26 January 2012

Family Literacy Giveaway

Today's blog post is dedicated to literacy. January 27, in Canada, is 'Family Literacy Day'. As book bloggers, literacy is an intrinsic focus of what we do: we support literacy in a real and powerful way. I hope that someone may read one of my reviews and think 'that book would make a great gift for ...' and the literacy wheel will continue to roll.

UNESCO defines literacy:
Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society.
Sounds pretty straight forward, right? As a first world country, we can expect that Canada's literacy rate should be .... what ... 80%? 75%? How about this staggering fact: Stats Canada reported in 2000 that almost 50% of Canadian adults have difficulty with literacy. That's not to say that almost 50% of Canadians are totally illiterate but that they have difficulty with complex literacy. For example, they may be able to read the words but can't comprehend the meaning of what they are reading. That is sad. But there are things we can do.

Today - spend 15 minutes learning something new
Give books as gifts
Read to your children
For more info and ideas, check out the family literacy day web site.There are five authors highlighted on this site as supporting the initiative (although I think all authors do). Here they are:

Julie Lawson, Victoria, B.C.- Author of Ghosts of the Titanic and Dear Canada: No Safe Harbour
Joel Sutherland, Courtice, ON– Author of Be a Writing Superstar and Frozen Blood
Vikki VanSickle, Toronto, ON– Author of Words That Start With B and Love is a Four-Letter Word
Larry Verstraete, Winnipeg, MB– Author of At the Edge: Daring Acts in Desperate Times and Case Files: 40 Murders and Mysteries Solved by Science
Nancy Wilcox-Richards, Hebbville, NS– Author of How to Handle a Bully and How to Outplay a Bully

So here's the giveaway: choose one of the books listed by these authors for a child you know, or to donate to a local woman's shelter, or school, or something like that. Leave a comment telling us which book you want, and who you will give it to, as your way of supporting literacy. One lucky commenter will win the book to pass on and a $10.00 amazon gift card for themselves. The giveaway is open internationally and will close on February 10th. And PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL OR CONTACT INFO>


  1. I would like to give Words That Start With B by Vikki VanSickle to my little cousin. She just got into reading and not only do I think that she would really like this book but I want to encourage it as much as possible!

    megnate at telus dot net

  2. This is a great post, we have similar figures on literacy here in Australia, which is part of the reason why we have a National year of literacy this year, Australia is really good at promoting sport while something as crucial as literacy is often neglected.
    I would love to enter and just after a very quick glance at the books on offer I would chose Frozen Blood because it sounds like it might hook a slightly less enthusiastic reader in, if I won I would be donating it to a local school. Again great post!

  3. Dana what a wonderful idea, well done you! I haven't entered as I'm not sure who I'd pass it to, but I will come back if I think of someone. Good luck with this!

  4. How to Handle a Bully & How to Outplay a Bully. I would give that one to my daughter and have a book reading with a lot of the other little kids at her school. The effect of a bully is tragic on a child's self-esteem. Similarly the effect of handling and outplaying one successfully, after some hardship is an incredible boost to a child's confidence. Great idea for give-away Dana.

  5. Not sure if "How to Handle a Bully" and "How to Outplay A Bully" are separate books, but that's what I'd like to win for my daughters' school library. We live in a small town in Nova Scotia and it can get pretty rough for the more artistic kids living amongst hardened fishermen/lobstermen!

    I also love the idea of "Be a Writing Superstar", because what better way to support literacy than by encouraging new authors? We have wonderful English teachers at our little school, and some terrific budding authors.

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  7. How to Handle a Bully & How to Outplay a Bully. I would love to read this to all my kids. I have seen bullying on my bus and its not pretty. I do my best to catch it quick and try to stop it before it gets bad. I have been a school bus driver for almost 15 yrs. I usually have to sit about 20 min. with about 5-8 Kindergarten students. Sometimes its not easy. They are so wound up after being stuck in a classroom all day. I will read to them to pass the time. We usually read their library books. I love to read and hope that i can pass this on to my students. They love it when I read to them and look forward to bringing more books to read each week. Spend time with a child and you might help them through life.

  8. My nephew loves true crime shows like 48 Hour Mystery, Dateline, and The First 48, so I would love to win a copy of Case Files: 40 Murders and Mysteries Solved by Science to give to him!! Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway:) I love to share books, especially with kids!

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  9. I would love to win Frozen Blood for my 11 year old brother. He is not a big reader, but he loves shows with mystery, and I think he would love this book. Thank you for the giveaway!

    celjla212 at aol dot com

  10. I'm sure my 10-year-old brother would enjoy Case Files: 40 Murders and Mysteries Solved by Science. He loves watching CSI movies - believe it or not.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com


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