Throughout 2020, All Lit Up-er Tan Light is participating in BookRiot's
Read Harder Challenge—a reading task designed to expand readerly boundaries—and doing so with an indie twist. Each entry in this series will highlight one or two completed challenges along with a list of books from All Lit Up to have you reading harder, too! This challenge is for young readers, with follow-up reads for adults!
Do you have a young reader in your life? This month for Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge, I selected two picture books that met the criteria, so you can share the love of reading "hard" with your budding bookworm over the Family Day Weekend.
Based on a true story told through the eyes of their beloved cat, Ghost, this book follows two men forced to flee their home in Java due to prevalent violence against the LGBTQ+ community. Eventually, they find safety and freedom here in Canada. It's a great introduction to both the refugee crisis, as well as the idea of tolerance/intolerance.This harrowing journey is made accessible to young readers by Ghost, the cat. Ghost only has a rudimentary understanding of the danger, but her desire to help and protect her parents, her confusion, and finally, getting settled into her new home, reflect the feelings a child might have in a similar situation.
Looking for a more mature take on what it means to be a refugee?
Homes by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung (Freehand Books) Refugee Song by Lawrence Feuchtwanger (Signature Editions) Amity by Nasreen Pejvack (Inanna Publications) The Brink of Freedom by Stella Leventoyannis Harvey (Signature Editions)
Challenge #3: Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community
Nutaui's Cap is also based on true events. This picture book recounts how the Canadian government began testing bomber jets over Innu lands in Labrador, ignoring the protests of the local people. It's a great introduction to Indigenous land rights, our national history of ignoring those rights, and the impacts that criminalizing protests can have on First Nations' families. Anyone looking to help their kids learn the importance of Indigenous Peoples' connection to the land, or explore the current crisis affecting water protectors and the impact of the pipeline protests on First Nations' communities should pick up a copy of Nutaui's Cap.
All Lit Up is produced by the Literary Press Group and LitDistCo. LPG and LitDistCo acknowledge the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council.
All views expressed by bloggers and contributors to the All Lit Up blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of All Lit Up or the Literary Press Group.
All Lit Up acknowledges we are hosted on the lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat. We also recognize the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and the Inuit people, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work on this territory.