Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge

I AM BLACK HISTORY MONTH {feat Harriet Tubman} #HERSTORY #Diversity #Black History Month

It’s Black HERstory Month

Today we feature Harriet Tubman.

One of my fave books about Harriet Tubman is

Moses by Carole Boston Weatherford

Many thanks to my friend Maria for this Shero!

What’s your favorite Harriet Tubman book?

Great news: everything during Black History Month qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge. Yay!

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge

Discover your Next Read Black History Month: A Round-Up

Black History Month: A Round-Up

I’m not the only person writing about Black History Month so I thought I would share some blog posts written by my friends from around the internet.

My friend Sussu shares a few of her faves:

Dancing in the wingsMost African-American picture books are about feeling grand, having super powers, liking oneself and about looks. They often portray characters who need to feel better about themselves, who show how to accept oneself and how to be proud of who they are.

Some African-American books are also about famous people and slavery.

The books I read in the USA are so different from the books I have grown up with in France, a country with many African influences, especially since the colonial times. The African tales I read and was told about are populated with tales born in Africa and passed on from generation to generation. These tales hint at the folklore, the culture, the nature, the bravery of African people, the feats they have to overcome. Oftentimes the characters were brave, especially when they had to face witches and wild animals. Often the characters were wise and cunning. They also talked to trees, to animals, and to rivers. These tales were also filled with animal tales as in Africa each animal symbolises a quality. I also learned of the savanna, the desert, the fishermen and African villages, of healers, chiefs, and spriritual leaders, of communities and griots (the living libraries). These tales talked about cultures that live overseas.

 

Sussu highlights Kadir Nelson’s illustrations in this post and you KNOW how much I love him! For more of this post, check her out at https://sussu.weebly.com/

Another topic to discuss during Black History Month is the diversity of POC. Not all POC  practice the same religion. That’s why it’s important to include people who identify as Muslim. After all, they are people of color too. Muslim children, especially need to see themselves portrayed positively. Sussu highlights an absolutely ADORABLE book called Nanni’s Hijab.

Nanni is quite the attraction at school with her beautiful hijabs, so it doesn’t come as a surprise when one of her classmates is unappreciative. It is hard for new kids to see all the attention drawn to someone else because, after all, being new should be something that gets people’s attention. Soon, the new classmate, Leslie, tries to bully Nanni, but instead of retaliating, Nanni finds a smart way to solve the issue.  And it’s truly inspiring.

 

It’s a beautifully illustrated picture book that celebrates the hijab and is perfect for all littles: windows and mirrors, remember? Read more about Nanni’s Hijab here.

And speaking of representing Muslims, Sussu features a list of YA books with Muslim characters which includes the new Ms Marvel! Check it out!

Remember, diversity is for everyone. We all learn and grow when we read diverse books.  All of these titles would qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

 

 

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge

I AM BLACK HISTORY MONTH {feat Harriet Tubman} #HERSTORY #Diversity #Black History Month

It’s Black HERstory Month

Today we feature Harriet Tubman.

One of my fave books about Harriet Tubman is

Moses by Carole Boston Weatherford

Many thanks to my friend Maria for this Shero!

What’s your favorite Harriet Tubman book?

Great news: everything during Black History Month qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge. Yay!

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge Lists Non Fiction

It’s Martin Luther King Jr Day! Books and Acts of Service

It’s MLK Day and I hope that if you have the day off you are doing something for others. It doesn’t have to be a large and involved act of service. Do something, anything, for someone else.  Here are a few books about MLK for you:

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is…?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is...?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

 

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

You know I can’t post a book list without at least one Kadir Nelson, right? Want some ideas to talk to the kiddos about? Follow this link which will take you to Scholastic’s website where you’ll find lesson plans and other resources about the man, his legacy, and how you can be of service to others. Check it out and have a great day ON!

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge

Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup: Picture Books to Middle Grade

Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup

Picture Books to Middle Grade

It’s SUMMER! Summertime means more time for reading, YAY!  Not sure what to read? Your fave unconventional librarian has got you covered. I’ve compiled a list of kids books that contain diversity. No need to scour the internet or ask your friends to find the right book. I’ve got them here. All you’ll hafta do is go to your local bookstore or library and start reading.

