Remembrance Day is an important event for Canadians. It’s a time to both reflect on the past and also consider the present and future. It can also be an excellent day to have thoughtful discussions with your kids, not only about the sacrifices made by others, but also about the general nature of conflict and peace. These might be talks touching on history that is global or personal, especially if you have relatives who served in the military or lived in areas affected by war
Of course, conversations about peace and humanity can be pretty daunting. Books can sometimes help, though. Whether fiction or historical, a good picture book, early-reader novel, or comic can offer new perspectives and discussion points for difficult topics. They can help kids better understand complex subjects and offer parents a springboard for deeper conversations. With November 11 approaching, we asked a few librarian experts from across the country to recommend some poignant or provocative reads for families. (We tried to include some age-appropriateness suggestions, but every child is going to be different in terms of sensitivity and understanding. You may want to check out these titles before passing them along to young readers.)
Recommended by Ann Foster, branch supervisor, Saskatoon Public Library
This is a non-fiction graphic novel about the author’s coming of age in Iraq during a time of great political upheaval. Drawn by her husband, a famous French cartoonist, the relatable format is similar to other popular graphic novels geared to Grades 7 and 8, like Raina Telgemeier’s Smile and Sisters. This book is a great way to remind us all people are people — no matter where they live. It may help readers gain an understanding of the effects of the war in the Middle East on those who live there.