Friday, August 9, 2019
Saturday, May 11, 2019
I thought I was going to be more organized and post regularly. In my defense there have been a number of passings of great people ( family or family friends) who contributed to Jamaica and the Caribbean, and we had to go to the funerals. Four in two months takes its emotional toll. And we must believe that indeed there are younger ones who will follow in their footsteps, even if they cannot fill their shoes.
I was most disturbed to read that the Burt Awards for the Caribbean YA books/stories will be discontinued due to the passing of the donor, and the decision of those in control of those purse springs to spend the money in other ways. I am very, very sad about this. Wonderful work has been produced and my heart has been filled with joy over the talent displayed; and many of the writers are young. No, Nancy Drew and company cannot replace them, as some have said. No, these are first class books and should be in every school, for reading, for discussion (no, not as set books), but to be recognized as recordings of our times and for knowledge and most of all, enjoyment. A book for enjoyment? Yes, indeed! If our young people haven't found this out yet what a pleasure they have missed.
I plan to write a few words about the ones I've read (I haven't been able to access all) not a review really, but what I liked about them, the reason why I hope that Bocas Lit will find another sponsor. I will start with Gone to Drift, written by Diana McCaulay. It was a review by me, but more from the point of view of how it affected me, rather than a scholarly approach. I had posted this at a previous time, but it's more relevant to post it again here, as it will inform future postings about the other books .
In praise of "Gone to Drift" by Diana McCaulay:
Thursday, March 28, 2019
I was fascinated by Ann Margaret Lim’s reference to her Chinese grandparent(s). We are indeed an island of Out of Many, One People, in spite of some wanting to change our motto. I would say to those who want to change the motto: Never judge others. You do not know what is in their hearts, what they hold dear. Do not attempt to erase other people’s ancestors. They are not yours to erase. For myself: All the people who went up into the making of me, I value; I celebrate the me that has survived throughout history.
Then in the late evening Olive Senior made me feel quite wonderful as she told me that she really liked my children’s book Abigail’s Glorious Hair. So I came away celebrating others and feeling very creative.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Sunday, February 5, 2017
The novel: Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay:
The publisher: Harper Collins from its UK publisher Papillote Press
What better news to start my blogging for 2017. I had reviewed this book in 2016. I loved it. Congratulations to Diana and Papillote Press. I am reposting the review below for your interest:
Thursday, December 8, 2016
From 2007-2011, Dr. Rebecca Tortello served as a Senior Advisor/Consultant to the Minister of Education with special responsibility for early childhood, primary and parenting issues. Dr. Tortello holds a PhD in Comparative Education and Sociology from Columbia University, a Masters in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in History and Literature from Harvard University.
A former Assistant Professor of Education at New York’s Adelphi University, for the past ten years, Dr. Tortello regularly lectures at the University of the West Indies. She is the author of a number of articles on education as well as the popular history book, “Pieces of the Past – A Stroll Down Jamaica’s Memory Lane” (now in its second printing). Dr. Tortello has edited and advised on a number of early childhood series for Jamaica and co-written the Teacher's Guide for Pearson's "1,2,3, You and Me." She has also written a number of children’s books including "My Jamaican ABCs," “Nancy and Grandy Nanny,” and the Ministry of Education’s titles, “Big and Strong” and “Colouring My School.”
From April 2012 to February 2015, Dr. Tortello focused on expanding the scope of the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation as its General Manager. In March 2015, she began a new position as Quality Education Advisor at UNICEF Jamaica.
The Grade 3 class connected immediately with the story about Abigail's "Poufey" hair. Both the boys and girls enjoyed reminiscing on their own Poufey hair and having it combed and de-tangled to their own occasional "OW!" The children joined in the "one two twist, one two twist" chorus as Abigail's mother daintily parted and twisted her hair to produce eight beautiful twists all over Abigail's head. They LOVED the illustrations and in particular the girls exclaimed with delight when they saw Abigail's trendy outfit and hairstyle at the end of the story. The session ended with the students drawing different aspects of the story. The Class Monitor then formally thanked me on behalf of the students. A truly delightful experience to see how the book boosted the self image of the children and helped them to celebrate and appreciate their African roots. I was subsequently invited to be a guest reader to a Grade 4 class on June 1, Literacy Day.
Bio: Marie Cunnigham-Clarke, is a Communications Consultant (retired). She conceptualized and is responsible for adjudicating a Speak Up Programme at St Andrew High School for Grades 7-10 students. The programme aims to improve students' use of Standard English through annual conversational, poetry and literary competitions. Grade level winners receive cash and book prizes.
Marie was recently elected President of The International Proxy Parents (IPP), a non-profit organization which raises funds for less fortunate children in Jamaica. Each year IPP gives over $1.5m in scholarships and assistance to State run childrens' homes in Jamaica.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
(I am having all sorts of challenges with the font, as I capture the words of the authors. So apologies for that, but I think you will enjoy what they have to say, what motivates them. I love hearing why authors write what they write.)