Former deputy mayor pens 30-page children’s book

Shelburne resident and former deputy mayor Steve Anderson has published a children’s book.

Anderson released his book titled “Why Not Me?” on Feb. 5.

The 30-page story explores Anderson’s life growing up in the community of Jane and Finch in Toronto and the challenges he experienced.

The book also speaks to some of his triumphs, including graduating from the University of Windsor, attending law school, becoming the first black lawyer hired by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and transiting into community politics.

The book’s message encourages youth to strive for their achievements and opportunities despite the adversity they may be facing.

“The story is all about inspiring those to start to believe that anything is really possible for them. These opportunities are just as deserving to you regardless of where you are now, and what you’re going through – as long as you’re prepared to work hard,” said Anderson.

Anderson previously published a self-penned autobiography, “Driven to Succeed,” in 2021, and his children’s book “Why Not Me?” touches on similar topics but is geared towards younger audiences.

“The feedback that I got from the original publication was that a lot of parents were readings portions of my book to their children. I figured, let me create something that would be beneficial to them,” said Anderson.

A unique aspect of Anderson’s book is the QR code on the inside cover, which can be scanned to provide an animated story. The animation features local talent, including the voiceover done by Suzette Daley, Tristan Barracks with visual production, and Juli-Anne and Andrew James from Streams Community Hub.

“The animation, I’m really excited about because it gives a unique feature for the visual learner, which is what I was as a student and still am now,” said Anderson. “It makes the book a bit more interactive and more accessible to different learning styles.”

When asked what he hopes local youth will get from reading his new book, Anderson said, “My hope is when they read ‘Why Not Me?’ that they see themselves reflected in the story. That they believe in themselves and that success is possible for them regardless of what they’re going through. It’s all about allowing them to see an honest blueprint so they can say to themselves ‘if he can do it, why not me’”.

“Why Not Me?” is available for purchase on Amazon.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press