Celebrating the richness of the Pierrefonds-Roxboro community

Last updated January 28, 2022
Reading time: 5 min

The Borough presents you with a list of books and multimedia resources that promote openness to Others and an understanding of the realities experienced by people whose origins place them at the intersection of different backgrounds.

Discover our librarians’ suggestions!

Here in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, we are committed to the respect and the celebration of diversity. In an effort to continue building a stronger sense of community, the Borough organizes ongoing events and activities to raise awareness and prevent discrimination and violence, whether it be on the basis of religion, gender, race, sexual orientation, or on behalf of people living with a disability. It is through initiatives such as these that we will succeed together in suppressing hate crimes and maintaining the peace and harmony that prevail in our borough.

A symbolic special project

This special project was conceived not only to increase the population’s awareness of the need to respect differences, but also to follow up on the commitment made by Mayor Jim Beis, with the full support of his Borough Council, to mark the annual “Day of Remembrance and Action against Islamophobia and all forms of Discrimination”. This is to perpetuate the memory of the six Canadian-Muslim victims of the January 29, 2017 attack at the Quebec City mosque, in addition to marking the Muslim awareness week. This initiative is intended to bring people together and reflect on our community, which is both inclusive and united.

Did you know that an organization working in the borough offers a discussion group on racism?

The West Island Black Community Association (WIBCA) created a group committed to fight racism within ourselves, our community and our world by listening to the voices of Black, Indigenous and people of colour through anti-racist literature, films and podcasts with the ultimate goal of hearing them to better understand their reality.

Check out the WIBCA programming.

Youth selection

Julián is a mermaid, by Jessica Love

While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality. [candlewick.com]

Reserve Julián is a mermaid at your library.

The night diary by Veera Hiranandani

It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.

Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.

Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity…and for a hopeful future. [penguinrandomhouse.com]

Reserve The night diary, by Veera Hiranandani at your library.

Young adult selection

Felix ever after, by Kacen Callender

Felix Love has never been in love, painful irony that it is. He desperately wants to know why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. He is proud of his identity, but fears that he’s one marginalization too many— Black, queer, and transgender. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages— after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned— Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. He didn’t count on his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi-love triangle [From publisher].

Reserve Felix ever after at your library.

Almost American Girl, by Robin Ha

For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world. Growing up as the only child of a single mother in Seoul, Korea, wasn’t always easy, but it has bonded them fiercely together.

So when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation—following her mother’s announcement that she’s getting married—Robin is devastated.

Overnight, her life changes. She is dropped into a new school where she doesn’t understand the language and struggles to keep up. She is completely cut off from her friends in Seoul and has no access to her beloved comics. At home, she doesn’t fit in with her new stepfamily, and worst of all, she is furious with the one person she is closest to—her mother.

Then one day Robin’s mother enrolls her in a local comic drawing class, which opens the window to a future Robin could never have imagined.

This nonfiction graphic novel with four starred reviews is an excellent choice for teens and also accelerated tween readers, both for independent reading and units on immigration, memoirs, and the search for identity [harpercollins.com]

Reserve Almost American Girl at your library.

Adult selection

Nice racism : how progressive White people perpetuate racial harm, by Robin DiAngelo

DiAngelo identifies many common white racial patterns and breaks down how well-intentioned white people unknowingly perpetuate racial harm. She explains how spiritual white progressives seek community by co-opting Indigenous and other groups’ rituals create separation, not connection. Challenging the ideology of individualism, DiAngelo explains why it is OK to generalize about white people, and she demonstrates how white people who experience other oppressions still benefit from systemic racism [adapted from jacket].

Reserve Nice racisme at your library.

Modern HERstory : stories of women and nonbinary people rewriting history, by Blair Imani

This collection of one-page biographies profiles modern women and non-binary people who have changed the world. From the civil rights movement and the women’s movement to the LGBT rights movement and Black Lives Matter, these trailblazers come from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally overlooked and under-celebrated despite making huge contributions to the social change and progress movements of the last century. Each short biographical snippet is accompanied by a color drawing of the person.  [Adapted from publisher info and perusal of book.]

Reserve Modern HERstory at your library.

In the name of identity : violence and the need to belong, by Amin Maalouf

Moving across the world’s history, faiths, and politics, he argues against an oversimplified and hostile interpretation of the concept. He cogently and persuasively examines identity in the context of the modern world, where it can be viewed as both glory and poison. Evident here are the dangers of using identity as a protective—and therefore aggressive—mechanism, the root of racial, geographical, and colonialist subjugation throughout history.

Maalouf contends that many of us would reject our inherited conceptions of identity, to which we cling through habit, if only we examined them more closely. The future of society depends on accepting all identities, while recognizing our individualism. [simonandschuster.com]

Reserve In the name of identity : violence and the need to belong at your library.

Sticky Rice E-Zine

Launched in 2020, the Sticky Rice project is a new Tio’Tia:ke (Montreal)-based E-Zine and a non-profit organization that is hosting an online platform that aims to promote interculturalism by bringing the experience of Canadians of Asian descent to the forefront, opening a conversation around what it means to be Asian-Canadian.

Personal and collective flourishing is at the center of our exploration. It is through essays, interviews, and many other creative mediums that Sticky Rice will nourish a dynamic and constantly evolving dialogue around identity and culture. Ultimately, we hope to inspire people to have more compassion for themselves, as well as for their neighbours [from website].

Read Sticky Rice online.


Code Switch

What’s CODE SWITCH? It’s the fearless conversations about race that you’ve been waiting for. Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor. We explore how race affects every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, food and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation — because we’re all part of the story. Code Switch was named Apple Podcasts’ first-ever Show of the Year in 2020. [www.npr.org]

Listen to the Code Sw!tch podcast.

Chosen Family

A podcast hosted by queer, cosmically-destined BFFs Thomas Leblanc and Tranna Wintour. Join the Montreal comedians every other week for deep and spontaneous conversations featuring renowned artists and up-and-coming creators. [cbc.ca]

Listen to the Chosen family podcast.