Little Dame spent most of her grade school years not being a fan of reading. I tried so many books that I thought were interesting, which was mistake number one. I projected my interests onto her rather than letting her discover herself. She disliked reading so much that she fell below reading grade level. Then the pandemic hit, and we were desperate to find new things and interests. The first show we binged watched together was Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix. It was a show I was familiar with, and she loved it! Then a dear friend turned us to the graphic novels of the series, and that was the key she needed. Soon after, we began watching other anime shows and buying the mangas of each series. Before I knew it, she was reading 3-4 books a week; she caught up to reading grade level and surpassed it. Once she found a genre of reading she loved, I knew it was a matter of time before she'd start her historical journey.
You may be asking yourself, how does one go from Manga to History? This is how: Manga authors, like every author, draw on their influences to create their characters. Little Dame recently started a new Manga/Anime series called Bungo Stray Dogs, written by Kafka Asagiri. The characters are named and created from literary greats, except they are young teens with special powers. Each character is a young version of the author with abilities directly associated with the author's writings. Characters include, but are not limited to:
Edgar Allen Poe
As she fell in love with the characters, natural curiosity crept in, and she did what any 11-year-old would do--Google. Imagine her surprise when she found out these characters were real people! She fell down the rabbit hole, and off to the bookstore we went! We purchased books from Dazai, Poe, and Dostoevsky as a start. She was thrilled when she learned that Poe grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and is buried in Baltimore, Maryland. So naturally, the next step was to take her to Richmond and Baltimore! We spent the last week of summer, before school started, exploring this new to her history.
Below is Little Dame's first-ever history video: Little Dame On The Road!