Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The International Board on Books for Youth - IBBY

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For the past two years I have been on the Executive of a wonderful organization called IBBY – the International Board on Books for Youth. IBBY is a non-profit group which represents an international network of people who are committed to bringing books and children together. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953, IBBY now has more than 70 National Sections from all over the world. The Canadian Branch of IBBY was established in 1980.

Several years ago, the Executive decided to create a new program called the IBBY Fund for Children in Crisis. The purpose of this fund is to provide support for children whose lives have been disrupted through war, civil disorder, or natural disaster. The two main activities supported by the fund are the therapeutic use of books and storytelling, and the creation or replacement of collections of selected books. The hope is that this fund will provide not only immediate support for children in need, but will also make a long term impact in communities, thus supporting IBBY’s goal of giving every child the right to become a reader.

Several projects have already taken form including one in Lebanon, providing bibliotherapy for war traumatized children, and one in Columbia, creating reading clubs and circulating libraries for 1000 street children displaced by war.

I think you would all agree that IBBY is a wonderful organization and the Children in Crisis Fund sounds particularly meaningful and important. At this time of year, IBBY is making an appeal to the community to please support this fund in any way you can. It is simply a matter of going to the website www.ibby-canada.org and following the links to the Crisis Fund. The instructions are simple to follow. A donation to the fund would make a wonderful gift during this holiday season in the name of friends and loved ones.

I have to confess that I am never good at asking for donations. I shy away from fund raising committees and I’m uncomfortable when the topic of giving comes up. But I am passionate about this organization and its goal of bringing children and books together everywhere in the world. Your association with this great cause could help thousands of children. And I think you’d agree that is a very good thing!

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Kathy Kacer

Kathy Kacer is an award-winning children's author whose focus is historical fiction and true stories about the Holocaust. Her many books include The Secret of Gabi's Dresser, Clara's War, The Underground Reporters, Hiding Edith and The Diary of Laura's Twin.

Go to Kathy Kacer’s Author Page