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Books Diversity Reading Challenge

3 Reasons to Love African, by Peter Tosh

African by Peter Tosh

AFRICA PETER TOSH

African by Peter Tosh. Yeah! You remember? He was a bandmate of Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer  the reggae musicians? Well now that I’ve got your head bopping to some reggae beats, here are some great lyrics to inspire you. Akashic Books took these awesome lyrics and turned them into a book dedicated to the beautiful continent of Africa.

There are so many reasons to love this book:

  • It’s got that great reggae feel to it
  • It celebrates the beauty of African heritage
  • It lets you know that Africans live EVERYWHERE

This is a great book for People of Color to read to their children to encourage pride in their heritage! African is also a great book for non People of Color to learn respect for the continent and the beauty of its people! The song, written decades ago, still sends a positive message that no matter what you look like or where you’re from, you’re African (and you belong). You could be from Bronx, Jamaica, Cuba, Miami, or Sweden,  you’re an African! The book and the song also depict the various shades of African people; from light to dark, in all kinds of settings, which is quite refreshing to see!

Excellent book!

BONUS! I found a recording of the song on youtube so you can sing along. Enjoy!

Qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

 

 

 

 

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Books Diversity Reading Challenge

Want to be an #antiracist? Books to combat #racism and promote #equity

If you want to help the Black Lives Movement and combat racism, start with your own bookshelf. Snag these books ASAP.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

We Got This.: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be by  Cornelius Minor

 

So. All of these great titles are non-fiction. And they’re not geared to children. But if you interact with children, children of all colors and ethnicities and abilities and orientations, you need to read these titles. You’ll learn how to view the world as people who have been “othered” do and if you listen carefully, you’ll learn how to be better.

The Diversity Reading Challenge can also apply to non-fiction and adult titles as well, so count these in!

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Books Diversity Reading Challenge

I’m #AlwaysReading Check it out. Books to combat #racism and promote #equity

I’m ALWAYS in the middle of a book, ya’ll. ALWAYS. There are just so many good titles out there, how will I ever read them all?  So, in addition to grad school textbooks, here’s what else I’ve read this year:

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

We Got This.: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be by  Cornelius Minor

 

So. All of these great titles are non-fiction. And they’re not geared to children. But if you interact with children, children of all colors and ethnicities and abilities and orientations, you need to read these titles. You’ll learn how to view the world as people who have been “othered” do and if you listen carefully, you’ll learn how to be better.

The Diversity Reading Challenge can also apply to non-fiction and adult titles as well, so count these in!

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Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

Want to read a #Diverse Book but don’t know where to start? Start Here.

Want to read a #Diverse Book but don’t know
where to start? Start Here.

Like I say in my podcast; it’s past time to talk about whether diversity in books is important. It’s time to talk about what the books are and where they are. Since folks might have more time on their hands to read because they are out of school due to Covid19,  I decided to list a few books that will help you understand what’s going on with the Black Lives Movement.

  1.  The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I’ve already told you about this: Starr is black and goes to an all white prep school. She witnesses the murder of a friend. She struggles to straddle the all Black neighborhood where she lives with the prep school she attends. Telling on SO many levels. Angie is MY BEST GIRL. Check out the companion book: On the Come Up, it’s GREAT!

 

2. Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Oh how I LOVE this book (and Jason Reynolds!). Young dude makes the track team but struggles with himself to stay out of trouble in school. He’s generally a good kid but the jerks at school pick on him for being poor and he can’t help himself when he lashes out. READ ALL THE JASON REYNOLDS’ BOOKS.

 

3. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin isn’t out until October, but you know what? GO AHEAD AND PRE-ORDER IT NOW. You won’t be sorry. Our hero is a smart guy who has so much going for him at this fancy prep school he attends. That is, until he’s cuffed and harassed by the police. Justyce belongs in one world, but the police see him belonging to another world. Where’s the justice for Justyce?

 

4. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Ya’ll know how much I LOVE Jackie Woodson! Another Brooklyn is not targeted at Young Adult readers, but it’s about young adults, so why shouldn’t they read it? It’ll show you that Black teen girls have it rough in the city.

