This was written by Programs Intern, Connor Richter.
“Anyone who thinks one book has all the answers hasn’t read enough books.”Brian K. Vaughan
This is a quote from the award-winning graphic novelist, Brian K. Vaughan. It comes from one of his most celebrated works: Saga, a genre-defying serial comic.*
*Note: While this scene takes place in a conversation between a teacher and a young child, Saga is meant for mature readers, not children.
This quote speaks to the power that comes from continuing to challenge what we know and seeking to understand what is different from us. The ability to pull from multiple perspectives and synthesize them is a skill that is needed right now. That is what we should be teaching children. They need the tools to see into another world, and books can be this doorway into someone else’s shoes. Through reading, kids can experience different lives and ways of thinking. This exposure can allow them to compare with their own life, even helping them to sort out challenges and adapt to difficulties they may be facing.
We need to give all kids, not just the ones that can afford them, access to high-quality books that give them the opportunity to think about more than they ever thought was possible. However, it’s challenging for kids to see outside their own community if they don’t have access to the resources that will act as windows to these new points of view. First Book Canada is committed to providing those resources.
Kids, especially those from high-needs communities, need to see the world open up to them through books. They need to see the world through more than just the community around them. Books and reading can show them how much can be achieved with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Kids from high-priority communities often face barriers that prevent them from receiving the same quality of education that more affluent peers receive but by providing them with brand new books they can see the various life paths they can take.
Giving a child the chance to own their own books and build a home library starts them on a path that encourages reading and education. This is why First Book Canada works to provide as many books as possible to the kids who need them most: to empower them with a wealth of ideas and perspectives and to show them that the world needs perspectives from all places and all walks of life, not just from one book.