Hi there! My name is Paola Gonzalez, and I am the new Magazine and Marketing Intern at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. I am extremely excited to be starting this new journey surrounded by what I love most – BOOKS! But more importantly, I’m grateful to be working alongside the nicest and most supportive team. My passion for reading started at a young age. From Junie B. Jones, to dare I say it, Twilight – I was obsessed. Apart from reading, I was also attracted to the creative arts. As a kid, I spent most of my days making arts and crafts, and drawing life-like portraits of my parents. Life-like in the eyes of a seven-year-old that is.
I attended Ryerson University for New Media – the study of media, art and technology. Here, I got to explore a broad array of art forms in different mediums from graphic design, to animation, to coding, to art history, to video production and so much more. It was definitely an interesting four years. However, after graduating, I felt like something was missing and realized I wanted to explore how I could turn my love of reading into something more. Hence, I started researching different publishing certificates, ultimately settling with Ryerson’s own Chang School. I completed their intensive program, a three month fast-track to all things publishing and once finished, I applied to Indigo and got hired as a bookseller.
My main reading interests have always surrounded teen fantasy and romance, and as a 25-year-old, I do not believe age should dictate what a person reads. That being said, I am now happy to add middle grade to that list. As a bookseller, I was tired of the dreaded question, “Can you recommend a book for my 10-year-old son/daughter?” And so I picked up Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi and was immediately captivated. From then on, I read middle grade after middle grade book as I loved the nostalgia these brought forth. Some of those titles included Refugee by Alan Gratz, The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills and Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. This new found love led me to take the Publishing for Children’s class at Ryerson, and I am now working towards a course series specialization in Children’s publishing for my certificate.
I am extremely fortunate to be working with the CCBC, and hope to break barriers to reading because no matter what a child is reading, be it a graphic novel or a chapter book, it matters! I also hope to explore more Canadian children’s literature, as just a few weeks ago, I was shocked to learn that 80% of books in stores are non-Canadian. Therefore, it’s with great excitement that I get to join the CCBC’s mission to bring awareness to all educators, librarians and booksellers of all the great Canadian literature that’s just waiting to be discovered.