Anansi and Groundwood news update

The latest from Anansi:

  • Alison Pick’s Far to Go has been presented with the 2010 Words Worthy Award! This award is chosen by the staff of Words Worth Books to honour a book that has been overlooked by Canada’s major literary prizes. From the press release: “We are pleased to announce that in our estimation, Alison Pick’s second novel Far to Go is the finest work of Canadian fiction published in 2010.”
  • The 2011 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award longlist has been announced — and we are proud to have two Anansi books among the 15 excellent Canadian books longlisted for the award. Congratulations to Lisa Moore (February) and Marie-Claire Blais (Rebecca, Born in the Maelstrom)!

On the Groundwood side:

  • Kirkus Reviews has released its 2010 Best Children’s Books list, and we are thrilled to be strongly represented with two Groundwood titles: Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth! (Marie-Louise Gay) and Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding (written by Jorge Argueta and illustrated by Fernando Vilela)! Congratulations to the authors and illustrators.
  • Playhouse Disney and Astral made a special announcement today: the Stella and Sam TV show, based on Marie-Lousie Gay‘s beloved books, will premiere on Sunday, January 9 at 10:30 a.m. EST! Read the full press release for more.
  • Last, but most certainly not least: today is Gordon Lightfoot’s 72nd birthday! We’re celebrating by reading Gordon’s new book, Canadian Railroad Trilogy, a picture book/gift book that is lavishly illustrated by the brilliant and award-winning illustrator Ian Wallace. Happy Birthday, Gord!

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VIOLA DESMOND WON’T BE BUDGED launches in Toronto

Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged, the new picture book written by Jody Nyasha Warner and illustrated by Richard Rudnicki, launched last night at 918 Bathurst in Toronto. Here are a few photos from the lively event:

[slideshow]

PHOTO CREDIT: Fred Horler

Thanks to everyone who made it out!

Viola DesmondIn Nova Scotia, in 1946, an usher in a movie theatre told Viola Desmond to move from her main floor seat up to the balcony. She refused to budge. Viola knew she was being asked to move because she was black. After all, she was the only black person downstairs. All the other black people were up in the balcony. In no time at all, the police arrived and took Viola to jail. The next day she was charged and fined, but she vowed to continue her struggle against such unfair rules. She refused to accept that being black meant she couldn’t sit where she wanted.

Viola’s determination gave strength and inspiration to her community at the time. She is an unsung hero of the North American struggle against injustice and racial discrimination whose story deserves to be widely known.

The African Canadian community in Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s oldest and most established black communities. Despite their history and contributions to the province the people in this community have a long experience of racially based injustice.

Like Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks, who many years later, in 1955, refused to give up their bus seats in Alabama, Desmond’s act of refusal awakened people to the unacceptable nature of racism and began and process of bringing an end to racial segregation in Canada.

An afterword provides a glimpse of African Canadian history.

Visit the Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged Facebook page!

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