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Children’s Author Tells the True Story of Columbus’ Exploits (


For generations, Indigenous communities in the United States have protested Columbus Day—a centuries-old observance in the United States—and for decades have led a movement to rename the second Monday in October from “Columbus Day” to “Indigenous Peoples Day.” Today, more than a dozen states have formally embraced Indigenous Peoples Day as part of a process to recenter Indigenous communities and end the glorification of settler colonialism.

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Precisely within this context, educator and author Oriel Siu takes on the historical myth of Columbus in her new children’s book Christopher the Ogre Cologre, It’s Over. Using clever rhymes, but never avoiding the barbarity of colonization, Siu, whose pen name is Dr. Siu, reimagines Columbus as a monstrous ogre who ravages the Americas.

The new book is the second in a series of Siu’s books whose protagonist is Rebeldita the Fearless, an “empowered, justice-seeker, border-smasher girl,” and “a child born out of long-enduring Indigenous and Black resistances in the Americas.”

Siu is based in her home country of Honduras but lived and worked for years as a professor of Ethnic Studies in the United States. She spoke with YES! Magazine about what it means for parents and children to have access to books that reflect their diverse histories.

To read more of Sonali Kolhatkar's article, please click here.


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