Nadia’s Notables Newsletter
In this issue…
- Hands Across the Seas…
- Malaika’s Winter Carnival Book Launch
- Americas Award: Washington DC Here I Come
- Toronto Public Library, presentation at Yorkwoods Library
- Caribbean Travels, Author Talk and Guest Blogging in Trinidad
- Visit to Groundwood Books
- Today’s Parent: Picture Books and Social Justice
- Words of Advice
- Important Dates
It has been a busy and eventful last few months. I completed my teaching job in Dubai, moved back to Canada, and traveled to Portugal, Spain, Germany, and the Caribbean. I decided to cover two months, July and August, for this issue of Nadia's Notables Newsletter.
It is with my deepest sadness that I share that my youngest brother, Roury Hohn, passed away on July 15, 2017 at the age of 26. This was very sudden and devastating news. Roury went into hospital shortly after my return to Canada so I got to spend his last moments with him in hospital. Roury was an amazing, hardworking, loving, intelligent, wise, "old soul", handsome, entrepreneurial, "go getter", and inspiring. Like me, he too was a musician, a vegan, active, listened to motivational speakers. He was a supporter of my work as a writer and left the world too soon. I am still grieving this loss and I miss him tremendously. I am exploring ways to keep Roury’s memory alive through an educational fund as he was a proponent of healthy living, goalsetting, and education. Please stay tuned for details.
I am learning much from this loss. Writing has been a challenge but also a "saving grace" at this time. I have dedicated some of my #100daysto40 Instagram series as I process and make sense of my grieving. I continue to pursue and live my dreams in life and keep Roury's memory alive.
1. Hands Across the Sea…
I think this is also a great time to announce that “Malaika’s Costume” will be distributed to children in 6 countries in the Eastern Caribbean (Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Antigua, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines) through Hands Across the Sea. This organisation does amazing work.
Winter is coming… “Malaika’s Winter Carnival” will be in bookstores and available for purchase online in September 2017. Please join me for my book launch on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at A Different Booklist in Toronto and share the invite with others.
“Malaika’s Costume” has received an Americas Award honourable mention by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP). The presentation of this honour will take place on Friday, September 22, 2017 at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. In addition, I have been invited to co-present a workshop to teachers and librarians on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Please join me if you are able. The information is found on the following links:
http://claspprograms.org/pages/detail/69/Award-Ceremony on September 22, 2017
I presented “Malaika’s Carnival Adventure” workshop at Yorkwoods Library on July 15th 2-3pm. I did a reading of the picture book, "Malaika's Costume", storytelling, soca, singing, and so much more. Children made lovely Carnival masks and colouring costume sheets just in time for Toronto's Caribbean Carnival season. This activity was for children 2 to 10 years old.
Im not going to lie. This was the toughest book talk I've done in my life. The children had fun making Carnival masks, listening to my story, and dancing to soca at Yorkwoods Library on July 15th however but I had to shift the presentation around after visiting the hospital where I had just spent time with my brother Roury Freeman in his 3rd day of coma and met with his care team. I didn't cancel my library visit because Roury would have wanted me to do it. Plus, he attended my very first library visit in April 2016 at the Albion branch in Rexdale. The Yorkwoods one was in my other childhood neighbourhood of Jane&Finch. I dedicated this library visit to him.
This summer I had the pleasure of traveling to the Caribbean. My original plan was to have a 3-island trip to commemorate my upcoming 40th birthday. I had a revised itinerary after my brother’s passing. I had a wonderful time visiting Trinidad where I participated in an author talk with Summer Edward of Anansesem: Caribbean Children’s Online Magazine at Arima Library on August 2, 2017.
I visited my publisher at Groundwood Books in Toronto this week. It is so nice to have a home for Malaika's Costume and it's upcoming sequel, Malaika's Winter Carnival (September 1, 2017, it will be a Scholastic Canada book club book in English and French in December). You can visit my publisher's bookstore at 128 Sterling Road in Toronto to purchase a signed copy of my book and there are also comfy chairs so you can curl up and read at your leisure.
Today’s Parent is a Toronto-based magazine dedicated to parents and children. The online publication highlighted five books that help children to understand privilege and socioeconomic differences. “Malaika’s Costume” made the list. Please read it here: https://www.todaysparent.com/family/books/social-justice-books-for-kids/#gallery/5-books-to-teach-your-kid-about-privilege-and-socioeconomic-differences/0
Write (not stalk) your favourite authors. On social media, it is much easier to reach your favourite authors. Send them a line of encouragement or ask them a question. If they are able to and have the time, they will respond. My experience is that they do answer your questions, more often than not. It is about building your network of peers, learning from those you respect, and encouraging a fellow writer.
9. Important Dates
- Saturday, August 26, 2017 2-4pm Malaika’s Winter Carnival Book Launch in Toronto, Ontario
- Friday, September 1, 2017 Malaika’s Winter Carnival available in stores in Canada
- Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Malaika’s Winter Carnival available in stores in the United States and around the world
- Sunday, September 17, 2017 Telling Tales Festival in Rockton, Ontario
- Thursday, September 21, 2017 Malaika’s Costume Workshop for Teachers and Librarians presented by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP)
- Friday, September 22, 2017 CLASP Americas Award Ceremony at the Library of Congress for Malaika's Costume to receive the Honourable Mention at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC
- Sunday, September 24, 2017 Word on the Street: Toronto Book & Magazine Festival