With the announcement of its inaugural book picks, a voluntary project in the book sector, Borders Literature for All Nations, has launched a Sustainable Development Book Club to promote books for children from six and 12 years.
The launch of the Borders SDG Book Club, took place recently via Facebook Live broadcast eight days after the founder, Ms. Olatoun Gabi-Williams, announced in a promotional video that her project had joined the United Nations SDG Book Club’s network.
Some of the inaugural book picks she announced at the launch were: Skin we are in by Sindiwe Magona and Nina G. Jablonski, published by New Africa Books, South Africa, Igho Goes to Farm by Anote Ajeluorou, published by Winepress Publishing Nigeria, The History of African and Caribbean Communities in Britain by Hakim Adi, published by Wayland, UK, Story Story, Story Come, published by Paivapo Publishers, Kenya & Ouida Books, Nigeria.
Speaking at the occasion, Williams said that following the model of the original UNSDG Book Club, the Borders Club seeks to encourage children to read books that engage with principles embedded in any one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) aimed at making the world a better place.
She further explained that she would use the platform as a tool to get behind the International Decade for People of Africa Descent, which started in 2015 and ends in 2024.
With the book club, she seeks to help Africa focused books published on the continent and in the Diaspora gain visibility in the world’s biblio-diversity.
She also seeks to promote African books for reading lists globally at schools and in other places where children are convened under adult supervision, such as after school clubs and ensure that the SDGs percolate into public consciousness.
Gabi-Williams further explained that she has submitted 12 recommended reads to the UNSDGs Book Club, but according to her, the selection process at the UN level is competitive, adding that only three to five books from the long list are selected every month by the UN Club’s selection committee.
“If my recommended books are selected, I would be delighted. But, whatever happens at the UN level, right here on Borders, we will invest a 10-day campaign to promote each of the books on our shortlist”.
Among those she mentioned to have encouraged her to establish the SDG book club, was Michiel Kolman, (Netherlands), immediate-past President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), a lead organiser of the UNSDGs Book Club.
Others were The International Federation of Library Association and Institutions (IFLA), The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), The European & International Book Sellers Federation (EIBF) and The Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF).