Make Way for Books

Behind every eye-catching cover is a story, a message. If every published message aims for optimal impact, we think it’s important to carefully consider what our students and children read. Formative years go so quickly, so let’s offer them the best.

More than 20 years ago we begin building a selection of recommended titles for young readers that would both inspire a love of reading and foster a discerning literary appetite. Books selected as Make Way for Books titles:

    • communicate praiseworthy themes or ideas
    • contain age-appropriate content and language
    • captivate young readers’ imaginations
    • model high-quality writing
    • exhibit potential educational value

As you become familiar with the quality of Make Way for Books titles, we hope you come back again and again. We think you’ll find our discounted pricing competitive and our in-stock status and fulfillment reliable. And, most importantly, with consistent book purchases from Make Way for Books, you’ll help us support book publishers, distributors, and authors by increasing in-print longevity of quality books. We’d like to be building this best-of-the-best selection for years to come.

The Rest of the Story


We, Kevin and Julia Washburn have been married a little more than 25 years and share a passion for reading that began for us both during our formative years. The library card was our constant companion, and our bookshelves were always full. Kevin spent years as a classroom teacher where his love for great books translated into stage adaptations; in its early years, Make Way for Books was able to find and sell 200 out-of-print copies of Searching for Shona, the coming years’ stage adaptation. The money raised was enough to fly the author out for the performance – a treat for those fourth grade students, and for us. What a rich memory, and the humble beginning of a dream.

We sold books home-party style for several years, began sharing our recommendations through a newsletter, then moved onto the local- and long-distance book fair scene for several more years.

Our love for children’s books evolved into offering program support for Foundations & Frameworks, an instructional reading program that incorporates a large trade book component for skill instruction. We researched reading levels, matched stories, skills, and content appropriateness for classroom instruction, and then created a dedicated portion of this site to offer implementing schools immediate access to the program’s 1100+ titles.

Kevin spent several years in private school administration and curriculum development; Julia drew upon business and administrative training to manage and develop Make Way for Books. In 2006 we stepped completely into the self-employment world and created Clerestory Learning/Make Way for Books, LLC.

Other interests find Kevin enjoying his marathon training, running coaching, and a good cup of Starbucks chai. Julia relaxes with piano practice for various choir performances, and often loses track of time amidst her photography and design endeavors. Together, we enjoy traveling and are endlessly amused by our faithful dachshund companion, Ernest.

Our Vision

Clerestory Learning is a service dedicated to creating practical classroom applications of neurocognitive research by developing programs and professional development for teachers, our schools’ most valuable asset.

Make Way for Books is a service dedicated to being a reliable  recommendation source  and seller of quality children’s literature by maintaining selection standards to foster discerning readers.

Collectively, Clerestory Learning/Make Way for Books LLC envisions a future of wise leaders that can think strategically and articulate sound reasoning to influence a world authentically and with integrity.

Our Mission

Clerestory Learning illuminates the minds of educators and students, helping them develop understanding through meaningful,  well-articulated programs. Clerestory Learning maintains excellence in professional development and training programs by creating effective instructional solutions based on sound applications of multidisciplinary research. We keep growing because we want to offer educators and students our best.

Make Way for Books fosters a love of reading by recommending and selling a quality selection of children’s books, maintaining consistent recommendation standards and staying abreast of in-print and newly released children’s titles. Make Way for Books strives to help young readers, educators, authors, book publishers, and distributors by maintaining accessibility to a quality literature selection and by pursuing avenues of effective distribution and fulfillment.

Collaboratively, Clerestory Learning/Make Way for Books comprehensively touches the youngest minds, equips those who shape learning, and invests in those who offer services to support these endeavors.

Kevin D. Washburn, Ed.D., Executive Director
Julia Washburn, General Manager