Saturday, March 15, 2008

Richard Van Camp: Books in Braille

I'm in East Lansing, at Returning the Gift, a meeting of Native Writers. It's first gathering took place in the early 1990s. Joseph Bruchac was a key individual in the early years of this group.

I'm meeting Native writers and storytellers here whose work I've blogged about. I'll share thoughts, books, insights in the coming days.

It has been our (daughter Liz is with me) distinct pleasure to meet Richard Van Camp. He's got four books now, that I recommend highly: What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses, A Man Called Raven, The Lesser Blessed, and, Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns.

Yesterday, he handed me a copy of What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses that was different than my copy. It had acetate overlays on each page, turning it into a book in Braille. The overlays are available for all three of his picture books, available at no charge at Special Education Technology-British Columbia. They've got other books there, too, by the way. To find Richard's books, scroll down to the section called "Author Created Books."

Richard's presentation here was about comic books and graphic novels. I'll write about that later in the week. Visit his NativeWiki page! He does a lot of terrific work and writing. A book to look forward to? A young adult novel, to be published by Orca, titled Blessing Wendy. In an interview that appeared in the Vancouver Sun, January 19, 2008, Richard said this about the book:

"It deals with very mature themes,” he says. “It’s about how five young Dogrib men grieve for a cousin who was molested by the [school] principal. It’s about the ceremonies they create in her honour because they should have protected her. It’s also about what makes a warrior today and what is left behind in a town when the trust has been stolen."