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May and June Titles // 2020

Showing a page from "The Little Book of Lykke" by Meik Wiking I feel behind in my reading. The libraries have recently reopened two weeks ago and I now have a stack of three books I can't wait to read, and yet, I'm struggling to read them. My brain won't sit still long enough to relax into a book. It has nervous energy and I'm finding sometimes reading feels like a chore. There is so much going on in the world and reading is my happy and relaxed place; somehow the firm boundaries of my mind have been disrupted and distressed to the point of just shoving away the comfort foods of words and paper and turning off the light instead.  This looks like a big list, but it is two months worth, and most of it was either already half-completed, or read aloud to my kids. I recently led our kids' co-op in an Upper Level Book Club (gr 5+) with two of these books, also helping my reading on track. I know I'm not behind in anything (in what?), but at this point in  y
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Diverse Children's Literature

This has taken me much longer than I anticipated to get a book list together from my libraries' archives, type out, and fill out with links. The links are primarily from Massy Books , an Indigenous-owned bookstore in Vancouver, BC, but when they couldn't be found there they are on amazon.  I didn't give any descriptions of these books because you can click on them to know more, and there are  so many listed. Each and every one of these picture books and young adult (YA)  books,  have been read by my family. Yes, some of them are about political figures or events during the civil rights, but most are about black or people of color who have done amazing things: art, science, inventions, history makers or  fiction books with diverse characters.   With the Black Lives Matter movement happening right now in the US, I thought I'd share some that stood out to us in the past two years of our reading. Diverse books are important in any home, and every single one of these we were

Lukka's 13th Birthday Interview

camping with friends at Cultus Lake  What is your favorite color? Blue Who are some of your friends? Cole, Zac, Kate, Joshua, Matthew, Mattias, Kellan, Ethan biking the Glen Valley dyke trail  What do you want to do when you grow up? undecided What is your favorite animal? dog  hiking somewhere in Maple Ridge around Christmas What is your favorite thing to do with Anikka? .... (long pause)... skiing What is your favorite thing to do with your friends? talking and playing video games  meeting the new farm members What do you like to do outside?  garden, bike, drive the truck, ski,  What do you like to do inside?  play my piano, read, watch TV Calvin jokes are still favorites around here What is your favorite food?  steak or pasta What is your favorite drink?  fizzy drinks Snow day forts! What is your favorite restaurant?  Olive Garden  What is your favorite subject in school?  math (WHAT?!) Trying to fix mom's old laptop What is your favorite thing to watch?  Phineas and Ferb  What


photo credit Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi -  I can't believe this is Gyasi's debut novel that she wrote in her early 20s. It's stunning, complex, beautifully imagined, and very raw. It's a story that weaves through history and follows two women and how drastic their lives are once divided: one gets put onto a slave ship, the other married to a slaver in Ghana. The historical novel traces one generation per chapter from the 1700s and jumps the reader back and forth into present day at the story's end.  The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - This book is probably the most graphic fiction book I've ever read. It's a Pulitzer and National Book Award prize winner, and the writing is absolutely searing. This book is about Cora, a woman who escapes slavery but is running from state to state via the magical realism of a train on the underground railroad, complete with flowers in a vase atop a checkered tablecloth waiting with a basket of food for her at some of t


photo credit If you read the first part of this series, you will know that this post will be about non-fiction books that have helped me understand the perspective of black, biracial, and indigenous people. I will make a note with each one as to which perspective it is written from, and why I included it. Following each post will be a few books that I am wanting/waiting to read.  Reading is the primary way we can be put in another's shoes, understand a different perspective, and grow in empathy and compassion for those I do not share the same views with, or have just never been exposed to. It's one of the most influential acts we can do, as humans: read -> think -> grow.  I've Been Meaning to Tell You by David Chariandy - This book is slim -it may not take you more than an hour or two to finish, but it's a father's story-letter to his daughter about his growing up as a minority and the roots of racism, along with infusing hope into the next generation for a

Why Black Lives Matter is a Pro-Life Issue

Artist Jane Mount The first night of the protests that started after George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis police officer had my mind racing. I was reading and listening to news reports on and off, and have been for nearly two weeks now. I have been online way too much than is good for me, but I can't  stop reading because I am learning so much. In such a short amount of time, I've learned all about some of the systems that protect the police, what happens when the social contract is up, and that moment of realization that I'm someone to fear , and most importantly, what it looks like to be(come) anti-racist .  I know I am learning so much about racism just in the last two weeks alone, and here I thought I was someone who 'knew'. Dang, I was so wrong. So misinformed. So clueless and ignorant--still am. I am committed to learning more, speaking out when appropriate, and shutting up when appropriate. The only way I can try to help in the immediate time period,

3 Questions

One of my favorite authors, Emily P. Freeman , had a newsletter a few weeks back about answering 3 things during the pandemic-related isolation. I can't link to it because it was in an email. You might enjoy her (very short) weekly podcast about doing the Next Right Thing , and yes, she came up with that before Kristoff sang about it. Here's my rendition:  1. What was the funniest thing that happened in April? I honestly don't remember anything funny happening in April. More than likely, it was something I laughed at very hard on a Marco while communicating with my friends all over. They make me laugh daily and I'm very grateful for that! The most joyful thing that happened to me in April? That was a walk every day with my kids underneath the flowering cherry blossom trees, them smacking the branches so I can have a showering of Spring's snow. 2. What do you miss? The thing I miss the most right now is being able to share a meal with others, an