Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

On Literature For Life, with Tamara Shelly

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On Literature For Life, with Tamara Shelly

Each year, Literature for Life hosts its annual book sale, this year with a selection of over one thousand books to be sold at only $1 each.

Based on the belief of mother as child’s first teacher, Literature for Life’s programs assist lone parent young mothers to increase literacy and social skills, plus develop the capacity necessary to be employed, self-sufficient and to be effective parents. Proceeds from the book sale will contribute to keeping these programs alive and thriving.

To date, Literature for Life’s innovative programming has contributed to bridging the gap between rich and poor for over 1,700 young women and over 2,200 children living in poverty in Toronto. The organization has distributed over 22, 000 books to young mothers and children.

Open Book talks to Literature for Life's Tamara Shelly about the sale and the Literature for Life organization.

Open Book: Toronto:

Literature for Life's book sale sounds wonderful. What sort of titles can people expect to find for sale?

Tamara Shelly:

August 15th, 2010 will be a great day. We have a great selection of series for youth that include Goosebumps, The Babysitters Clubs, Star Wars, and Robert Munsch titles for the younger children. We have a wide variety of other genres that include titles such as Point of Impact, What Would Buddha Do?, The Kennedy’s An American Drama; The Millionaire’s Last Wish, Across the River into the Trees; Pitch Like a Girl, It’s All in the Playing and so much more. I am really not doing the selection much justice.

OBT:

The book sale is an annual event. How has the public's response been to past sales? People must be thrilled to be able to buy books for $1 each.

TS:

The sale has grown a lot by word of mouth, because people really are thrilled when they can find childhood favourites, or something completely new for only $1. This year we will have professional storyteller Pat Bisset in attendance engaging us in enchanting stories and song. We have some other great treats in store as well!

OBT:

Tell us about Literature for Life.

TS:

Literature for Life is a not-for-profit, charitable organization whose belief is Mother is Baby’s first teacher. We promote the benefits of literacy and reading to young women with our Women with Words reading circles; as well as our quarterly magazine Yo’ Mama that is written for young mothers by young mothers. We also produce a model initiative for social change with our annual youth arts showcase Poetic Fashion taking place September 2, 2010 at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts where youth from the 13 priority neighbourhoods unite for peace through the arts.

OBT:

How did you get involved with Literature for Life?

TS:

My involvement with Literature for Life came through a sponsorship initiative involving H.I.T.M Entertainment and Literature for Life’s Poetic Fashion arts showcase in 2009. It was unlike anything I had seen before and in 2010, I volunteered for the production. Halfway through production I was offered a position that had become available within the organization.

OBT:

Do you plan to pick up any books at the sale?

TS:

I really hope I get a chance! It’s so hard to not get tempted and carried away as I prepare for the sale. I’m an avid reader and I come across something new every day that I want to add to my overflowing collection!

OBT:

What's on your summer reading list?

TS:

I have been reading the books provided for the young women in our Women with Words reading circle programming. So far, I have read: The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara; The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah and I just finished the amazing A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown. I’m now deciding if I should read The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I’m completely torn!

For more information or to make donations, please visit our website: www.literatureforlife.org

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