Yo cHEwY gum gums

I flew down to Melbourne last Friday for a Kids Bookshop PD day for english teachers and librarians. A great mix of authors and speakers about choosing the right novel for kids to study. Easy answer: My book haha

Allison Agnello, previous head of curriculum for Keysborough SC spoke about the dilemma of balancing teachers’ wants with students’ feedback on what novels to study in class. One point stood out for me. She said that the refugee kids there didn’t want to read too many of their own experiences in the novels they read. They wouldn’t mind reading about different experiences to their own, sometimes they want to be in another world, time, space or time.

Thinking back to last week’s Parramatta Studio Stories session with Peter Polites, he spoke about how the publishing industry is boxing ethnic writers into writing memoirs. As if they can’t write about anything else except their life story. I wonder why. I wonder if we’ll either to get to the point where we’re reading stories about characters that just happen to be Asian, Middle-eastern, African…or any other ethnicity, and not having to keep explaining where they’ve come from. They want to look forward, carving their own stories. I think that would be pretty sweet.

But it’s not that easy. I mean, all my stories are contemporary but there’s still a little backstory about where the characters’ parents come from. And we should acknowledge our past in order to discover our future. It’s funny, I’m here right now in Singapore for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, and diversity popped it’s head up too. I’ll save that discussion for another blog post heaheahea




About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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