A Ghost to Consider

Before focusing on another amazing key note speaker from the MLA/DLA Conference, one detail is worth taking a look into that was brought up from Justina Ireland. Her 2021 book, Ophie’s Ghost stuck with me for one specific reason – the words Justina Ireland stated that the topic of Ophie’s Ghost was always there, but yet never had to be mentioned. Obviously this referred to topics, events, and themes that today are deemed controversial and too taboo to surface, let alone young readers.

When you actually get into the description of Chapter one, you realize the acts of kindness given by Ophie and her mother, rewarded by acts of hatred and events that mirror today’s evens – you realize, there need to be books, opportunities, and resources available to any individuals, of any age, to make sense of events that have happened in the past, are happening in the present, as well as with often despair of events that COULD happen, but need to be addressed to prevent from happening.

IN her powerful talk about how educators, librarians, and all those involved in education have an obligation to educate, advocate, and truly define what education means. Providing a path for everyone to make sense through all situations, and have a space at a table of discussion that many do not provide.

One of Ms. Ireland’s quotes- “It is harder being the worst of ourselves versus the best of ourselves.” sticks with me and reminds me that advocating for those that have their voice taken from them, is one of the responsibilities school librarians, as well as all librarians have to allow writers, storytellers, and authors to help others see issues, events, and identities of themselves and others that are often not represented.

Now more than ever.

Ophie’s Ghosts Review


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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