#1 Mapping My Day By Julie Dillemuth, Lura Wood

Mapping My Day by July Dillemuth

Is a delightful book! I’m all about any book with a POC on the cover, right? But also? I love when books are sneaky and get some teaching in. The sneaky teaching way this book helps kids learn is by talking about something that kids use and love every day: maps! What kid doesn’t love drawing a treasure map like a pirate? Without even knowing it, kids will realize that they already know how to read and/draw maps and possibly legends. What kid doesn’t love tracing routes on a map? You know those: help so and so get to X location? That’s tracing a map. Kids love those activity sheets!

Spatial relations is a big word that means where things are in relation to other things and kids will love the fun and easy way that Flora (with her multi-racial family) relate to each other and other places spatially. Bonus points for milk squirting out of your nose at dinner.

So much fun learning. Also, counts for the Diversity Reading Challenge because the main character is a poc. Yay!

#2 Calling The Water Drum By Latisha Redding, Illustrated By Aaron Boyd

Calling the Water Drum by LaTisha Redding

There is so much to love about this book. First the author and illustrator are both people of color which is a big win in my book. But of course, that’s what makes L&L so fab. They specialize in diversity. Calling the Water Drum is a tender fictionalized account of the Haitian refugee crisis from the 80s and 90s but told through the viewpoint of a very young boy who plays the drum instead of speaking. Young Henri’s perished traveling from Haiti to freedom in America and all the boy has left of his parents is the bucket they used in the boat to bail water out. Henri uses the drum as a way to connect to his family and friends he left back in Haiti and to connect with his new friends in New York.

Because children generally respond well to music I thought it would be fun to learn to make a drum so kids can express themselves like Henri.

The easiest way to make a drum is to find an old bucket, make sure it’s clean and empty, and bam, instant drum.

If you want to get a little more creative, there are many ways to make a drum without spending a dime.

  • Find an old coffee can or oatmeal container.
  • You’ll need materials to cover the open end, like: a balloon, an old scrap of leather, or wax paper.
  • Cover the open end with your material, ie., wax paper. use string, duct tape, or very large rubber bands to hold the wax paper to the sides of the can.
  • You’re done!
  • If you want to get extra fancy you can decorate the sides of your drum however you like: markers, spray paint, stickers, etc. The sky’s limit with your imagination!

When you’re ready to play, you can use your hands like Henri or use pencils as drumsticks. There are lots of lessons on Youtube to teach you how to drum with your hands if you want to go that route. Try to imitate the sounds and the rhythms that Henri makes in the book.

#3 Schmelf The Hanukkah By Greg Wolfe

Shmelf is one of Santa’s most important elves. He’s part of the List Checking department, and he makes sure all the good boys and girls get their presents! But when Shmelf finds out that some children are missing from Santa’s list, he goes to investigate.

What Shmelf uncovers is Hanukkah, a wondrous and joyful holiday that Jewish families celebrate each year. As Shmelf observes a family lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and hearing the Hanukkah story, he sees how special the traditions of the holiday truly are-and he wants to be a part of it! Luckily, Santa just might have a special role in mind for Shmelf….

Isn’t that the cutest little elf face ever? I love that this book is focused on the little ones. I know some little ones don’t understand that they celebrate differently than their friends. Here’s a way to make Hanukkah feel special for the little ones who are confused or who want to learn about Hanukkah.

Schmelf!

Even though this book is for the littles, let’s make it count for their Diversity Reading Challenge.

#4 Marvelous Cornelius By Phil Binder

Marvelous Cornelius by Phll Binder

In New Orleans, there lived a man who saw the streets as his calling, and he swept them clean. He danced up one avenue and down another and everyone danced along. The old ladies whistled and whirled. The old men hooted and hollered. The barbers, bead twirlers, and beignet bakers bounded behind that one-man parade. But then came the rising Mississippi—and a storm greater than anyone had seen before. In this heartwarming book about a real garbage man, Phil Bildner and John Parra tell the inspiring story of a humble man and the heroic difference he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

You know you’re gonna love a book when the opening quote features Martin Luther King, Jr. And this quote is a good one: “Even if it’s called your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo…who swept his job well.” That’s a great quote to aptly describe Cornelius, a garbage man in New Orleans. Marvelous Cornelius had a great spirit and a love for his community, which my buddy Phil aptly captures in the book. Young readers can learn about the history of Hurricane Katrina, but also learn that you can take pride in any job you do.

