June is a very busy month in Ontario. It is Indigenous History Month, Pride Month, Seniors Month, Filipino Heritage Month and Italian Heritage Month.
There are a number of great ways to celebrate these various groups in June, but one of the best is to read a book by and about people from those communities. In doing so, you can begin to learn about, understand and ultimately honour these groups and their cultures.
Here’s an annotated list of book recommendations you can borrow from the Niagara Falls Public Library.
Indigenous History Month
Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniel: Set in the Algonquin territories in the mid-1600s, this novel tells the story of Marie, who is forced to wed Pierre, a French soldier. Their daughter, Jeanne, is neither fully white nor fully Algonquin and her two-spirit nature further complicates her world, especially since it is misunderstood and reviled by the French settlers.
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters: This debut novel explores the messy nature of gender, sex and parenthood. Reese is content with her life post-transition, except that she desperately wants to be a mother. Then her girlfriend Amy detransitions, becomes Ames and things start to unravel. However, there is a silver lining: Ames has gotten his lover, Katarina, pregnant. Suddenly Reese may have a shot at raising a family, that is, if they can all work together.
Ageism Unmasked: Exploring Age Bias and How to End It by Tracey Gendron: Ageism is a serious problem in society today, but many do not recognize it since its tenets are often cultural norms and manifest as unconscious prejudices. Gendron sheds light on our misconceptions about ageing and shows us how to live long, happy lives well into elderhood.
Filipino Heritage Month
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala: This is the first novel in a series (Book No. 3 is due this October) called Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery. Our hero, Lila Macapagal, and her trusty dachshund sidekick, Longanisa, are called upon to save Tita Rosie’s floundering Filipino restaurant. Unfortunately, a food critic dies soon after and Lila is the prime suspect. She has to found out who the real murderer is before the restaurant is closed down for good.
Italian Heritage Month
M: The Son of the Century by Antonio Scurati: Scurati’s epic historical novel and international bestseller chronicles the rise of fascism in Italy as seen through the eyes of Benito Mussolini. The novel begins at the end of WWI with Mussolini as a former socialist leader who sees himself as a protector of the people. Soon though, Mussolini becomes a nationalist, an authoritarian and finally a fascist whose influence on Italy is still felt to this day.
Laura Chadwick is information resources and connections librarian at the Niagara Falls Public Library. Reach her at email@example.com.