Title: Better Connected
Author: Tanya Lloyd Kyi & Julia Kyi
Illustrator: Vivian Rosas
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Publication Date: 2022
You can tell from my past reviews (Under Pressure, Mya’s Strategy to Save the World and When the Worst Happens) that I’m a big fan of Tanya Lloyd Kyi. Now, in addition to middle grade nonfiction and fiction, she’s done something I’ve contemplated doing too–a collaborative book with her daughter (only in my case it would be a son!).
There’s a lot out there about the negative aspects of social media. While this is important, it’s refreshing to have a middle grade book that looks at the positive. It’s also a topic ideally suited to different generational perspectives.
Better Connected covers a lot of ground, laid out in five chapters. Each focuses on a different way social media is used to connect, be creative, showcase diversity, learn/share and promote change. There are lots of specific examples in each section, including many references to young activists and female-led campaigns.
The layout of Better Connected is very approachable with both photographs and illustrations from Vivian Rosas breaking up the text. Recurring sidebars–Julia’s Headspace and #NoFilter–present different mother daughter view points. The Social Media Smarts feature at the end of each chapter provides scenarios, options and suggestions to ensure safety online.
There is so much to explore in this book that instead of reading this review, you should request a copy from your library or order from your favourite bookstore. Since I love this photo of Tanya and Julia, I’ll also leave you these recommendations for further information:
- How girls are using social media for positive change: An interview with Creative Writing lecturer Tanya Kyi and her daughter from UBC’s School of Creative Writing.