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St. Matthew student's Instagram account celebrates books with Black characters

Ainara Alleyne is an 11-year student from St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School who believes that representation in books is important.

Through her Instagram platform, Ainara’s Bookshelf, she highlights books for young readers whose authors and characters are Black, Indigenous or people of colour. Alleyne has teamed up with Telling Tales as a Junior Ambassador. Beginning this month, she will host interviews with her favourite Canadian authors and illustrators with a focus on “One Big Question.” The interviews will be posted on the Telling Tales website.

This month, Alleyne chatted with Naseem Hrab, author of Ira Crumb Feels the Feelings, asking her, “Why is it important to feel our feelings?”

In November, CBC News featured Ainara’s celebration of books. You can read the article here.




Ainara Alleyene, who is 11-years-old and from St. Matthew, runs Ainara's Bookshelf — an Instagram account that highlights stories whose main characters are Black or people of colour. Photo courtesy of Shani Alleyne.
Ainara Alleyene, who is 11-years-old and from St. Matthew, runs Ainara's Bookshelf — an Instagram account that highlights stories whose main characters are Black or people of colour. Photo courtesy of Shani Alleyne.