I am a story. So are you. So is everyone. – Julius Lester

As an educational organization, we are committed to continuous listening, learning and reflecting, and educating ourselves. We encourage you to as well.

The Explorers Book Club is a new initiative by Explorations to bring challenging and inspiring stories to our community. Each month, we will be suggesting two books, one for kids and one for adults, that deal with themes of race, gender and justice. 

For young learners: Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester

“This wonderful book should be the first choice for all collections and is strongly recommended as a springboard for discussions about differences.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

In this acclaimed book, Julius Lester, also the author of the Newbery Honor Book To Be a Slave, shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. A strong choice for sharing at home or in the classroom. Karen Barbour’s dramatic, vibrant paintings speak to the heart of Lester’s unique vision, truly a celebration of all of us. 

For older learners: Shame on Me by Tessa McWatt 

‘What are you?’

Tessa McWatt knows first-hand that the answer to this question, often asked of people of colour by white people, is always more complicated than it seems. Is the answer English, Scottish, British, Caribbean, Portuguese, Indian, Amerindian, French, African, Chinese, Canadian? Like most families, hers is steeped in myth and the anecdotes of grandparents and parents who recount their histories through the lens of desire, aspiration, loss, and shame.

In Shame On Me she unspools all the interwoven strands of her multicoloured inheritance and knits them back together using additional fibres from literature and history to strengthen the weave of her refabricated tale. She dismantles her own body and examines it piece by piece to build a devastating and incisively subtle analysis of the race debate as it now stands, in this stunningly written exploration of who and what we truly are.

Our goal is to provide a safe and fun literary dialogue with our community. With respect to government guidelines, we will be hosting our Explorers Book Club virtually for this month. Follow us on Facebook to be part of our reading community and join us at our Explorers Book Club meeting at the end of the month.