read Indeed’s name. That way, the books get to the kids faster and we save on shipping costs.

3. Who are your heroes, in fiction and real life?

My parents are my heroes and I greatly admire Mother Theresa.

4. What superhero quality would you want to have and why?

I think I would like to have the ability to move incredibly quickly, simply because you can get so much more done.

5. What’s your favorite subject in school?

Math & Chinese

6. What’s your favorite animal?


7. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m not sure. Perhaps becoming a doctor, working in a third world country helping people.

8. What’s your favorite fun thing to do with friends?

Shopping and going to movies.

9. What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

The Narnia series are my favorite movies.

10. Tell me a little bit about your family.

My mom is a writer and my dad owns a brand management firm in Minneapolis. I have a 10-year-old brother, and two dogs. I also have a huge extended family with 20 cousins.

11. Is there anything else that you want to tell us about yourself or your cause?

I’ve learned how important books are in people’s lives. I love Thomas Jefferson’s quote: “I can’t live without books.” It is perfect.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know…

What are some of Maria’s favorite books? 

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Emily Windsnap Series by Liz Kessler, illustrated by Sarah Gibb
  • Treasure Island by R. L. Stevenson
  • Charlie Bone Series by Jenny Nimmo
  • Tales of Beetle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
  • The Lightning Thief Series by Rick Riordan

These are just her top 10!  You can find more of her suggestions at Read Indeed.

Learn More About Read Indeed,

and other charities that help people in poverty

  Read Indeed is a 501c3 nonprofit literacy organization and the vision of Maria Keller, a book-loving 5th grader who wants to make the world a better place—one book at a time. Maria wants to collect and distribute 1 million books to needy kids by the time she’s 18. She began collecting books when she was 8 years old and has touched the lives of thousands of children around the world.

Children’s Restoration Network (CRN) focuses on the plight of homeless children in our community. During its productive twenty year history, CRN has worked with 134 shelters and group homes throughout metro-Atlanta, serving over 2,700 children each day, 4,400 each year. We provide new book bags filled with school supplies, do one on one weekly mentoring during the school year, and award New Hope Scholarships to deserving students.

Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Kiva was born of the following beliefs: people are by nature generous, and will help others if given the opportunity to do so in a transparent, accountable way; the poor are highly motivated and can be very successful when given an opportunity; and by connecting people we can create relationships beyond financial transactions, and build a global community expressing support and encouragement of one another. As of December 2013, Kiva has facilitated over half a billion USD in loans.

Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.