Black History Month – An Interview with Chrystal D. Giles, Author of Take Back the Block; On Writing Gentrification, Activism, and Cool Protagonists

Our Friend is Here! Black History Month – An Interview with Chrystal D. Giles, Author of Take Back the Block; On Writing Gentrification, Activism, and Cool Protagonists

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Black History Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of February, where Black authors are invited to celebrate being Black and Black books! Find the introduction post for Black History Month here.

If you love middle-grade stories that tackle social justice and activism, then friend, meet Take Back the Block. You may have seen me yelling and proclaiming my eternal love for this book; a book about a young Black boy who comes face-to-face with his neighbourhood at risk of gentrification. I love this book with my whole heart, and it’s a book that I will be recommending (or, have been recommending!) for many years to come.

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Book Recommendations – Middle Grade and Young Adult Books with Young Activists, Part I

Book Recommendations - MG and YA Books with Young Activists, Part I. An image of Varian the toad, holding up a sign that says 'change now'.

In case you’re new to the Pond’s book recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has come up with their latest costume, they will always recommend a few books that inspired them!

With what is going on in the world right now, activism has become a salient and powerful tool for fighting against injustice. More than ever, young people are getting involved in activism. Whether it’s participating in protests, everyday resistance, or working with their communities in movements, people, including young people, are faced with confronting questions that challenge the way they perceive society, the world, and themselves.

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