For twelve years our family has looked for books (and other materials) in French, our minority language, in every way we’ve thought of. We have checked the public library as well as that of the French cultural institute, and swapped books with other bilingual or expat families we know in our area. The French grandparents have occasionally sent us books, and each time we’ve traveled to see them we’ve reserved one suitcase for all the gems from our favorite used book stores. The girls have been subscribed to book clubs, magazines, you name it. It’s been great, but also quite expensive.
Throughout this all, I’ve been thinking how great it would be to know a family with the same language selection, but living in our minority language country. This family, which in the ideal situation would have children close to ours in age, would have Finnish as their minority language. We, living here, could help them with many things that they’re looking for to reinforce and make this language more fun to their children. We could tell them what websites our children like, what games they play and would be happy to send them books and magazines that our children have read and that are easy and affordable for us to find here. In exchange, we would love to have French books or other materials that their children no longer read and suggestions about things that interest their peers in the French-speaking countries. I am convinced that this kind of an exchange could work and be beneficial on many levels.
A while back I started a FB group for this purpose. It ‘s stll in the beginning stages – if you think it could be a good idea, do check it out, tell us about yourself and what you would be looking for. Let others know about it, too, and together let’s get something going! You can find us here: www.facebook.com/BilingualBookswap