The Power of Books & Bowls

The Power of Books & Bowls

Chapman’s renews partnership with book club for high-risk youth


Markdale, ON Diving into a good book or a bowl of ice cream are universal treasures that cross age, gender, race, and income barriers. That’s precisely the mandate of A Room of Your Own book club; connecting high-risk teen girls through Canadian literature. That mandate, and a shared passion for connecting with the community in meaningful ways is why Chapman’s Ice Cream is keen to partner with this organization for the second year in a row.


Located in Markdale, Ontario, Chapman’s is a family-run business with a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of Canadians, beyond what’s in their bowl. Health, wellness, sustainability and giving back to the community are important pillars of the business. Renewing the partnership for 2022 with A Room of Your Own checked a lot of those boxes and resonated with the founding family. “As a family, reading has always been such an important part of our daily lives,” says Ashley Chapman, VP of Chapman’s Ice Cream. “The love of reading is more than a pastime; it is a force of nature that breaks down barriers and opens a person’s mind to other worlds. Literacy is a gift that never stops giving.”


Chapman’s is committed to purchasing 1000 books throughout 2022 for A Room of Your Own participants that will be distributed to teen girls via school libraries. After reading the book, on April 9, 2022 the girls will connect virtually to discuss the book with a special guest – the author! The first edition of the book club in 2022 has the girls reading Beatrice and Croc Harry by critically acclaimed bestselling author, Lawrence Hill.  “I am honoured and delighted to be the first male author who is invited to meet with the girls who belong to A Room of Your Own book club and can’t wait to settle into a good chat with them about my new novel, Beatrice and Croc Harry,” says Hill. 


A Room of Your Own book club was established in Toronto by Tanya Marie Lee in 2017 and has grown to a national book club for Canadian girls, ages 13-18, who are considered high-risk and cannot afford to buy their own books. The club focuses on mental health and wellness, while giving participants a chance to meet the author and discuss the book. Throughout the pandemic, A Room of Your Own struggled with the threat of closure. Shifting to virtual book club meetings eliminated the valuable in-person connection that was built since its inception in 2017. However, the opportunity to reach teen girls coast to coast has proved invaluable for both the participants, and Lee, “The girls are in for a treat of a lifetime. Imagine having the opportunity to host Lawrence Hill, one of Canada’s top authors!” Landing an author as big as Lawrence Hill is a testament to the success of the program and Chapman’s Ice Cream is proud to support by providing copies of the books to participants across Canada. 


To date, the program has reached hundreds of teen girls across Canada, connecting them through the common bond of reading. As Ashley Chapman said, literacy is a gift that never stops giving. In these divisive times, two things are certain to bring joy to those that partake: literature and licking a bowl of ice cream! That’s the power of books and bowls.

For more information about A Room of Your Own book club, please contact Tanya Marie Lee at 


For more information about Chapman’s community initiatives and partnerships, please contact 

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