Meet Canada Reads panelist Shad

Shad is known as "the thinking man's rapper." So be prepared to see him use both his school- and street-smarts when he enters the Canada Reads ring in February. We watched him beat out rap music phenom Drake for rap album of the year at the Junos, so we know he has what it takes to battle with the best.


Canada Reads host Jian Ghomeshi with author Carmen Aguirre and her panelist, Shad (Tanja-Tiziana Burdi/CBC)

Shad is defending Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter by Carmen Aguirre, a memoir about coming of age during the Chilean resistance in the 1980s. Carmen's parents were revolutionaries fighting against the regime of General Augusto Pinochet. Carmen's tale of trying to grow up and fit in — with a dramatic political twist — should resonate with anyone who had a few awkward teen years.

Though Something Fierce has an international setting, Shad argues that it has resonance for Canadians, and that "all of Canada should read this book." He feels that "it's an important story" and that "it has a lot of depth to it and a lot of humour to it" — which should appeal to a wide variety of readers.

Shad promises that he won't bring the fireworks when he heads into the debates. Instead he hopes that his "level-headed" style will allow Something Fierce to "stand on its own merits."

Do you think Shad's strategy is the way to go? Watch the video below and decide for yourself whether the singing and songwriting superstar has what it takes to be crowned the Canada Reads 2012 champion.

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Want to get started on Something Fierce? Check out this excerpt!

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