OCT OEEO

PS_June_2018

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42 Professionally Speaking | June 2018 For additional reviews of French-language resources, visit pourparlerprofession.oeeo.ca. With the exception of some classroom sets, items reviewed are available on loan from the Margaret Wilson Library at the College. Contact Olivia Hamilton at 416-961-8800 (toll-free in Ontario 1-888-534-2222), ext. 679 or email library@oct.ca. reviews Your guide to recently released books and other teaching resources. Escape from Syria BY SAMYA KULLAB, ILLUSTRATED BY JACKIE ROCHE This is a tale that words alone cannot express — a story also needs pictures to encompass the magnitude of the refugee experi- ence that it describes. It tells the fictional story of Amina, a Syrian girl whose life is changed forever when her family home in Aleppo is destroyed by a bomb. After fleeing to Lebanon, the family experiences displacement, hunger and poverty. While in the refugee camp, Amina's brother contracts meningitis and she is compelled to leave school to help support the family. Finally the family is offered the opportunity to emigrate to Canada. And so begins the last part of the book as the family adjusts to the challenging realities of Canadian life. Kullab based this graphic novel on her personal observa- tions from reporting in Syria. She does not shy away from difficult issues such as child brides, bribery, torture, attacks on Syrian citizens by their own government, desperate acts of escape and the pain of leaving a homeland. Facts about the Syrian situation are interwoven into the story to help readers understand the political and economic circumstances that led to the refugee crisis. Additional notes and photographs at the end of the book sum up the Syrian experience of the last few years. While the book depicts a horrible situation, it also tells a story of survival and hope. For readers 12 and up. Margaret Grift is a librarian at John Knox Christian School in Brampton, Ont. The Water Walker BY JOANNE ROBERTSON The Water Walker tells the true story of Nokomis Josephine Mandamin (Nokomis is a grandmother in Ojibwe traditional stories) and her crew of Mother Earth Water Walkers who walked around the five Great Lakes to raise awareness for protecting nibi (water). Written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson, an Indigenous author, illustra- tor, water protector and campaigner, it is a true-story portrait of a passionate woman who takes action to protect clean water — our most precious natural resource. Robertson cleverly uses Anishinaabemowin words and phrases throughout the book. While the context of the Indigenous-language terms usually makes the meaning clear, translation and a pronunci- ation guide is provided at the end of the book. The use of language furthers the authenticity of the author's intent to both educate and entertain readers about water and the Indigenous knowledge relat- ed to respecting and preserving nibi for future generations. The simple text and colourful pictures are the perfect medium to convey the urgency of the Water Walkers' initiative. Teachers and students can use her story to spark and ignite their own activism around water protection. Joe Restoule General, OCT, is the acting principal of I. L. Thomas Odadrihonyanita Elementary School in Ohsweken, Ont. Escape from Syria, Firefly Books, Richmond Hill, Ont., 2017, hardcover, ISBN 978-1-77085-982-1, 96 pages, $19.95, fireflybooks.com The Water Walker, Second Story Press, Toronto, 2017, hardcover, ISBN 978-1-77260-038-4, 36 pages, $16.95, distributed by University of Toronto Press, utpress.utoronto.ca A good book is a pathway to living other lives. Adventure, suspense, fantasy, humour and information are only as faraway as a bookshelf. This issue features reviews of new young adult fiction and non-fiction to engage and enlighten your students about key issues of our time: refugee migration, environmental degradation, war and intercultural communication. Through these books they can travel the globe, flee across borders, encounter the humanity in strangers, and see the world — and their place in it — with new eyes. – Wendy Harris, Reviews editor

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