Celebrating Diversity with Raincoast Books (Review & Giveaway)

The last few months have been an eye opener for me as we continue to fight for equality for all when it comes to human rights, while staying safe as best we can as Covid-19 is still here. We currently have our DK Canada Life Stories on Black History giveaway going on, but I wanted to do more for myself, my family and for you guys as well. So I contacted one of my favorite book companies to work with, Raincoast Books, to collab and showcase a few of their authors who are people of colour.

I was sent a beautiful package of four books that have not only been a joy to read, but also a joy to share with my family and add to our family library. We were sent The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones, I Am Perfectly Designed, The Undefeated and Woke. Each of these books are written by an author of colour and talk about in some way or another being comfortable in your skin as well as wanting justice and equality for all. Check out the synopsis of each book below as well as my thoughts on each book:


By: Daven McQueen
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
ISBN: 9781989365168
Pages: 312

It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.

Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.



By: Kwame Alexander & Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Versify
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
ISBN: 9781328780966
Pages: 40

This poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.


By: Karamo Borwn & Illustrated by: Anoosha Syed
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
ISBN: 9781250232212
Pages: 40

I Am Perfectly Designed is an exuberant celebration of loving who you are, exactly as you are, from Karamo Brown, the Culture Expert of Netflix's hit series Queer Eye. In this empowering ode to modern families, a boy and his father take a joyful walk through the city, discovering all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other.


By: Mahogany L. Browne & Illustrated by: Theodore Taylor III
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
ISBN: 9781250311207
Pages: 56

Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.

With Theodore Taylor's bright, emotional art, and writing from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.
MY REVIEW
What I loved about receiving all four books is that everyone in my house had a book they could read and enjoy. From my six year old loving I Am Perfectly Designed to my fifteen year old loving The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones, there was something for all five of us to read and enjoy.


The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones was a story I loved. My kids are biracial, so this story felt close to home as I do have family that are from Alabama. My mom was born there as were her parents. We actually went to visit our family in Alabama two summers back with the kids and it was such a great time to not only learn some of my family history, but to see where my grandma lived and to hear some of the stories about her childhood. This is a great story to get your family having conversations that need to happen in order to move forward. I thought this was well written and the character development in this story was great to see as well as Ethan's friendship with Juniper Jones, I smiled, laughed and cried throughout this story, I definitely recommed this book for everyone.

The Undefeated was a book that my twelve year old son really loved. The poem and the pictures in this book are stunning. I loved that after the poem is done, the last few pages are dedicated to sharing information on historical figures and events that have happened. They give you a quick summary and then you can take it from there to look up more information on each one.

I Am Perfectly Designed was such a beautiful and fun story to read with my five year old. I loved seeing how diversed this story was, with characters in the background of all race and different families. I also loved the moral behind this story and how at the end of the book my five year old looked at me and said, "I Am Perfectly Designed too, mama."

Lastly, Woke: A Young Poet's Call To Justice is filled with so many beautifully writtrn poems about equality and justice and would be a great book to add to your library as well as a great book to introduce kids to take a stand for equal human rights. From loving your body, to equality, gender, immigration, justice, to privilage, this book has a poem that can relate to so much of what's going on in the world right now. Never sleep at what's at stake, equality for all.

A huge thank you to our friends over at Raincoast for senmding us these amazing books that I plan on keeping in my library and handing off to my grandchildren when that day comes. For more information on each book, be sure to head to Raincoast Books.


GIVEAWAY
We are teaming up with Raincoast Books to give one lucky Canadian reader a chance at winning all four books mentioned above! All you need to do is comment below with which book you would dive into first. 
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received the above mentioned books at no cost for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received


11 comments:

  1. I would read karamo's book first, because I have been a fan of his since queer eye

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  2. I Am Perfectly Designed because I would read it with my 6 year old + it's written by Karamo Brown!!!

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  3. I would read The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones first

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  4. I would read The Undefeated first!

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  5. I would read Woke: A Young Poet's Call To Justice first.

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  6. I would like to read The invincible Summer of Juniper Jones.

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  7. I would start with the Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones but also read Karamo's book with my kids. Thanks for the reviews!

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  8. I think Woke: A Young Poet's Call To Justice would read first they love poems.

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  9. I'd try 'I Am Perfectly Designed' first! Thanks :)

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