Staff Picks: Chris reads The ABC's of Viola Desmond
My staff pick is The ABC’s of Viola Desmond. I confess I didn’t read it. I had my daughter read it to me. She can do that now and it was wonderful. She struggled with certain words like “discrimination,” but was able to sound them out. Each page provided an opportunity for us to talk about racism in Canada and Nova Scotia, about civil rights and what equality means, why it’s important. We also talked about the fact that Viola was a Black businesswoman, one of many leaders in her community who we can admire. For her strength to resist, and also for her leadership and business acumen. My daughter appreciated that the words and pictures were by kids like her, and she took care to read the names of the artists and writers. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the French version of this book is its own story, developed by a different group of students, rather than a straight translation. I’ll have my daughter read me that one next.