Category Archives: Reading Lounge

As Red as Blood

Salla SimukkaHave you noticed a pattern anywhere in my posts?

Now that I’m looking right at the cover, I’m a little bit confused: the silhouette looks Tinkerbell-esque, and she is most certainly not from a Grimms fairy tale. That’s not important though. In fact, although there are plenty of fairytale references throughout, including (of course) Snow White, in large part in reference to the protagonist Lumikki, who is named after Snow White, the storyline itself isn’t very fairytale-like (apart from the fantastical elements – not fantasy, mind you).

Fast-paced, with a clear progression of events, As Red as Blood keeps you hooked from beginning to end and is a promising beginning to a trilogy. We do not yet own the next two books of the trilogy, As White as Snow and As Black as Ebony, but I’m looking forward to reading them!

(Spoiler alert under the cut!)

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The Name Therapist

“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

The Name TherapistI saw Duana Taha’s book in the Ontario Library Association’s gift shop at a recent conference. It was the only book among many presumably scrumptious reads that captured my attention enough to compel me to handle it physically, reading the flaps of the dust jacket and chunks of page wherever my leafing would take me.  I requested it from the library within days of our spark of an encounter, and soon after had my hands on a copy of the book for three glorious weeks.  The Name Therapist is nominated for the 2017 Evergreen Award, and although my impression is coloured by my own predilection (being a so-called ‘name-nerd’), I can understand why it is deserving of the recognition.  As Hermione Granger would say, names have power, and everybody has a story to tell about Continue reading

I Am Not a Number

Residential SchoolsI Am Not a Number, by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland, tells the story of Irene Couchie, Dupuis’ grandmother, and her experience of the residential schooling system, where, along with many other First Nations children, she was stripped of her identity both as a person – the children went by numbers, not names; she was assigned 759 – and as a member of her community, punished for speaking her language – the Devil’s tongue, the nuns called it. As Irene is getting her hair cut, she says that she is crying not only because her hair is getting cut, but because in her community, hair is cut as a signifier of loss; the nun is not only cutting Irene’s hair: she is attempting to kill Irene and her culture*.

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