This week I’m celebrating a couple of literary events.
Family Book Club
I really enjoyed Patrick Jenning’s Guinea Dog more than I thought I would. I normally wouldn’t have read this since it looked like a fluff read about a flurry fur ball. But it’s more than that. It’s perfect for kids 7 and up because the character goes through things lots of kids that age (range) go through. Jennings perfectly captured the thoughts running through a kid’s head. It’s funny and somehow deep at the same time as the main character tries to figure out who he is in terms of his family, his friends, his classmates, and his pet who isn’t a dog but acts like one.
I ended up reading the holiday short story (only available online) “A Very Merry Guinea Dog” as well. A cute addition to the series in which there are two other novels.
We were fortunate enough to have Patrick Jennings come to our Family Book Club. There was a young boy who was a super fan of Patrick Jennings and in his own terms was a “pro-reader!” The boy also had great story ideas and it was great to see an author encourage that and even share some advice. I hope they stay in touch! I love being a bookseller!
We Need Diverse Books
I attended a “Diversity and Inclusion in Young Adult and Children’s Literature” panel put on by Portland State University’s Ooligan Press. I loved that this was being discussed since it’s such an important popular topic right now in the publishing industry and just showed how much more needs to be done. By talking about it, asking what we can do so diversity becomes more mainstream and hopefully not seen as just a trend, and actually doing things to promote further initiatives or encourage more publications of such books, it becomes something we’re aware of. I think it has to be continually talked up and talked about because we’re easily lured into a false sense of victory whenever there’s a speech or a march or a movement or a day-of proclamation. Those should be considered success markers and not the big win.
But back on point, there were so many thoughtful and insightful ideas shared. Reading widely (“reading without walls”) and to buy and to borrow diverse books shows the publishing industry that that’s what people want and can still be profitable. As a bookseller, I feel I can step up my game and make more of an effort to recommend books with diverse characters. I hope everyone who attended had some takeaways that they can put into words and actions as well.
And, unrelated to any book events, I wanted to give a shout-out of Jen of Teach Mentor Texts for sending me a card! I love getting cards- and I got two this past week.
What are you celebrating this week?