And who doesn’t love a book when the call to arms is “Hootie Hooooooo”?

No one, that’s who.

This book is great for K-3 and older. Also perfect for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

#5 The Ninja Librarians: Sword In The Stacks By Jen Swann Downey

The Ninja Librarians by Jen Swann Downey

Now official apprentices of the Lybrariad, Dorris and Marcus have joined Ebba in the immense time-folding labyrinth known as Petrarch’s Library for the Summer Quarter.

Dorrie is eager to do well at her practicums, and prove her worth as an apprentice, but before she can choose between “Spears, Axes, and Cats: Throwing Objects with Precision and Flair” and “First and Last Aid: When No One Else Is Coming”, mistakes made by Dorrie in the past cause trouble for the lybrarians.

The Foundation, once nearly destroyed by the Lybrariad, now has the means to rise from its ashes, and disappear reading and writing from the world. To make sure it succeeds, the Foundation sets in motion a dark plan to increase the power of a cruel figure from the fifteenth century.

To stop the Foundation, Dorrie, Marcus and Ebba will have to burglarize Aristotle, gather information among the suffragists and anti-suffragists of 1912 London, and risk their lives to wrest a powerful weapon out of the Foundation’s hands – all while upholding the Lybrariad’s first principle of protecting all writing, appreciated or despised. If they fail, reading and writing will only be the first things to disappear.

Ok here’s what I love first about this book: the word Ninja. I mean who doesn’t love the idea of ninjas? But then Ninja librarians? All the win!

Secondly, and most important, one of the main characters is a person of color. It’s been on my TBR list since October when the lovely author gifted it to me at KidLitCon.

#6 Making Friend With Billy Wong By Augusta Scattergood

28957386-1

Azalea is not happy about being dropped off to look after Grandmother Clark. Even if she didn’t care that much about meeting the new sixth graders in her Texas hometown, those strangers seem much preferable to the ones in Paris Junction. Talk about troubled Willis DeLoach or gossipy Melinda Bowman. Who needs friends like these!
And then there’s Billy Wong, a Chinese-American boy who shows up to help in her grandmother’s garden. Billy’s great-aunt and uncle own the Lucky Foods grocery store, where days are long and some folks aren’t friendly. For Azalea, whose family and experiences seem different from most everybody she knows, friendship has never been easy. Maybe this time, it will be.

Why you should read it: Well other than because I said so, it’s a look into the civil rights in the South and Chinese immigrants. You know , Blacks weren’t the only ones feeling the pinch of civil rights either, right? So here’s a tale that tweens and young teens can appreciate. Go on and add this title to your Diversity Reading Challenge list. It’s on mine!

#7 Pug Meets Pig By Sue Lowell Gallion, Joyce Wan

pug-mets-pig

“This is Pug’s home. This is where Pug lives.”

You know you’re going to love a book when the first page spread reveals a cute little dog running in the yard. SMILING.

I was smitten.

But all of a sudden cute little Pug has trouble.

Enter Pig.

Pig is eating Pug’s food, sleeping in his bed and generally making Pug unhappy.

And OMG Pug makes some bad choices and both he and little Pig are sad. (I’m not going to SPOIL)

#8 Passing The Bone: America’s Next Potus

28138879

Now I’m not one to normally talk politics. There are enough people around who do that. What I do like to talk about is books for kids. And I’m glad to talk about books for kids that explain current events in ways that kids can understand. That’s why I love Passing the Bone. Along with Doreen Cronin’s Duck for President, these books explain in a fun way something about politics. That way kids can get in on the action too!

The author, Heather Patterson is a kindergarten teacher, and you know how resourceful they are! So not only did she write a book for the littles, she provides lesson plans, and other classroom activities. If you head to her site, you’ll find absolutely ADORBS interactive slideshows of parts of the book.

Bo Obama, Pup Of The United States, shares the dos and don’ts of America’s First Pup as he prepares to pass the bone to his canine successor. The entire nation is wondering, Who will be the next POTUS? May the best candidate win!

