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The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. Check out our 2021 schedule! All events will be presented on Zoom. In-person activities for Saturday, September 18th have been cancelled, and the festival will be online only.

Fri, Sept 17: Belonging with Sabina Khan and Louisa Onomé

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

This session will be presented on Zoom with a sign language interpreter. Register free on Eventbrite for tickets – https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/169196155255

Like Home

Chinelo—or Nelo, as her best friend, Kate, calls her—is all about her neighbourhood, Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, its ride-or-die sense of community and the memories she has of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, most of Nelo’s friends, except for Kate, have moved away. But as long as the two girls have each other, Nelo’s good.

Then Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends upon Ginger East with promises to “fix the neighbourhood.” Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama that is unfolding on a national scale.

Worse yet, Kate has begun acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact time they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything—and everyone—she loves.

 

  • Fiction
  • Young Adult

Louisa Onomé

Louisa Onomé is an organizer for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), which works to bring attention to diverse authors and stories, and has previously participated in the London Writers’ Fair. Onomé, a Nigerian Canadian, holds a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from York University. She lives in the Toronto area and when not writing, she works in counselling.

Zara Hossain Is Here

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.

But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.

  • Fiction
  • Young Adult

Sabina Khan

Sabina Khan writes about Muslim teens who straddle cultures. She was born in Germany, spent her teens in Bangladesh, and lived in Macao, Illinois, and Texas before settling down in British Columbia with her husband, two daughters, and the best puppy in the world. She is also an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast! Visit her online at sabina-khan.com.