You Buy a Book. Fernando Gets an Education.

“I like to write about the stars and how I see my family in them,” 2nd grader Fernando Augusto Gonzalez says wistfully. “I know that, no matter where we are or how far apart we live, we can look up at the sky and see the same thing.”

Fernando is talking about his parents. He thinks about them all the time. He wonders where they are; he imagines what they might be doing in that particular moment. Fernando’s parents migrated to the United States (from the rural community of Santiago Sacatepéquez, Guatemala) when he was a baby, in search of jobs that could support their family. Indigenous and illiterate, Fernando’s parents had few prospects at home, where over than half of the region’s residents live in chronic poverty and compete for limited resources.

The young, hopeful Guatemalan’s grandparents put a roof over his head and give him plenty to eat. They even saved up their meager earnings for several months to buy him a uniform – without which he would not be able to attend school.

From time to time, Fernando’s parents send small amounts of money home. But the opportunities they hoped to find in the U.S. have been scarce and unpredictable. Fernando says his parents encourage him to stay in school and learn to read, so that he can have a better life.

Our partners at the Cooperative for Education have put together a Culture of Reading Program in Fernando’s school. The program gives him, and his family, hope for a brighter future.

Since  entering the program last year, Fernando has blossomed. Once a shy and indifferent student, he now shows up early for school so  that he can spend quiet time perusing the books the Cooperative for Education provides his class. He has become an enthusiastic reader and learner, and  often volunteers to act out the stories in front of the other second graders. His teacher jokes that Fernando will soon take over her job.

Before the Culture of Reading Program came to his community, Fernando risked becoming another statistic: one more drop-out, one more illiterate child, one more indigenous Guatemalan relegated to the cycle of poverty. All that has changed.While he thinks of his family while looking at the stars, his teachers and classmates think of him as a shining star overcoming adversity to reach his dreams.Fernando’s dreams can come true much in part thanks to you. That right, you have impacted the life of a young boy far away from your home just by buying and donating books with Better World Books.


Each purchase from betterworldbooks.compowers a book donation to people in need. It also enables us to help fund amazing organizations like the Cooperative for Education and projects like their Culture of Reading Program. There are millions of children out there like Fernando and we are so thankful for your helping us support them!


Did you face adversities growing up? How did they make it harder to get a decent education? What inspires and motivates you by Fernando’s story?

One Comment

  1. michael romary says:

    I am in need of volume (M-Z2 of Ash’s Subject Collections, 1985. Your listing for this title does not distinguish volume number. Please let me know which volumes from BWB is available, and make such distinctions in the future! I bought from you volume 1. Sets should not be separated like this. See below and please route accordingly
    Michael Romary

    Publication Date: Jan. 1st, 1985 Publisher: R.R. Bowker Co ISBN-10: 0835219674
    ISBN-13: 9780835219679

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