 

I love love love this book and what kid doesn’t want to read about Bo Obama? Just in time for election season, grab a copy of this book and when you tire of the election coverage, re-read Passing the Bone and find some joy in the election process by teaching the kiddos.

I also checked out Heather’s Pinterest, and it’s super cute, just like her. I’m such a fan of kindergarten teachers, they’re the gatekeepers of school. Who was your kindergarten teacher?

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge

Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup: Picture Books

Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup

Picture Books

It’s SUMMER! Summertime means more time for reading, YAY!  Not sure what to read? Your fave unconventional librarian has got you covered. I’ve compiled a list of kids books that contain diversity. No need to scour the internet or ask your friends to find the right book. I’ve got them here. All you’ll hafta do is go to your local bookstore or library and start reading.

#1 Mapping My Day By Julie Dillemuth, Lura Woods

Mapping My Day by July Dillemuth

Is a delightful book! I’m all about any book with a POC on the cover, right? But also? I love when books are sneaky and get some teaching in. The sneaky teaching way this book helps kids learn is by talking about something that kids use and love every day: maps! What kid doesn’t love drawing a treasure map like a pirate? Without even knowing it, kids will realize that they already know how to read and/draw maps and possibly legends. What kid doesn’t love tracing routes on a map? You know those: help so and so get to X location? That’s tracing a map. Kids love those activity sheets!

Spatial relations is a big word that means where things are in relation to other things and kids will love the fun and easy way that Flora (with her multi-racial family) relate to each other and other places spatially. Bonus points for milk squirting out of your nose at dinner.

So much fun learning. Also, counts for the Diversity Reading Challenge because the main character is a poc. Yay!

#2 Calling The Water Drum Latisha Redding

Calling the Water Drum by LaTisha Redding

There is so much to love about this book. First the author and illustrator are both people of color which is a big win in my book. But of course, that’s what makes L&L so fab. They specialize in diversity. Calling the Water Drum is a tender fictionalized account of the Haitian refugee crisis from the 80s and 90s but told through the viewpoint of a very young boy who plays the drum instead of speaking. Young Henri’s perished traveling from Haiti to freedom in America and all the boy has left of his parents is the bucket they used in the boat to bail water out. Henri uses the drum as a way to connect to his family and friends he left back in Haiti and to connect with his new friends in New York.

Because children generally respond well to music I thought it would be fun to learn to make a drum so kids can express themselves like Henri.

The easiest way to make a drum is to find an old bucket, make sure it’s clean and empty, and bam, instant drum.

If you want to get a little more creative, there are many ways to make a drum without spending a dime.

  • Find an old coffee can or oatmeal container.
  • You’ll need materials to cover the open end, like: a balloon, an old scrap of leather, or wax paper.
  • Cover the open end with your material, ie., wax paper. use string, duct tape, or very large rubber bands to hold the wax paper to the sides of the can.
  • You’re done!
  • If you want to get extra fancy you can decorate the sides of your drum however you like: markers, spray paint, stickers, etc. The sky’s limit with your imagination!

When you’re ready to play, you can use your hands like Henri or use pencils as drumsticks. There are lots of lessons on Youtube to teach you how to drum with your hands if you want to go that route. Try to imitate the sounds and the rhythms that Henri makes in the book.

#3 Schmelf the Hanukkah Elf by Greg Wolfe, Howard McWilliam

Shmelf is one of Santa’s most important elves. He’s part of the List Checking department, and he makes sure all the good boys and girls get their presents! But when Shmelf finds out that some children are missing from Santa’s list, he goes to investigate.

What Shmelf uncovers is Hanukkah, a wondrous and joyful holiday that Jewish families celebrate each year. As Shmelf observes a family lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and hearing the Hanukkah story, he sees how special the traditions of the holiday truly are-and he wants to be a part of it! Luckily, Santa just might have a special role in mind for Shmelf….

Isn’t that the cutest little elf face ever? I love that this book is focused on the little ones. I know some little ones don’t understand that they celebrate differently than their friends. Here’s a way to make Hanukkah feel special for the little ones who are confused or who want to learn about Hanukkah.

Schmelf!

