Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Why fight when you can just float away?

"It's not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences." --Audre Lorde

We are deep into the last few weeks of reading for the OLA Red Maple nominated books, and soon grade 7 and 8's across Ontario will vote for their favourite book. On May 12, I'll be at Harbourfront celebrating readers and reading with the OLA, and finding out who wins the Red Maple award this year (I know my favourite!).

Today, I found this wonderful video, made perhaps by a teacher or students, comparing two Red Maple books, The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden (mine) and Why Do We Fight? by Niki Walker (nominated in the non-fiction section).

What a thoughtful comparison. Here's the Video: What would you do if your troubles could float away?

My favourite slide is #14: 'When Gwendolyn discovers her floating is a part of her...she makes peace with herself and places her struggles aside." Lovely. Love the picture, too.

This is the first time I've seen anyone note specifically that Gwendolyn's Night Flying community is what saves her. The metaphor of flight could be replaced by any number of struggles that teenagers face as they navigate the changes in their lives, from friendships, to relationships with family and the opposite sex, to self-awareness and self-esteem. But gaining a wider sense of community, to me that's the key to Gwen's salvation. Where would she be without her mentor Mrs. Forest? And Mr. McGillies watching faithfully?

As the slide says, "In many respects countries, just as people, must keep their peace promise." So true, thank you.

Here are two more recent and very sweet Red Maple fan-made videos for The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden:
Watch My Amazing Book Presentation
The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden Video

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