Rome, NY (WIBX) - Thirty thousand new books are being presented to children in Rome and Oneida counties today.

Representatives from Duffy Books in Homes USA, Mainfreight USA, CaroTrans, the Rome City School District, and the Literacy Coalition of Herkimer and Oneida Counties gathered at Francis Bellamy Elementary School in Rome to take some of the books off of the fifty-three foot-long truck this morning.

The value of the donation is more than $135,000.

Organizers say more books mean better educational development and academic achievement - and they are hoping that the free books inspire more children to read at home.  The cause is an important one for the event's founder, New Zealand-based author Alan Duff who, according to the event's website, believes that, "Failures in adult life often stem from (childhoods) spent in 'bookless' homes."

Duffy Books in Homes was begun in 1995 by Duff along with philanthropist Christine Fernyhough.  Duff is known most popularly for his first novel, "Once Were Warriors," which became a best seller soon after it was published in 1990.  He also wrote "One Night Out Stealing," and launched a public promotion to have the book made into a movie back in 1998.

Duff's own childhood experiences led to several brushes with the law beginning at a young age, and Duff has since used those experiences to help children lead better lives, one book at a time.