Obama buys 3 books by Minnesota authors during shopping spree


Small Business Saturday resulted in some big purchases for three Minnesota authors.

The Duluth News Tribune reported that President Barack Obama bought 21 books Saturday in an effort to support small businesses.

Among the purchases were "Heart of a Samurai" by Duluth writer Margi Preus, the paper said.

The Star Tribune reported that Obama also bought "Flora & Ulysses," by Minneapolis author Kate DiCamillo, a recent long-list nominee for a National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category.

Also in the president's shopping cart was the No. 1 New York Times bestseller "Wild," by McGregor native and University of Minnesota graduate Cheryl Strayed.

Obama made the purchases at the book shop Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. He reportedly spent most of his 30 minutes at the store chatting with fellow customers.

A 2010 Newbury Book honoree, "Heart of a Samurai" is a young adult novel about a Japanese teenager whose adventures lead to him to playing an important political role.

Preus told the News Tribune that she got a message from her son in D.C., who said, "Obama bought your book."

The message apparently didn't make sense to the author when she heard it Sunday, because she was at a friend's cabin for the weekend and didn't have cell or Internet service.

Preus eventually figured out what was going on through Facebook and Twitter.

The Associated Press said Obama's daughters, Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, were with the president at Politics and Prose.

Even though Preus told the News Tribune that the core market for "Heart of a Samurai" is primarily grades 4 through 8, it's not clear whether the purchase was for either one of his daughters.

Obama said he bought books for every age, from 5 to 52, the AP said.

Among the other titles he picked up were "The Kite Runner," "Harold and the Purple Crayon" and "Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football."

CNN has a complete list of the books the president purchased.

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