Read Manchester’s new initiative – See Myself in Books – continues to go from strength to strength and will be taking over Manchester Central Library’s Sunday Funday on 19 June! Join in a range of family friendly activities celebrating diversity. Relax in the story tent with our storyteller sharing stories with characters and authors/illustrators of colour and spend some time getting creative with a selection of craft activities for families.
The See Myself in Books project aims to reflect ethnic diversity in the books children read, and to promote a more diverse range of authors and illustrators so that children can see themselves in the books that they read. Read Manchester has gifted mini libraries of 25 books for primary school pupils to 37 schools and groups and continues to highlight and embed authors and illustrators of colour as part of the core offer to schools from Manchester Libraries.
The See Myself in Books Festival is taking place as part of the Greater Manchester Festival of Libraries running from 15 to 19 June, which has been curated by Manchester City of Literature. In addition to the events taking place at Central Library, the See Myself in Books Festival will offer schools the opportunity to meet authors online and in-person, featuring authors A. M. Dassu, Burhana Islam, Maisie Chan and K. P. Kojo. Library storytimes for pre-school children will include a book from the collection and the chance to win a bundle of books.
Maisie Chan is the author of Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths. Eleven-year-old Danny Chung loves drawing – more than maths, which is what he is ‘supposed’ to be good at. He also loves having his own room, so he is put out when his non-English speaking, ex-maths champion grandmother comes to stay from China. Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards, this debut novel challenges pre-conceptions and celebrates differences.
A.M.Dassu’s debut novel blew everyone away with her powerfully moving story of a Syrian refugee family fleeing conflict – Boy, Everywhere. Her second novel, Fight Back promises to be just as impactful with its themes of identity and the power of coming together to stand against hatred and prejudice.
Burhana Islam is a teacher in Manchester and has published Mayhem Mission and Muslims Who Changed the World. Her new book The Dastardly Duo has just been published in March. Burhana says of representation in books: When you see yourself in a book, you feel like you belong: you think, ‘this is normal, this is me, I belong somewhere’.
Raised in Cape Coast and Accra, in Ghana, K.P. Kojo grew up hearing stories from his parents, his blind grandmother, orange-sellers, teachers and friends. Many years later, in London, he was asked to visit a library and tell stories. Two days later he found himself kneeling in front of 20 six-year-olds retelling an Ananse story. That was in 2001. Since then he has worked in over 100 schools throughout the UK, bringing stories to life.