 

5. Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey, Gwen Strauss, and Floyd Cooper

If you think you can’t teach the little ones about diversity or people of color, you’re wrong. Here’s how to start. Read this together. Little Ruth and her family get a new car in the early 50s and need to travel down South to visit relatives. The problem is, they can’t stop for gas, food, or lodging at Whites only establishments. The (historic) Green Book helped her family find places that were friendly to Blacks during their trip. I can’t make this stuff up, folks, it’s true. There really was a thing called The Green Book. Remind me sometime to tell you about the chitterling circuit (for musicians).

There it is. Five books that you can start reading like YESTERDAY to help you understand why speaking out against hatred and violence toward African  Americans is the right thing to do. These stories should move you to action. Not only are they great books, they’re totally relevant to what’s happening in the news.

BONUS: All of these books qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge.

 

 

 

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Diversity Reading Challenge

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay, a #Cybils YA fiction finalist

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Oh how I loved Patron Saints of Nothing! Such an interesting insight into the world of the Philipines; a life I knew nothing about. We need more books about Filipinos, please!!

A coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

Right. Get this book. TODAY.

Also counts toward the Diversity Reading Challenge! (Southeast Asian character)

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas is a #Cybils YA Fiction Finalist

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

I snagged On the Come Up by Angie Thomas when it came out. Imagine how thrilled I was when it was selected as a Cybils finalist??? (like i wrote the thing ahahah) Anyway, it is so so soooo good! I actually think its a teeny better than The Hate U Give, if that’s possible. (sorry #notsorry Angie)

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

It’s so good. I feel like it’s an authentic representation of that corner of African American life. It’s harsh, but there’s hope. Also qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

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Diversity Reading Challenge

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno is a #Cybils YA Fiction finalist

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

What a sweet, fun book this was!

Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides – literally – with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

I love books that depict the diversity of people of color. Not all Latinx characters have to be making tortillas with their abuelas right? They can love boats, they can practice magic, they can be super intelligent and do all sorts of things. If you like sweet romance, this is for you.

Also qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge.

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo is a #Cybils YA Fiction finalist

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I love EVERY DING DANG THING that Acevedo writes. Bonus shout outs to the author who sets the story in my hometown of PHILLY! All the things you love about Philly are represented in the book. AND! our heroine’s best friend is named Angelica which is my daughter’s name!

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

Soooooooo much fun! And I listened on audio which is divine because the author herself reads it. Homegirl could read a calculus book and make it sound interesting. Give With the Fire on High to every girl you know. She’ll be inspired.

This title may not have won the Cybils but it’s a winner in my heart this year. Also qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

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Children Diversity Reading Challenge

Let’s Dance! by Valerie Bolling, Maine Diaz (Illustrations)

Let’s Dance! by Valerie Bolling,
Maine Diaz (Illustrations)

There is SO much to love about Let’s Dance! It’s a picture book that incorporates music and dance from all around the globe.

This rhythmic showcase of dances from all over the world features children of diverse backgrounds and abilities tapping, spinning, and boogying away!

Tap, twirl, twist, spin! With rhyming text, author Valerie Bolling shines a spotlight on dances from across the globe, while art from Maine Diaz shows off all the moves and the diverse people who do them. From the cha cha of Cuba to the stepping of Ireland, kids will want to leap, dip, and zip along with the dances on the page!

There’s more to the book than just the dancing though. The accurate depictions of the people of color ensure that all children of all races and abilities are represented. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that! I could imagine singing and dancing with a class of littles with this title. Super Great story!

Here’s where you can find the author:

valeriebolling.com

Twitter: valerie_bolling

Instagram: valeribollingauthor

Instagram: letsdancebook

And because there is so much diversity, it qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge!
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Diversity Reading Challenge

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal a #Cybils YA Fiction Finalist

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight

im not dying with you tonight

I’m not Dying with You Tonight was a finalist in the Cybils YA Fiction category and WOW! what a fast ride! I love books that start up on the action immediately and this book did not disappoint. It’s a fast read and had my stomach in knots the whole time.

Lena and Campbell aren’t friends.

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

You get a glimpse into the mindset of each person and it’s so interesting, especially if you recognize yourself in the situation. So many options for teaching with this book. I’m glad I read it.

Also qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge!