Is the Book Fair fair?

Ahhh, the Book Fair!

Yesterday I had the ‘no, I’m not buying an overpriced sticker book’ conversation with my kids. It’s a familiar discussion, as I had it every year for seven years with my older daughter, too. Moan, moan, no, no. They have plenty of books, we get new ones from the library on a regular basis, and I still object to my kids being taken to a profit-making shop (Scholastic is part of a large American company) while at school and told to choose a book. Not so much because I mind saying no to my kids, but I think about the rising number of families that are going to food banks for their dinner – and I wonder how those children feel when they are forced to attend the Book Fair at school, knowing that this is yet another thing they are not going to get.

There are supposed to be books available for £1 so kids can buy them with the token they all got, but they are not available at the school, only at bookshops.
I realise the school, and many other schools across Scotland, host the Scholastic Book Fair to raise money for new books, and because I’d like to be supportive of that, I’m going to put a small financial donation to the school – in place of the commission the school would have received if I had purchased a book. I wonder if other parents would rather do that too? If everyone who could afford to contributed a couple of pounds to the book fund, the school could buy new books, the children wouldn’t be subjected to commercial marketing in the school environment, and the school would have a fairer, more inclusive ethos. And parents could support their local bookshops and library rather than a USA-based multi-national company.
The literary gems at the Book Fair include an Avengers sticker book for £7.99 and a scratch and draw book for £5.99!

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