Amnesty International BookClub discussion

Scarborough
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July/August 2018 - Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez

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message 1: by Amnesty (last edited Jul 18, 2018 05:26PM) (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
Happy summer reading everyone!

We travel back to the Scarborough neighbourhood, home to the family in David Chariandy's novel "Brother", for Catherine Hernandez's Scarborough.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Danny Ramadan, the guest reader who selected this title, asks: Which of the many narratives and characters of this
book do you identify with? Why?

More questions for thought and discussion in the guide linked here, along with Danny's thoughts on the book, an action about Indonesia, and a special article by Catherine Hernandez on being a good ally to LBGTQI people. Enjoy the book and the guide!

http://www.amnestybookclub.ca/wp-cont...


Alanna King | 4 comments I’m listening to the audiobook. It’s just so telling...I’m really nervous and personally involved with these kids, especially Laura. I love the letters between Ms. Hina and her off-site supervisor.


message 3: by Amnesty (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
Alanna wrote: "I’m listening to the audiobook. It’s just so telling...I’m really nervous and personally involved with these kids, especially Laura. I love the letters between Ms. Hina and her off-site supervisor."

Hello Alanna- sorry for the late response from me! Where does the summer go? What is it that attached you to the fate of the kids in the book? Did you identify with any of them? Or did you see yourself as one of the potential adult allies?


Zoé | 2 comments I've recently finished the book and had to take a few days to think about it more.

I related the most to Ms. Hina, not becaused I identified with her necessarily, but because she's the sort of ally I'd like to be and because, like her, I want a job where I can have a positive impact on people's lives. A few lines in the letter Sylvie's mother writes in Hina's defense - the ones about how Ms. Hina felt honored to know the members of that community when their own families are often embarrassed by them - especially hit a cord with me. It highlighted to me how healing an honest act of kindness and respect can be; how it helps restore dignity in people. Ms. Hina shows how one can strive to help a marginalized community while avoiding paternalistic attitudes.

However, I was especially moved by the children, who are both innocent and growing too aware of the challenges they - and people around them - face due to things they have no control over, such as their skin colour, their sexuality, their family income and the health, or even the ability of their parents to care for them. It made me aware of my privileges growing up in ways theoretical discussions about privilege can't always manage. This was made more impactful by the fact all the characters felt so real; they all had their own personalities and interests that weren't limited to their respective identities, they interacted with each other in unique ways, and they all evolved to some degree by the end of the novel - which is a pretty amazing feat considering we mostly get short glimpses into their lives.


message 5: by Amnesty (new) - added it

Amnesty Bookclub | 225 comments Mod
It's amazing to hear how personally you all seemed to think about the book.

Our guest reader, author Danny Ramadan, also writes in the guide that the kids "steal the show." He also declares that Bing is his "personal hero in this novel". How did Bing, and everything he struggles against, resonate with you?


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