Books at the Barn


Dear Friends,

On May 14, 2020 I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. The past several months have been the most difficult of my life. After several surgeries and treatments, I’m now undergoing chemotherapy through the end of February. Because of this, “Books at the Barn” has had to be placed on hold. It will return, though.

Our hope is to bring “Books at the Barn” back in June 2021. We’ll be making an announcement here and on our Facebook page, once we have a definitive return date.

Thank you for understanding. We’ll see you soon.

All the best,

Melody Alderman
President / CEO of The MONARCH TRAIN

All of us at The MONARCH TRAIN are strong proponents of early childhood literacy. We believe that reading can provide children in our community with the wings they need to soar. The incredible people (and animals) at Big Red’s Barn share our vision. That is why we teamed up to offer a FREE monthly book exchange.


When is it?
The second Saturday of every month from 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM. Our next event date is TBD.

Where is it?
Big Red’s Barn is located at 7397 N Government Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.

How much does it cost?
Nothing! We want every family in our community to feel welcome, regardless of their ability to pay. All you need to do to join us is bring a used (or new) book with you to exchange. We do have donation jars available, though. The events cost us money because we purchase the books we give away. Even having everyone contribute $1 helps us a great deal.

How old do you have to be?
This monthly event is open to ALL ages.

What book will you be reading when the event resumes?
“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak


* Each family who joins us will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a special paperback edition of “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. It features a Max plush toy and sticker book. We will also be giving away a pair of free admission tickets to Big Red’s Barn to one lucky family. 

What is the event all about?
Our goal is to encourage an early love of reading. Families who are finished with one of their books can bring it to the exchange and leave it for another family to take home and enjoy. Every family is welcome to pick out a book at the event so that nobody leaves empty handed. We can’t promise what kind of books we will have. It will be a new adventure every month, depending on what each family brings. You never know what treasures you will find.

Will I see any animals?
Yes! Most of our furry friends will be in bed for the night but one or two of them will stay up late to get some extra pets. There are also our winged friends, the birds. They are always by the door to welcome everyone. You will just have to join us to see who has decided to hang out.

What if I have books to donate but can’t make it to the event?
No worries! The awesome team at Big Red’s Barn have a book drop available for families who want to donate books at any point during the month. Just bring them by during business hours, which are Thursday – Sunday between 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM.
Please note: You might want to confirm their hours on the Facebook page for Big Red’s Barn

What if we are a family in need and we are unable to bring a book with us?
Please come join us regardless! We always have extra books available. On top of that, if you are having difficulty bringing books into your home, please reach out to us at so that we can try to help. We understand how difficult financial struggles can be. No child should miss out on the opportunity to discover the joy of reading.

How do I sign up?
Please sign up using the form below. You’ll receive an email confirmation within 24 hours once we have registered you for the event. You’ll be on a list, so it is not necessary for you to bring a printout of the email. Just provide us with your name at the door.

* We are so excited to have you join us. If you sign up and you realize you can’t make it, please let us know so that your spot can be given to another family. Just email us at with the subject line “cancellation” or give us a call at (208) 718-2758. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Please note: We reserve the right to refuse admission.

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