A Paediatric nurse by day,a culturally immersive author by night
My name is Athina Gordon I migrated to the United Kingdom from the island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2001. The transition was not the easiest. I continued my primary school education where I felt that I was looked at strangely by other students and teachers when I spoke. My carib accent was thick and fast.
To me I was speaking english but to the other students I was speaking a foreign language. I just felt like I did not fit in. Growing up I spent most of my time reading, writing stories and poems. I also had the best English Teacher who made me fall in love with English Literature and Language even more.
Although I read lots of books as a child, I never felt like I could identify with the characters in the book. I felt that something was missing. As I got older, I realised that there was a lack of diversity in the books I was reading which gave me the motivation to proactively do something to change this.
Although I read lot of books as a child, I never felt like I could identify with the characters in the book and wondered why I did not see people that resembled me in the books I was reading. As I got older, I recognised that only a paucity of children's books featuring ethnically diverse character existed.
In 2009, I trained as a Paediatric Nurse, as I have always had a passion for caring for others. During my time between both the Private Healthcare Sector and the National Health Service, I read many children’s book and was somewhat disappointed that the lack of diversity still existed. This highlighted the importance of multicultural children’s literature and the prevailing issue of ethnic underrepresentation in this sector.
I thought, instead of complaining about it, let’s do something and this is where my journey into writing started and I self-published “Just Like You” in 2019.
My aim is that every child can identify themselves in the characters of my books and that they can embrace others despite their cultural differences. I hope that my books can provide a platform for parents to have conversations with their children about diversity, as it is important to have conversations about diversity so we can stop the prejudice thoughts and discrimination from a young age. It also enables Children to understand more about their cultural backgrounds and have confidence in who they are. Once Children understand the diversity in our society they can look past the physical attributes of people and love one another wholeheartedly.
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