Even though this book is for the littles, let’s make it count for their Diversity Reading Challenge.

#4 Marvelous Cornelius By Phil Binder

Marvelous Cornelius by Phll Binder

In New Orleans, there lived a man who saw the streets as his calling, and he swept them clean. He danced up one avenue and down another and everyone danced along. The old ladies whistled and whirled. The old men hooted and hollered. The barbers, bead twirlers, and beignet bakers bounded behind that one-man parade. But then came the rising Mississippi—and a storm greater than anyone had seen before. In this heartwarming book about a real garbage man, Phil Bildner and John Parra tell the inspiring story of a humble man and the heroic difference he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

You know you’re gonna love a book when the opening quote features Martin Luther King, Jr. And this quote is a good one: “Even if it’s called your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo…who swept his job well.” That’s a great quote to aptly describe Cornelius, a garbage man in New Orleans. Marvelous Cornelius had a great spirit and a love for his community, which my buddy Phil aptly captures in the book. Young readers can learn about the history of Hurricane Katrina, but also learn that you can take pride in any job you do.

And who doesn’t love a book when the call to arms is “Hootie Hooooooo”?

No one, that’s who.

This book is great for K-3 and older. Also perfect for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

#5 Lillian’s Right To Vote By Jonah Winter & Shane W Evans

Lillian's Right to Vote by Jonah Winter & Shane W. Evans

An elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. Veteran bestselling picture-book author Jonah Winter and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans vividly recall America’s battle for civil rights in this lyrical, poignant account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard.

What I love about this book is that, as a picture book, it tells the story in a way kids can receive it. Probably best for early elementary grade students but the symbolic way Lillian walks up the hill and sees her history is unmistakably brilliant and probably suitable for even younger kiddos. Kids will get it. Gentle language describing the often violent situations helps to soften the harshness of the historical events.

It’s so incredibly amazing.

I love this book so hard.

And Jonah is the bomb.

#6 Beautiful By Stacy McNautly, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Every girl is unique, talented, and lovable. . . .Every girl is BEAUTIFUL.
Much more than how one looks on the outside, true beauty is found in conquering challenges, showing kindness, and spreading contagious laughter. Beautiful girls are empowered and smart and strong!
BEAUTIFUL breaks barriers by showing girls free to be themselves: splashing in mud, conducting science experiments, and reading books under a flashlight with friends. This book will encourage all girls to embrace who they are and realize their endless potential.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the illustrations in this adorable picture book. It shows girls of every race, ability, etc, doing what girls do; which is everything. A great way to break those gender stereotypes that kids start to believe in their preschool years.

#7 My First Book Of Hockey

28451312

If it weren’t for Sports Illustrated Kids, I might never understand sports at all! Thank goodness they have published a hockey book. To be honest, though, I grew up watching hockey or rather I grew up going to hockey games waiting for the big guys on skates to start slamming each other around. And after all, when you’re a kid, what’s more exciting than watching a bunch of guys on skates chase around a tiny puck and slam each other into the boards?

Fortunately for you you don’t have to learn the rules of the game from me. Inside the book, written for the tiniest goalie in training is a super simple guide to hockey. It explains the number of players on a team, what they do and the different types of moves on the ice. From Power Play to Hat Trick it’s all inside.

The cartoon like cut out photographs are super fun and the little guy who’s trying to infiltrate the team will make little readers like they are seeing themselves in the game.

GOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!

#8 Lil Libros

Cuauhtemoc - Shapes - Formas

I love Lil Libros so much! I add them to my library whenever I can. There’s no better way to teach a small child than combining their heritage with basic shapes, colors, numbers, etc.

A sneaky way to get some knowledge inside the kiddies about the Aztecs.

 

So here you go. Get your summer reading on with Diversity.

Categories
Children Diversity

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Julian is a Mermaid

 

I cannot love this book any harder if I wanted to. There is such a need for books representing the Latinx people and I feel like Julian is a Mermaid is a beautiful example.  Young Julian is riding the train with his Abuelita (Grandmother in Spanish) and he sees three very beautiful women dressed in mermaid costumes (I mean it’s New York, right so anything’s possible?) and oh how his imagination soars, pretending to be a mermaid. Once home Julian’s creative thinking allows him to make himself a mermaid costume. I won’t give away the ending but I wept as Julian was caught by his Abuela in his dress up clothes.

