The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers. Our flagship initiative is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans. (source: The Brown Bookshelf website) The founders of the Brown Bookshelf are a who's who in African-American children's literature and themselves authors and/or illustrators. Before getting published, I had visited the Brownshelf and read these biographies and their respective websites, so it is truly honour to now get to write a post on their website.
Here is an excerpt:
Interviewer Nadia: You write this book in a lyrical style… patois… Creole. We don’t see that very often in picture books. To have a book written in the spoken language… Caribbean-English or Ebonics… that’s rare. How have the reviewers and critics responded? How open was your publisher receptive, open to you writing in this way?
Nadia L. Hohn: I wrote this book in what I call “patois lite”. I don’t use alternate spellings, the phonetic spellings you can often see on signs in the Caribbean. Instead, I use certain language that often happen in the English-speaking Caribbean and when I do read-aloud, I use my “Caribbean voice”. So far critics have called the way I write “colloquial” and one reviewer said she found it “jarring “ on the first read but by the second read, she liked it and found it the charm of the book.
IN: Who do you think will like this book?
NLH: I think children ages 3 to 7 will definitely like it. I tested it out on my own students and a New York City school I visited in February. I also think folks of Caribbean background and immigrants will identify with the story. Teachers and librarians will love it for the diverse content. And children’s book lovers will love that it is a “fresh” voice— a patois-speaking little girl— a story told from her perspective. It’s a window to another culture and way of being.
To read the rest of this "selfie interview", visit the link below.
Guest post: Nadia Hohn’s selfie interview on “Malaika’s Costume” March 1, 2016
Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD)
The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) celebrates diversity in literature by promoting diverse authors and stories in Brampton, Ontario – one of Canada’s most culturally diverse cities. This is the first year of the festival and they have an exciting line-up of workshops and speakers. FOLD will take place from May 6 to 8, 2016.
Here's a preview:
Black History Month began as Negro History Week in the United States in in Canada in 1926 as a way to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of people of African descent. In 1976, it became Black History Month and in 1995, it was officially recognized here in Canada. February is the shortest month and one of the coldest times of the year. The perfect way to celebrate one of these cozy evenings is curled up with a book — not only in February, but all year round. Here are twelve must reads to keep you busy.
1) I and I by Tony Medina, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson (Lee & Low Books, 2009)
Through Medina’s luscious and descriptive poems and Watson’s gorgeous lifelike illustrations, I and I is a celebration of Marley’s life. The reader gets snapshots of young Robert in the rural hills of Nine Mile in St. Ann parish to the bustling life and crippling poverty of Trenchtown to the concert stage.
2) The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (Harper Collins, 2007)
Lawrence Hill’s sweeping saga told through the life of Aminata Diallo’s journey through continental Africa, the United States, Canada, and then Europe. Aminata is a woman before her time— literate, poised, strong-willed, and reflective— she restores the dignity of Black woman in the often brutal slave narrative. Also adapted to film.
To read the rest of this post, visit:
12 Black History Books February 17, 2016
It almost goes without saying that my publisher, Groundwood Books, will ask authors to write on their blog. Blogging on a website that already has a public readership is an important way that authors can plug their work and engage with different audiences.
Miss Lou- Guest Post by Nadia L. Hohn March 24, 2016
Celebrate Black History Month with Malaika's Costume and the Stone Thrower February 2, 2016