Canada Reads: BPL Edition has inspired, prepared and motivated a group of readers for CBC’s Canada Reads. It has helped the audience to consider which book is the one book to open your eyes and deserves to be the “literary survivor“. Hosted on the third floor of the Brantford Public Library, each of 5 books was represented by 5 dedicated readers. It was a fun evening and a privilege to participate and talk books!
Each panel member (in order of picture) represented one of the books from the Canada Reads short-list and included:
- The Marrow Thieves, (Cheri Dimaline) represented by Caroline Freibauer, teacher librarian, former Expositor reporter.
- Forgiveness (Mark Sakamoto) represented by Penny McKenzie, former BPL board chair and retired English teacher.
- American War (Omar El Akkad) represented by Danielle Baines, BPL staff.
- Precious Cargo (Craig Davidson) represented by myself, Susan Gibson
- The Boat People (Sharon Bala) represented by Anna Rowe (BPL Staff)
Each participant described their book and shared their views on how each book challenged readers to find new perspectives and to look differently at themselves, their neighbours and the world around them. Each defender shared one thing about each book that the audience should remember, their final thoughts and answered questions about their books.
A few memorable comments included:
- One of the panelists shared that at her school, the “short bus” was referred to as a “opportunity” bus. in relation to Precious Cargo, it truly was an opportunity bus creating and “opportunity” for the author and readers to learn, reflect and be open to life changing experiences.
- Other readers have struggled with the first half of American War
- Freibauer is excited that The Marrow Thieves was a very engaging book for students
- That while the story was terrific, McKenzie, a former English teacher would assign the mark of C+ to Forgiveness for the writing
- The defender of The Boat People felt that although she was left hanging, she learned much about refugees
For an event that was scheduled from 630 to 730 pm, it was terrific to see that the book discussion was so lively and ended at 9:00 when the audience was reminded that the library was closing.
Many in the audience revealed that they had not yet read any of the 5 books so I hope that the evening inspired readers to choose at least one book to read before the Canada Reads debates start tomorrow.
Both the main and St. Paul’s library have a poster board and library members can vote, with a maple leaf sticker, for the book that should win the 2018 Canada Reads debate. At the end of the event, the the votes were fairly even but the voting is open until the event so it will be interesting to see if the results mirror the CBC Books event.
Overall, it was fun to have people talking about CanLit and was a great precursor to the Canada Reads event which begins tomorrow! Continue watching for my thoughts and comments on each day of the debates. I will be in the studio audience for day 1 and for the finale and can’t wait to share the excitement!!
Please comment below as to which book you think should win the event!