2023 FOLD Kids Challenge - February - The FOLD

2023 FOLD Kids Challenge — February

A speculative tale by a Black Canadian author

By Toni Duval

This month we are highlighting speculative tales written by Black Canadian authors. This is a broad category that may include science fiction, fantasy, horror, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, or alternative history stories. We want to encompass stories that look to the future while also recognizing stories rooted in the African diaspora. With the popularity of Afrofuturism like Black Panther and African folklore re-imaginings like Tristan Strong Punches A Hole In The Sky, it’s important to us to highlight some Canadian authors you should add to your list. Note: We’ve included a collection of trickster tales–these may be considered folk stories, but also operate as very real origin narratives in the cultures they come from.  It was particularly challenging to find a picture book for this month so we’d love it if you’d share your favourites with us!
Cover art for the BLACK SUN graphic novel, showing a Black man with a dark beard with his hands outstretched and gold power surrounding them.
Black Sun, by Kelvin Nyeusi Mawazo (Young Adult Graphic Novel)
Set in the fantasy realm of Alkebulan, Black Sun is a graphic novel series that follows a group of unlikely heroes who must band together to reclaim their world from a ruthless, invading alien armada. The Gambah are an elite class of warriors who are sworn to protect the Samah Empire. Yero is their newest member. Highly skilled but with an attitude bordering on arrogance, Yero struggles to accept the mundane tasks that have been assigned to him.Instead, he longs for the thrill of battle, and the glory that he believes comes along with it.Ironically, his wishes come true when a bloodthirsty alien horde suddenly attacks. Yero believes that he can hold his own against the insurmountable odds before him but will this battle for survival prove to be too much?

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Cover art for the novel Metatron's Children, showcasing various shapes and swirls against a black background.
Metatron's Children, by Chy Ryan Spain, illustrated by Sydney Kuhne (Middle Grade)

The year is 2130 and society as we know it has collapsed. Two Black non-binary siblings embark on an epic journey to ease the loss of their parents. Along the way, and with the help of a few friends, they unravel a mystery that very well may save what’s left of humanity. Metatron’s Children is an Afro-futuristic narrative of resilience, resistance, and redemption. This is Book #1 of the series.



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Cover art for the picture book The Pot of Wisdom: Ananse Stories, showing a variety of mythical illustrated figures
The Pot of Wisdom: Ananse Stories, by Adwoa Badoe, illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité (Picture Book)

Drawing on the rich vein of the African Ananse tradition, Ghanaian author Adwoa Badoe and Malian illustrator Baba Wague Diakite bring us a marvelously lively, witty and entertaining collection of ten tales about this spider trickster. These Ananse tales deal with the important issues that face us all — justice, money, food, marriage, vanity and self-respect. Sometimes Ananse succeeds and things go his way; other times he makes a fool of himself and is ashamed — but never for a long time. Many elements of these stories can be found in other trickster tales — those of African origin, like the Uncle Remus stories, and those of aboriginal American groups, like the coyote tales of North American native cultures and the jaguar tales from Central and South America.

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