After a busy week, I’m finally able to update you on what’s been happening! If you follow my Instagram, you probably already know: children gathered from completely different backgrounds last week for Reading Culture‘s multicultural workshop series. I don’t think I could have been more excited to show off my books, Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel, which focuses on the idea of the totem animal in a direct but beautiful way; and Stolen Words by Melanie Florence, which introduced the history of the residential school system — a touchy but necessary conversation.
I drink wine because my mother drank wine.
I traveled young because I believe that, if she could go back, she would have traveled young. I read, most definitely, because of her, but I don’t say that in the way that one might think. Continue reading
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
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