Tuesday, 21 October 2008

On the Same Page

I saw this by Morley Walker on the freepressonstrike website - On the Same Page urges Manitobans to read classic local novel.

It's part of a program called 'On the Same Page' that exists in library systems in other jurisdictions by the same name or, as in San Fran’s case, One City One Book.

The Manitoba group has chosen as their first book “In Search of April Raintree” by Beatrice Culleton (now Mosionier) and their goal is to get one per cent of Manitobans (12,000 people) to read it between now and April 2009

I read In Search of April Raintree back in Junior High and it had a huge impact on me. Set in Winnipeg it follows two M├ętis sisters - one who looks more Aboriginal and one who looks more Caucasian - through their upbringing and changing relationship with each other and the world around them. It is an emotional roller coaster of a book.

Why did it have such an impact on me ? I am not sure whether it if it opened my eyes to things I had not thought about before. My early years were spent in the North End and the Maples where I had friends of all colours so prejudice was not something that I knew a lot about as there was never really an “us and them” it was just “us”. Or, perhaps, I knew about it more than I realized and it either gave those thoughts words OR challenged the thoughts that I was forming at the time.

Whatever it did, the book has always stayed with me. I have a copy on my bookshelf and if I come across a copy at a used book store I will always pick it up and pass it along to someone or donate it to a place with a reading room.

It was interesting to read in Walker’s report that they still sell 6,000 copies of the book a year. Obviously I am not the only one that it has stayed with.

If you haven’t read In Search of April Raintree, or haven't read it since grade 7 !, I suggest that you pick up a copy and get On the Same page ! There's a 25th anniversary version out now (pictured and linked above).

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