The representation of the community is stunning in its accuracies with their different shades, body shapes and hairstyles. I feel that we were all Julian at one time.

Except I was never a mermaid. I was a pirate. But you get my meaning.

Snag this book today!

 

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge

Discover your Next Read Black History Month: A Round-Up

Black History Month: A Round-Up

I’m not the only person writing about Black History Month so I thought I would share some blog posts written by my friends from around the internet.

My friend Sussu shares a few of her faves:

Dancing in the wingsMost African-American picture books are about feeling grand, having super powers, liking oneself and about looks. They often portray characters who need to feel better about themselves, who show how to accept oneself and how to be proud of who they are.

Some African-American books are also about famous people and slavery.

The books I read in the USA are so different from the books I have grown up with in France, a country with many African influences, especially since the colonial times. The African tales I read and was told about are populated with tales born in Africa and passed on from generation to generation. These tales hint at the folklore, the culture, the nature, the bravery of African people, the feats they have to overcome. Oftentimes the characters were brave, especially when they had to face witches and wild animals. Often the characters were wise and cunning. They also talked to trees, to animals, and to rivers. These tales were also filled with animal tales as in Africa each animal symbolises a quality. I also learned of the savanna, the desert, the fishermen and African villages, of healers, chiefs, and spriritual leaders, of communities and griots (the living libraries). These tales talked about cultures that live overseas.

 

Sussu highlights Kadir Nelson’s illustrations in this post and you KNOW how much I love him! For more of this post, check her out at https://sussu.weebly.com/

Another topic to discuss during Black History Month is the diversity of POC. Not all POC  practice the same religion. That’s why it’s important to include people who identify as Muslim. After all, they are people of color too. Muslim children, especially need to see themselves portrayed positively. Sussu highlights an absolutely ADORABLE book called Nanni’s Hijab.

Nanni is quite the attraction at school with her beautiful hijabs, so it doesn’t come as a surprise when one of her classmates is unappreciative. It is hard for new kids to see all the attention drawn to someone else because, after all, being new should be something that gets people’s attention. Soon, the new classmate, Leslie, tries to bully Nanni, but instead of retaliating, Nanni finds a smart way to solve the issue.  And it’s truly inspiring.

 

It’s a beautifully illustrated picture book that celebrates the hijab and is perfect for all littles: windows and mirrors, remember? Read more about Nanni’s Hijab here.

And speaking of representing Muslims, Sussu features a list of YA books with Muslim characters which includes the new Ms Marvel! Check it out!

Remember, diversity is for everyone. We all learn and grow when we read diverse books.  All of these titles would qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

 

 

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge Lists Non Fiction

It’s MLK Day! Books and Acts of Service

It’s MLK Day and I hope that if you have the day off you are doing something for others. It doesn’t have to be a large and involved act of service. Do something, anything, for someone else.  Here are a few books about MLK for you:

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is…?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is...?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

 

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

You know I can’t post a book list without at least one Kadir Nelson, right? Want some ideas to talk to the kiddos about? Follow this link which will take you to Scholastic’s website where you’ll find lesson plans and other resources about the man, his legacy, and how you can be of service to others. Check it out and have a great day ON!

Categories
Diversity

What is it like raising a child with Special Needs? We hear from Linda Atwell.

Linda is the author of Loving Lindsey: Raising a Daughter with Special Needs. I thought it would be interesting to find out about her life with a special needs child.  Here are her words.

 

A fellow passenger on a cruise ship recently called me a “helicopter mom”—you know, the kind of parent who hovers over her child. In that moment, I was equally amused and irritated by his tag. I believe this gentleman came to his conclusion during dinner. I had leaned over, and in a low voice, asked my thirty-seven-year-old daughter if she would like help cutting her chicken breast into smaller pieces. Lindsey quietly answered, “Yes, please.” Then I asked if I could adjust her water and soda goblets within easy reach. Again, her response: “Yes, please.”

