Bayfield's own version of CBC's battle of the books, Canada Reads took place at the Bayfield Town Hall on Sunday March 25. We had 5 local defenders fight for their book's right to be the one book everyone should read to Open their Eyes.Five contending books, five defenders, only one winner...you be the judge.
Nick Howell, convinced the judges that his choice of Forgiveness, by Mark Sakamoto. Nick argued the intertwining and compelling stories of MacLean and the Sakamotos as the war riped their lives and their humanity out of their grasp, yet somehow, despite facing such enormous transgressions against them, the two families learned to forgive. Nick related to his own experience and expanded to forgiveness of self and of others, and to the History of the internment camps in Canada during WWII which Nick stated were purely done for financial gain. Nick argued this treatment of Canadian Citizens during war time was devistating and the act of forgiveness is one that was necessary and must open our eyes. Nick won the Judges choice.
Mary Pounder, defended American War, Omar El Akkad and won the audience's vote. Mary led her arguement with what would happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself. Mary stongly believes that given the current climate in American Politics this book was one to Open Our Eyes.
Frank Leahy, argued for The Marrow Theives, by Cherie Dimaline. In doing so he suggested that history is repeating itself in this novel set in 2054, in a futuristic world hit hard by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America's Indigenous people, and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. The past system of Residential schools is brought back but not for education, rather harvesting precious marrow from our Indiginous peoples. Once again, Frank argued, our survival is based on our first nations. The history of our indiginous peoples should be the one book to open our eyes as history tends to repeat itself.
Susan Nicholson defended The Boat People, by Sharon Bala with heartfelt indigintiy to our government's treatment and their press messages which polarized the public wrongfully against the Tamil's that arrived seeking refuge status along Canadian Shores. This book truely opened her eyes to the untruths and swayed public opions against a group of true refugee status.
Arlene Timmins, fought for Precious Cargo, by Craig Davidson.
Arlene was touched and awakened by this author's tale of his years of driving a school bus for special needs students. References to the book were sweet interactions between the author and his students, the later helping him more than he felt he was able to return. Truely, Arlene argued our differently abled children are seen in a new light here and should open the eyes of all Canadians.
A draw for a pair of tickets to The Bayfield Concert Series Fall/Winter lined up was made in advance for tickets pre-bought. The draw was done with a random number generater and Michael Peirce won with ticket number 17.
Thank you to all who helped make this happen. Our past defenders made a sold judging team, Greg Stewart, Peter Keightly Allison McNamara, and Josh Bishop. Lisa Steward and Lorrien Trowell provided treats, and Shop Bike the coffee. Friends of Bayfield Library hsold tickets, and tallied votes then helped sell books. Then there are the behind the scenes helpers...thank you for never saying no to my many requests...