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Nadine Aisha Jassat: Answering big questions with books

Genre: Family, Fiction, Identity, Poetry
Age group: 9-11, 12-14

Poet and author Nadine Aisha Jassat joins us to share breathtaking excerpts from her middle-grade verse novel The Stories Grandma Forgot (and How I Found Them), and dicusses the ways in which we can look to books to help us discover and accept who we are. Nadine shares her lifelong love of libraries, the inspiration behind her work, and the importance of seeing yourself reflected in stories – even if you have to take matters into your own hands and write them yourself.

If you only do one thing...

We know time is tight so here is just one activity you could do with your class before or after watching the event.

Write a diary entry in verse (LIT 2-22a, LIT 2-24a)

Nyla's story is written in verse. Try your hand at writing in verse by writing about your day, paying attention to how you could lay your words out like a poem. Where will your lines begin and end? You can find more advice from Nadine in her article on how she wrote a novel in verse.

For more activities you can use in your class to explore poetry, see our Introducing and exploring poetry resource below.