By Jonathon Van Maren
Here on The Bridgehead, we cover a lot of disturbing issues. Sex trafficking, genocide, persecution, abortion, rape culture—experts and authors and eyewitnesses of all kinds have come on to discuss what is going on, and what we can do about it.
Rarely do I tackle the “culture” side of the culture wars—at least, the culture that involves literature, art, and music. True, I did interview Lois Lowry on The Giver, but it doesn’t happen nearly often enough. So this Christmas holidays, I thought I’d do a series on children’s literature for over the Christmas break. The perfect time to switch up the tone for a few weeks—I doubt many of you would want to listen to an interview on the growing problem with sex trafficking in Toronto between Christmas and New Year’s, anyways.
I chose four Canadian authors, just because I grew up with those authors and it seemed like a great place to start. Each show will air on AM1380 at 3:00 PM EST in the Greater Toronto Area.
December 17: Jean Little—Jean Little, born in Taiwan to missionary parents in 1932, has written dozens of best-selling children’s books as well as two autobiographies. Recognized in the literary community worldwide, Little has also been awarded the Canada Council Children’s Literature Award. Her most immediately recognizable work is her novel From Anna.
December 24: Kit Pearson—Kit Pearson, author of brilliant books such as A Handful of Time, Awake and Dreaming, and The Sky is Falling, lives and works on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She has won the Governor General’s Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, and a half dozen others. Her books are easily some of the best children’s literature being written today.
December 31: Gordon Kormon—A hilarious writer who started off at age 12 with This Can’t Be Happening At McDonald Hall, Gordon Kormon has since branched out to other genres, including his excellent and popular series’ Everest, Dive, and Island. Kormon has written over 85 books and sold over 17 million copies.
January 7: Lynn Johnston—If her name isn’t immediately recognizable, her work will be—she’s the cartoonist behind the decades-long series For Better or For Worse. As a pioneer in her field—hers was the first comic strip that had characters aging in real-time–Johnston became the recipient of dozens of awards and honorary degrees, and was awarded the Order of Canada, and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
I hope you enjoy the interviews as much as I did!