“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.”
The Odyssey was epic, but your entry into #OdysseyJam doesn’t have to be a long piece of work. It also doesn’t have to cover the whole of the Odyssey – you could create something that focuses on a small part of the story, and you don’t even have to set it in ancient Greece, just use The Odyssey for inspiration. For example, this French/Japanese cartoon Ulysses 31 took the original Odyssey story off into space. Why not take this epic tale somewhere new?
You can also work as part of a team, or it can be a solo effort.
Want to join in but never made a text based game before?
Why not try using some of this free software – all of which are focused on creating interactive fiction and text adventures.
As Homer said in the Odyssey “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” … and now’s the time for writing many words for #OdysseyJam.
If you post anything on social media please use hashtag #OdysseyJam.
“How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.”
Sometimes you want a story that echoes your journey, and sometimes you want to connect with someone else’s journey.
Just in the nick of time to wind up February’s #diversereads; here’s our top 10 fave Queer YAF and JF titles. Enjoy!
1) Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz
One of the most beautifully written books. The quality of the writing is excellent. And there’s a sequel on it’s way.
2) If I was your girl – Meredith Russo
A first novel by this trans author; this is a well written teen romance, with a trans main character.
3) Flywheel – Erin Gough
Set in Sydney and with a dyke main character, this Australian author has written a story of school, work, friendship and crushes that any teen looking for romance novels would be happy to read.
4) Girl Mans Up – M-E Girard
Pen might look like a boy but she discovers what it means to be herself despite the influences of her dodgy ‘friends’ and her traditional parents, and with the help of her supportive brother. Modern, relevant dyke coming-of-age story.
5) One in Every Crowd – Ivan E. Coyote
A series of short stories by a celebrated gender-queer spoken word artist.
6) WillGrayson, Will Grayson – John Green and David Levithan (and companion book: “Hold me Closer: the Tiny Cooper story” – David Levithan).
A times touching and often hilarious, these two books show a strong range of characters including a variety of gay male leads. Unapologetic and life-giving.
7) Princess Princess ever after – Katie O’Neill
A children’s fairytale graphic novel, starring two very different princesses who find their ‘happily ever after’ together. Read it online here.
8) George – Alex Gino
A novel with a trans main character for mid to upper primary children. Nicely done. See also: Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
9) I’ll give you the Sun – Jandy Nelson
Fraternal twins Jude and Noah alternate the telling of this beautifully written but intense story.
10) Been here all along – Sandy Hall
A light, fast and fluffy read with about best friends and neighbours.
– Yasmin Greenhalgh and Eliza Luciano
I’d like to share some of my favourite books and authors who are from diverse backgrounds and who embrace diverse characters and themes. These titles are not exhaustive but represent some of my favourites that I’ve shared at story time, read to family or on my own. Reading and accessing diverse books is essential at story time and at school. It is necessary for young people to identify themselves in the characters and to be aware that all the emotions and trials that stories can embed in us are theirs and can enrich them like all stories can. It also encourages all young people to read, learn and enjoy these stories too.
I have a vivid memory when I was in year two at our end of year presentation receiving an award and book as a gift. I remember the book with fondness, ‘A Nice Walk in the Jungle’ by Nan Bodsworth. I was transfixed by this book as the characters comprised of students who looked exactly like students in my class, ethnically diverse and who were one by one gobbled up by a cheeky boa constrictor without the teacher noticing.
‘Ramadan Moon’ by Na’aim Roberts
This exquisite designed book combines paper collage and drawing with a beautiful story. ‘Ramadan Moon’ is about the acts of fasting, charity, and prayer during Ramadan. Narrated in the first person, a girl takes us through the month of Ramadan illustrating acts that are fulfilled during this special month.
Watch the story
‘Handa’s Surprise’ by Eileen Browne
I read ‘Handa’s Surprise’ at our bilingual story times, usually as a bilingual English and Arabic book at my library because it’s such a fantastic story. Handa who lives in a village, is on the way to meet her friends with seven delicious fruits in a basket. As she walks to meet her friends jungle animals slowly take each of the fruits without her knowledge. But then a goat charges at a tangerine tree and fills Handa’s basket with fruit to her surprise. Richly illustrated and full of beautiful fruits and wild animals, ‘Handa’s Surprise’ is the perfect read for young children.
