Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: Red Rising Magazine
Publish May 24, 2017
Focusing on the theme of love, Red Rising Magazine features young Indigenous writers and artists exploring decolonial love: love for the land and their community.
“Keeper of the Fire”, an oral poem by Lucy, age 9, for example, reveals love through a child’s eyes, gathered with her family around a fire for potlatch. Her teacher, Tasha Henry, provides the context for the poem, writing that the papa Lucy speaks of is in the spirit world. Lucy’s words show her connections to her family, present and past, as well as her joy in having a name that means Keeper of the Fire (Kwak’wala). Her poem evokes the senses with vivid smells, colours and images. The sense of belonging Lucy feels in her community is palpable.
In “How Does a Nation Love?” by Adriana Chartrand, the nature and expression of love is explored for Alberta Williams. Chartrand demonstrates how Williams’ family had to prove Williams was loved before people cared about her missing. For society, proving she was loved is a clear sign of how a nation loves because a white woman would not necessarily need to have her humanity revealed to provoke action. Chartrand ends her piece with a powerful insight: “How does a nation love? Perhaps this can best be defined by recognizing who is not loved.”
These are just a couple of the eye-opening and heartfelt pieces of writing included in this issue. Red Rising Magazine’s focus on social justice will appeal to teen readers and provide insights and perspectives on modern day issues through an original Indigenous viewpoint. The theme of Red Rising’s next issue is Revolt, which is sure to provide an enlightening take on Canada 150.
An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.
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