In most cases, asking an adult child these questions would raise eyebrows. But my daughter has essential tremors. When she uses her fine motor skills—in circumstances such as cutting poultry—her exaggerated movements will shake a table. Had there not been full water and/or wine glasses at each of the six place settings, I would have encouraged my daughter to attempt this task. In this instance, I understood if Lindsey tried to cut the meat herself, her tremors would cause the stemware to tremble as if a strong earthquake had suddenly struck the area. And, I also recognized she might be embarrassed—especially if one of the glasses tumbled over and spilled its contents across the tablecloth and onto the laps of the other guests.

In addition to essential tremors, my daughter has also been diagnosed with developmental disabilities. Years ago, in 1986, Oregon Health Science University doctors explained that Lindsey has a short in her neurological system and will never process information the same as her peers. In many social situations, our daughter is high functioning. For instance, if the subject being discussed is of interest to her, she can carry on a pretty darn good conversation. If it isn’t, well, she will likely block out the goings-on around her, and without an ounce of self-consciousness, will pick at her cuticles, play with a blemish, or tug at the string hanging from her skirt.

Still, my daughter has achieved many life goals—the same objectives as many of her “typical” contemporaries. Currently, Lindsey lives in her own apartment. For the last ten years, she has worked a part-time job filing paperwork in the back room of a local insurance agent’s office. She tells anyone who asks, “I work full-time, two hours a day.” She has adopted two kittens, Sally and Cuddles, which she feeds, waters, and regularly cleans out their litter box—all on her own. Lindsey has also sponsored three little girls from the Philippines. Ever since she was sixteen, on the first day of every month, my daughter walks to the Safeway store in our small town, buys a twelve-dollar money order, and mails it to Children International. In exchange for her money, Lindsey receives pictures and notecards from her sponsor kids. “My beautiful daughters,” she states proudly, showing me their photographs.

I doubt the majority of my family members and good friends would ever call me a helicopter parent, yet if you go by Merriam-Webster’s definition: A parent who is overly involved in the life of his or her child—I might actually be one.

On the other hand, if you checked out Dictionary.com’s definition of a helicopter parent, I doubt I’d qualify: A style of child rearing in which an overprotective mother or father discourages a child’s independence by being too involved in the child’s life.

Not only do my husband and I encourage our daughter’s independence, we applaud every single accomplishment she makes in that direction—and so does Lindsey. We want her to live on her own, but we feel fortunate, because she truly wants that for herself, too.

Considering Lindsey’s disabilities, we should probably hover more. We expect, in areas she is able, for her to complete whatever tasks she can to the best of her ability. Besides keeping her body and apartment clean, washing her clothes, getting herself to work on time, and taking her numerous prescribed medications (all things she is capable of doing), I also expect her to be responsible with money.

For instance, she receives Social Security Disability benefits, and as her representative payee, at the beginning of every month, I write out all the checks she will need during the next thirty or so days. Lindsey is then accountable for mailing or hand delivering the payments on time. So far, she has done this duty without any problems. Some of the checks I write are to be cashed weekly or bi-monthly. Those are to be spent for fun outings, personal expenses, or on groceries. She uses the envelope method, putting the cash in three #10 envelopes (labeled accordingly) for safekeeping. When the envelope is empty, she doesn’t have any more funds till the next check is scheduled to be cashed. When my daughter overspends, instead of giving her more funds, she generally goes without.

So, are these tactics considered tough love parenting? Or, as that fellow cruiser suggested, am I a helicopter mom? After all, I have set up fairly strict systems so Lindsey can achieve success.

In reality, I think we strive for “responsible parenting.” We’ve taught our daughter that she is capable of making decisions and that she is accountable for her choices. We believe those are skills she needs to continue living an independent lifestyle.

Self-sufficiency isn’t a gift. It is hard work—at least it is in our daughter’s case.

Wow. What great insight into Lindsey’s life. Sounds to me like the goober who said Linda was a helicopter parent should mind his own dang business (which he should have been doing anyway)! I believe Lindsey’s parents have set their daughter up for success in a way that’s good for everyone. Mom and dad get to see Lindsey succeed, knowing they are helping some but not all and Lindsey is empowered by the choices she makes within the parameters her parents have set for her.

Ignore the haters, Linda; I’m Team LINDSEY!  Are you a special needs parent? What are your feelings about being called a helicopter parent?