Shayna's Shadows

Shayna's Shadows by Paul Philip Brown

Calling people names:

Is it harmless fun?

Or is it a dangerous first step towards bigotry?

Shayna's arrival at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Junior High School begins well until her Jewishness attracts the wrong kind of attention. Gilbert and his friends seem to be lurking everywhere, and it doesn't look as though they'll ever leave her alone.

From Yorkdale Shopping Centre to the underground city beneath Toronto, from SkyDome to the Young People's Theatre, Shayna struggles to find the courage to confront her tormentors before their hurtful prejudices overwhelm her.

Why Shayna's Shadows

The issues raised in the novel Shayna's Shadows continue to be of concern to both parents and educators, and for good reason. Studies show that the worldwide incidence of bullying, one of the novel’s principle themes, has increased markedly in recent years. As well, in spite of the policies of the Canadian and American governments put in place to encourage multiculturalism and to fight racism, grass roots occurrences reflecting prejudice and ignorance of differences persist.


Our only hope in solving this ongoing problem is to tackle these issues head on where they can have the greatest impact – in our classrooms. Educating our youth at an age where they are still impressionable enough to face their illogical and hateful ideas provides society with perhaps its only opportunity to erase long-standing prejudices before they can permanently take root.

The novel Shayna's Shadows is dedicated to this end.