The Nian Monster: A Book Review

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I’m very excited to have been sent The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang to review in celebration of Multicultural Children’s World Book Day 2017. Reading Culture fits well into their mission to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include children’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves and I’m thrilled to be promoting an organization that aligns so closely. You can find more information on them and other diverse books in the special links below. Continue reading

Reading culture: The power of the curator

Everyone has their elementary school survival story that they wear with honour. Mine was of a mixed-race girl growing up in an institution surrounded by white kids. I don’t remember much by way of specific moments, but I remember feelings. One feeling has followed me all the way to adulthood, and thus understanding: that the person who decided what books to put on the library bookshelves had an immeasurable power for a girl in my place. I say this because those bookshelves would help to shape an identity struggle that would last well into my 20s. Continue reading

The “Culture” in a Reading Culture

A reading culture is quite simply the creation of an environment that pushes for opportunities to read. It tends to be common sense in education (at least on paper) that developing a reading culture at home, in the classroom, in our libraries, is essential to life. Indeed, reading the greats (or the great whites) is one thing, but what is a reading culture nowadays if it doesn’t take you to a zone that you didn’t even know you could enter, that you didn’t know existed? What is a collection of children’s books worth if it doesn’t give young readers the means to travel to new lands, and maybe even through time?  In the age of the Internet, and protests it seems, this element of surprise is difficult to attain, but I can’t stop thinking that there is no greater opportunity than the one found in the purest of hearts and minds — our children. So let’s start there. Continue reading