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Stories from Indonesia

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Ghost's Journey: A Refugee Story
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

Journey with Ghost and her family, refugees in Canada.

This book is based on the true story of Eka, Rainer, and their cat, Ghost. When life in Indonesia becomes too dangerous for LGBTQ people, Ghost and her two dads are forced to leave their home and escape to freedom in Canada. The story is told from the perspective of Ghost. The illustrations are created from Rainer's photographs.

“This book charmed me from the get-go. Told from a cat’s perspective, it tackles tough subjects with a light touch. The story broke my heart, then put it back together again. I simply loved it.”  -Susin Nielsen, Governor General’s Award-winning author of The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen and No Fixed Address

"Ghost's Journey shines a gentle light on the dangers faced by so many LGBTQ+ people in countries around the world. It's a powerful and important story, beautifully written and full of captivating images." - Susan Juby, author of Alice I Think and the Republic of Dirt
"Reading this story I realize again how fortunate we are to live in a society where we can talk, think, act, believe and love as free human beings; where we respect our neighbours even if they differ from us. I hope that many children will read this tender tale and wonder why people around the world can't revel in that same freedom, that we so often take for granted. Because only when we wonder why something isn't right, can we change injustices. Welcome to Canada, Ghost and your daddies." - Margriet Ruurs, award-winning author of Stepping Stones, A Refugee Family’s Journey

"Ghost's story is not just an endearing cat tale, it's also a gentle but honest introduction to human rights issues for young audiences." -Kyle Lukoff, author of When Aidan Became a Brother and A Storytelling of Ravens 
Ghost’s Journey is a perfect fit for teaching young audiences about SOGI, family diversity, human rights, and social justice. Parents, primary teachers and elementary school librarians will love this picture book; a ‘must have’ on every kid’s bookshelf!” - Solveig Davie, Teacher-Librarian, SD44 

"With gentle, evocative prose, and a cuddly protagonist, Stevenson recounts Eka and Rainer’s journey from Java through the lens of the two men’s cat, Ghost. Ghost’s perspective provides young readers with an accessible entry point to explore the plight of LGBTQ immigrants fleeing violence in their own countries. Ghost’s Journey is hopeful and engaging, packing an emotional punch that will help illuminate the struggles of LGBTQ individuals at home and abroad." -Robert Bittner, Postdoctoral Fellow and LGBTQ Literature Scholar.

"Robin Stevenson has an incredible talent for making difficult subjects accessible for all ages. Ghost’s Journey: A Refugee Story is no exception. For a book that deals with the terrible victimization of LGBTQ+ people and refugees, Ghost’s Journey, at its heart, is less about the horrors Rainer and Eka faced that forced them to flee their home and more about the love they share for each other and the home they have created with their beloved cat. Ghost’s Journey is a beautiful, much-needed book told through the eyes of a cat who follows his dads halfway across the world to create a new home together where they are free to love each other openly and without fear. Something everyone has a right to do." -Melanie Florence, award-winning author of Stolen Words and Missing Nimana

"This introduction to LGBTQ human rights for young children is a gentle and effective one.”- Kirkus Reviews

Educator Information
Picture Book for ages 3-8.

Ghost's Journey is the perfect fit to teach young audiences about family diversity, human rights, and social justice.

Keywords and Themes: Refugees, LGBTQ+, Indonesia, Canada, Animals (Cats), Social Justice, Human Rights, Family Diversity.

Additional Information
40 pages | 9.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content

Girl of the Southern Sea
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

For girls all over the world, fighting for the futures they deserve...

A girl from the slums of Jakarta dreams of an education and the chance at a better life. But first she must battle the dangers of local superstition and thwart her father's plan to marry her off to an older man.

From the time she was a little girl, Nia has dreamed up adventures about the Javanese mythical princess, Dewi Kadita. Now fourteen, Nia would love nothing more than to continue her education and become a writer. But high school costs too much. Her father sells banana fritters at the train station, but too much of his earnings go toward his drinking habit. Too often Nia is left alone to take over the food cart as well as care for her brother and their home in the Jakarta slums.

But Nia is determined to find a way to earn her school fees. After she survives a minibus accident unharmed and the locals say she is blessed with 'good luck magic,' Nia exploits the notion for all its worth by charging double for her fried bananas. Selling superstitions can be dangerous, and when the tide turns it becomes clear that Nia’s future is being mapped without her consent.

If Nia is to write a new story for herself, she must overcome more obstacles than she could ever have conceived of for her mythical princess, and summon courage she isn't sure she has.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 9-13

Includes a glossary of Indonesian terms.

An Author's Note at the end of the novel provides more context about the story in relation to the author's own life experiences, as well more information on global issues that affect girls all over the world like poverty, forced marriages, lack of education and healthcare.

Themes: Homelessness & Poverty; Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance; Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse; People & Places (Asia, Indonesia); Legends, Myths, Fables (Asian).

Additional Information
224 pages | 5.50" x 8.00" | Glossary of Indonesian Terms | Map situating Indonesia

Authentic Canadian Content

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