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Stay-home summer reading | friends.ca

Stay-home summer reads

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July 28th, 2020
Stay-home summer reads

There are a few months of summer left, but many of us are still stuck at home with limited options to travel or vacation. That makes this summer a great time to refresh our reading lists or catch up on reading books we've been putting off since winter. For this week's CanCon recommendations, we've selected three authors whose fiction and nonfiction writing helps us understand Canada's history and its complex identity as a multi-racial country.

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

Canada's residential schools left a deep and indelible scar on generations of Indigenous peoples. Some survivors bounced back from their traumas; others fell into substance abuse or crime as a result of their carrying wounds that are still raw. In her fictional work Five Little Indians, Michelle Good takes readers on a journey through the spectrum of effects the schools have on the generations that lived to tell their stories. Bound by their hellish years at a church-run residential school, childhood friends Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie find themselves in Downtown Eastside Vancouver where radical politics and drugs are offered up as panacea to their childhood traumas.

Learn more about the book here.

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Shame on Me by Tessa McWatt

Fact: Canada is a multiracial country. Also a fact: Canadians are largely not ready to talk about what it means to belong to one race or another. In Shame on Me, author Tessa McWatt adds another heavy layer on the race discourse (or lack thereof): having a multi-racial identity. She traces her roots from Southern China, British Guiana, India and parts of Africa to paint a complex picture of what it means to exist in the liminal spaces between different racial groups. McWatt's journey in understanding her place in Canada's multiracial fabric is not an easy read, but it's essential for anyone who calls themselves a proud Canadian.

Learn more about the book here.


How Canadian authors are keeping busy at home this summer:
You Suck, Sir by Paul Bae

"You suck." Those two words from one of his students got Paul Bae to start journaling his conversations with the kids in his class. Throughout his 12 years as an English teacher, Paul amassed volumes of anecdotes that demonstrate how a student-teacher relationship, at its most ideal, is a busy two-way street. From hilarious gripes about homework to startlingly poignant reflections on the state of the world, You Suck, Sir is a beautiful and honest glimpse into the connection one teacher has with his students.

Learn more about the book here.

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