My favourite book when I was a kid was Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary.
It was also The Sky Is Falling by Kit Pearson and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and all the Babysitter’s Club books, and then when I was a teenager all the Maeve Binchy books because I was going to run away to Ireland and absorb an accent and marry someone with an O and an apostrophe in his name, and then for awhile I was going to be a kick-ass lady lawyer in Jimmy Choo shoes and pinstripe power suits so I read everything by John Grisham for good measure as well. Books are like cats and Irishmen – you don’t get to the end of your life having only loved just one.
Recently the City of Vancouver proclaimed Friday, November 1, 2013 A Good Book Drive Day, honoring the annual book drive project that celebrates the stories we read, share and love. With A Good Book Drive in its second year, the goal is to collect 3,000 books for the Frontier College Waiting Room Literacy Pilot project.
Their goals are to improve reading skills of the whole family, help mothers understand the importance and joy of reading with their babies, and refer parents to further learning courses in Vancouver.
Running through the month of November, “A Good Book Drive asks Vancouverites to purchase a new copy of their favourite kids’ book and deliver it to set locations throughout the city including Collage Collage, Nelson the Seagull, Dilly Dally, The Juice Truck and many more. There, donors will be able to personalize their donation with a special bookplate, sharing their own story of why that book is special,” says Lizzie Karp, organizer of A Good Book Drive. “By permanently placing those stories within the cover of the books, Frontier College Waiting Room Literacy Pilot participants will read the personal narratives and learn about the impact of that book on someone else’s life.”
This sounds (and is) amazing, but how do I choose my FAVOURITE favourite book?! Fortunately, the drive is a month long so I’ve got a bit of time to come up with something wonderful. Or maybe five or six something wonderfuls.
The Frontier College Waiting Room Literacy Pilot aims to improve the reading and writing skills of mothers and children before and after their medical appointments at Vancouver’s Oak Tree Clinic. The clinic – a specialized unit within BC Women’s and BC Children’s hospitals that provides care for vulnerable women and children– has invited Frontier College’s trained staff and volunteers to work on-site with their patients.
Their goals are to improve reading skills of the whole family, help mothers understand the importance and joy of reading with their babies, and refer parents to further learning courses in Vancouver. The books donated to A Good Book Drive will be used for this project, and at least one will be given to each family for them to own and love.
Books are magic. They are really, really important.
Spouse and I met in writing classes at UBC, and our love of stories and books gave us something to talk about once we decided to move past the “staring creepily at one another while waiting for the other person to make the first move” stage. Every time we move to a new apartment (we’ve done four moves together), we discard clothing and “stuff,” but we lug our boxes of books around like heavy treasure. And while we’ve done a lot wrong, one thing we’ve done right with Toddler is getting him to love books too. He has his own bookshelf, and stacks of his own books in the living room, and our rule is that no matter what we are doing, if he hands us a book we will sit down wherever we are and read it to him.
Children who are read to (and who read) are happier, perform better in school and are more likely to graduate high school and pursue higher education. Reading develops language and literacy skills and develops children’s imaginations, empathy and self-esteem. Books are magic. They are really, really important.
So I hope you’ll bring a new version of an old favourite to one of the eleven drop-off points between now and November 30. If you’re too far away or just can’t get to Vancouver, you can send your book to me (and a few words about why you love it) and I’ll drop it off for you – shoot me an email at email@example.com and we’ll work something out.