Friday, 3 February 2017

Reading Up For Black History Month

In my quest to learn more about the people living in Canada—as part of my year of learning about my country in celebration of its 150th birthday—I thought I’d tackle another of my 2017 goals at the same time. February is Black History Month.

So, I’m going to READ books that celebrate ‘Blacks’ in some way. Oh, I know we have a lot of activities planned at school, and if you check out my Instagram and Facebook throughout February, I’ll be posting pictures and facts about both Black History Month AND History Month, in general (including cool facts about Canada!)

But first! Here are the three books I’ll be reading this month:

The Orphan Boy by Tololwa M. Mollel, illustrated by Paul Morin

An old man longs for a child. One night, Kileken, an orphan boy, comes to him. Somehow he's able to take on all the old man's chores and he brings him great prosperity. 

How he does it is a secret that Kileken guards carefully. But when the old man discovers his secret, the boy is gone forever. Based on a Massai legend, this is a story about strength, love and trust. Illustrator Paul Morin travelled to Africa to research the characters and the result is a series of evocative paintings. 

P-s-s-st...Did you know that Tololwa Mollel is Albertan? He lives in Edmonton, actually, and his book, The Orphan Boy is in MY school library. 

Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged! by Jody Nyasha Warner and Richard Rudnicki 

In 1946 Nova Scotia, Viola Desmond was asked to move from her seat in a theatre to a less desirable section set aside for Black patrons. She offered to pay the full price for her ticket, but she refused to move seats. As a result, she was arrested. 

Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court and inspired an entire community—and this book! 

All Aboard!: Elijah McCoy's Steam Train by Monica Kulling, illustrated by Bill Slavin 

Elijah McCoy, the son of freed slaves, grew up in Colchester, Ontario, and dreamed of becoming a mechanical engineer. He studied engines in Scotland, and when he was hired by the Michigan Central Railroad, he thought he was on his way to achieving his dream. Instead he was hired to be an ash-cat, shoveling coal into the firebox and greasing the engine. 

It wasn't what he  expected, but because of that experience and his fertile mind full of ideas, he one day developed an oil cup that would make rail travel safer and more reliable.

How will you learn about Black History Month? And do you have any book recommendations for me?

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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