Hi! Who Are You?

August 28, 2017 | Katherine McG

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"Hi! How are you?"

That’s usually the first thing we say when we greet someone but have you ever wanted to change it up and ask them “Who are you?” instead?

We all wonder sometimes about who someone really is, whether they’re a stranger that we’re meeting for the first time or a friend that we’re trying to get to know a little better. But how do we get someone to answer the question "Who are you?" without coming right out and asking it?

One way to find out more about someone is to learn about the things that they have done, seen or experienced during their lifetime. You can get to know a lot about a person by listening to some of their life story. (After all, as a wise man once said: "We're all stories in the end."*

There are a number of books among this year's TDSRC Recommended Reads that tell stories to help us learn who some particular people (and one very famous bear) are:

Book Cover: The Great Antonio The Great Antonio

 By Elise Gravel

 Ages: 6 - 12 

He wrestled a bear, ate 25 chickens in one sitting, and pulled trains with his hair! Who was The Great Antonio?

This graphic novel attempts to answer that question and tries to solve the mysteries that surround this real-life giant of a man who lived in Montreal.


Book Cover: Mingan My Village Mignan My Village: Poems by Innu Schoolchildren

 Ages: 6 -12

Fifteen poems written by some of the children who live in Mingan, an Innu village in northeastern Quebec.

Fifteen portraits drawn by Rogé, an artist who visited with these children and discovered "the light that is behind their eyes".

Fifteen poetic ways they tell us who they are and take us to the land where they live.

Book Cover: Finding WinnieFinding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

By Lindsay Mattick

Ages: 6 - 12 

The story of a veterinarian from Winnipeg and the bear who went from being a trapper's find to army mascot to resident at The London Zoo before becoming the inspiration for one of literature's most beloved characters.  

  Book Cover: A Brush Full of Colour Book Cover: Next Round Book Cover: A Change of Heart

A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison by Margriet Ruurs (Ages: 6 - 12)

Next Round: A Young Athlete's Journey to Gold by John Spray (Ages: 6 - 12)

A Change of Heart by Alice Walsh (Ages: 6 - 8)


TD Summer Reading Club Image by Slavka Kolesar
Image by Slavka Kolesar for the 2017 TD Summer Reading Club

Maybe reading about who someone else is will inspire you to ask yourself the question "Who am I?" and lead you to discover more about your own life story. 

Perhaps you could start by finding out about something significant that happened in Canada on the year that you were born:

Book Cover: Canada Year by Year 

Canada Year by Year by Elizabeth MacLeod (Ages: 9 - 12)

(By the way, according to this book, the most significant thing that happened in Canada in the year that I was born was that the first CANDU reactor began operation providing the country with more, much-needed electricity via nuclear power. But I like to remember it as the year that both the original Ontario Place and Disney World opened!)

There are so many different ways to answer the question "Who are you?" and so many stories that make up each person's life. I for one, can't wait to read more of them and find out more about my friends and even strangers who I've never met.  

So let me leave you with this greeting...

"Hi! Who are you?"


(*Quotation from "Doctor Who - Season 5, Episode 13, written by Steven Moffat)