Watch the animation of this story here:
‘Mirror’ by Jeannie Baker
This book had me at the cover, or should I say covers, a story amazingly and intricately designed to tell a story of two boys, one in Sydney, Australia and another in Morocco, North Africa. ‘Mirror’ reflects two lives that seemingly have little in common but when the stories are simultaneously read, more and more is revealed about what binds the boys together. If you ever thought a book could not do this then you definitely need to experience ‘Mirror’.
Watch it here :
‘Azzi in Between’ by Sarah Garland
‘Azzi in Between’ is about a refugee child who is forced from her wartorn country to another country. We witness Azzi’s alienation at primary school. We feel for her demoralised father who is not allowed to work in this country and we rejoice as their family life improves. It is story that isdeeply moving, transcendent, and empathetic.
‘I love Me” by Sally Morgan and Ambelin Kwaymullina
I love reading any story written by Sally Morgan or Ambelin Kwaymullina and when these two talented authors join together, they are bound to craft an inspiring and positive story. In ‘I Love Me’, these authors have created a fabulous and powerfully worded story of self-esteem and self-acceptance for indigenous and non-indigenous kids everywhere. This story is perfect to share at story time.
We’ve all heard about the hashtag #weneeddiversebooks, a movement that was established with the aim to promote and to ensure more kids have access to and read books that are inclusive and feature diverse characters. You may also have heard of the hashtag #loveOZYA a hashtag to promote the importance of Australian authors in young adult literature, many of whom are diverse or come from diverse backgrounds. These movements that highlight diversity are fabulous and necessary as they present an alternative to what is currently available for young people to read. These movements also highlights the importance of diversity, that is, of including rich, deep, and often wildly beautiful literature that engages, inspires and moves ALL young people.
What other stories are your favourite? Which are the ones you keep going back to and sharing with young people? What other diverse stories could be shared at story time?
Let’s chat via Twitter @kanjhiba
There will be a Twitter discussion today. 28 February starting at 11am and 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 6.00pm Singapore Standard Time, 12.00 noon Central European Summer Time, 9am – 11am GMT. Note this is a staggered discussion.
Use the tags #diverseread and #rwpchat as you discuss the reading, watching playing that is your experience of #diverseread, so others can join in the conversation too.
“Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”
“Doctor Who: You want weapons? We’re in a library. Books are the best weapon in the world. This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!
(from Tooth and Claw in Season 2)”
This month, arm yourself with diverse reading.
How diverse is your reading? Are you reading about people who are different to you? Are you watching films and documentaries about diverse subjects and ideas.
We need diverse books because we are all different and more diverse reading can help us see our communities and environments differently. It can make us more understanding of others.
This month is #diverseread, but we hope that for every other theme this year you will be making them a #diverseread as it makes all reading more interesting. It is also a great idea for watching and playing too.
When did you last read:
- a horror book
- a nonfiction book about science
- a collection of essays
- a book out loud to someone else
- a children’s book
- a dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel
- a book originally published in the decade you were born
- listen to an audiobook
- a book over 500 pages long
- a book under 100 pages
- a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender
- a book that is set in the Middle East
- a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia
- a book of historical fiction set before 1900
- the first book in a series by a person of colour
- a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years
- a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie
- a book which has been translated from another language (and preferably written in the last ten years)
- a nonfiction book about feminism or dealing with feminist themes
- a book with a main character that has a mental illness
- a book with a character with a disability
- a book by an Indigenous person
- a book by someone from your town?
Thanks to Bookriot for their list which was used as the basis for the above one.
For fiction, do the characters you read about reflect the diversity of what is possible and the diversity of who is in the world as well as who is in your community? For non-fiction are you sure you are getting the whole story?
There are some wonderful young adult books to read…
In the USA there has been a lot of coverage about the need for diverse books, all readers need diverse books, and diverse watching and playing.