YOU HOLD ME UP BOOK STUDY
ACCESSING & READING YOU HOLD ME UP
The ways we access books and create our library check-out or purchase lists matter! Before going through the rest of this book study, you will need a copy of the book. Wondering about the best way to get a copy?
Purchase the book YOU HOLD ME UP from the Reading Is Resistance Book Shop to further sustain our work.
Check out YOU HOLD ME UP from your local library, or pick it up from your local book shop.
Purchase the book from an Indigenous owned book shop. Birchbark Books is one of our favorites!
Our purchases, library use, and pre-orders of books from authors we love and need do make a difference.
In addition, you can access the book immediately by listening to the author read her book in the VIDEO SECTION below. But before reading, listening, or watching the book, read about and download and/or print out the Book Study discussion and reflection questions below.
BOOK STUDY QUESTIONS
HOW WE DESIGN OUR READING AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
The BOOK STUDY questions for YOU HOLD ME UP are pulled from the Reading Is Resistance reading guide for the book and are designed to be part of a larger life-long commitment to anti-racist, liberatory reading and learning for grown ups and young reader(s). While the Reading Guide is designed to serve as a lesson plan for grown ups working with young readers, this BOOK STUDY is designed as an opportunity for grown ups to spend a significant amount of time with a single book in reflection, learning, healing, accountability, and action. We see our guides and book studies as opportunities to seed deeper conversations and possibilities for action around racial justice in our communities. We hold the belief that anti-racist, abolitionist, and decolonizing practices are a processes of learning (and unlearning) over time. The Learning for Justice Social Justice Standards (focused on Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action) serve as guides for our work.
HOW TO UTILIZE THE READING AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Reflection and learning are organic and ever emerging processes. The questions we offer here for don't necessarily need to be followed in a linear fashion or word-for-word in order for it to support your anti-bias/anti-racist practice. And, our questions can be also be used as-is. Note that these questions may result in additional branches of new questions and an exploration of the roots of the story, the way your identity impacts the way you read, and more.
We urge you to refrain from shying away from vocabulary and topics that may be challenging because they are related to harm, race, racism, oppression, difference, etc. We hold all of our participants as capable, and able.
We also recommend first listening to or reading the story without the questions and then going back for deeper contemplation, thinking, feeling, and action during a second or even third read through.
Whether of not you have a physical copy of the book, you will want to listen to the following video selections.
VIDEO 1: RITA JOE SONG PROJECT -- UQAUSIRA ASIUJIJARA
This video is from the Rita Joe Song Project, based on the poem "I Lost My Talk" by Rita Joe (Mi'kmaw). who who attended the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. In this video, high school students from Inuksuk High School in perform a musical version of the poem as a way or responding to Rita Joe's call to Indigenous youth to share their voices and talents. This item serves as a contemplation.
VIDEO 2: YOU HOLD ME UP: READ ALOUD WITH AUTHOR MONIQUE GRAY SMITH
Listen to the author read the book aloud to a small group of children and enjoy all of their voices and the sweetness of the interaction.
VIDEO 3: YOU HOLD ME UP AUTHOR'S NOTE
In this video, the author of YOU HOLD ME UP, Monique Grey Smith reads aloud the author's note about the way this book relates to the history of Residential Schools in Canada and a process of repair and reconciliation that is ongoing.