Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup
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 Loblolly, Loblolly, You’re So Tall by Mommy Moo Moo
I love the title of this book thats why I chose to review it. Loblolly is so fun to say! Who knew that it’s an actual real thing? I didn’t until I looked it up. How cool is that?
Loblolly is a tree that grows in the South. This adorbs book is a children’s adaptation of America the Beautiful. Everything rhymes (bonus in my opinion) with a lyrical feel that littles will love. Such a cute addition for your little green activist. Set it on the shelf next to The Lorax.
#2 See The World With My Little Cities By Jennifer Adams
The holiday season is right around the corner (oh noes!) and that means trips to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Teach your globe toddlers all about the world with these super adorbs (and travel friendly) titles:
- My Little Cities: San Francisco. Not only will your traveler recognize some of the city’s’ best tourist spots; but the book rhymes!
- My Little Cities: New York. You’ll see the Empire State, the NYPL lions, Times Square and other famous haunts.
- My Little Cities: Paris. Across the pond you’ll visit Shakespeare and Co bookstore, The Louvre, the all important Eiffel Tower, and a really strange ossuary that even I didn’t know existed.
- My Little Cities: London. Grab the train and head for Buckingham Palace or the famous spot where the Beatles walked, and don’t forget Big Ben.
The best bit about the books is that at the back there’s an appendix of sorts, with explanations of the sights depicted in the book. So it’s like a walking tourist map for the littles! How fun would it be to use these books to plan a vaca for you and your little traveler?
#3 Pug Pig Trick Or Treat By Sue Lowell Gallion
Halloween night has come to Pug and Pig’s house, and the darling duo is sporting matching costumes. The costumes are cozy. They glow in the dark. And they have masks! There’s only one problem—Pug hates wearing his. So he decides to rip it up and stay home. But Halloween just isn’t any fun for Pig without Pug! Can Pug find a way to be a good friend and get back into the Halloween spirit?
Pug & Pig is the cuuuuutest friggin fraggin Halloween book this year! If you remember my review of the first Pug & Pig you’ll know how completely in love I am with this adorbs duo!
So if you have a reluctant Halloweenie at home, don’t try to push them into it. Find a way like Pug did, to enjoy the activities.
#4 As Fast As Words Could Fly By Pamela Tuck, Illustrated By Eric Velasquez
There is nothing I love more than seeing brown skin or a person of color on the cover of a book for children. That’s one of the reasons why I love As Fast as Words Could Fly by Pamela Tuck so much!
This picture book, which is suitable for early elementary school, depicts a fictionalized account of the author’s father, a young boy who learns to type and is forced to integrate into an all white school with his older brothers. The boy’s excellent typing skills earn him a chance to make a difference in the African American community during the civil rights era. The story depicts racism in a way that young kids will understand without exposing them to violence and other indignities. Kids today will be incensed to learn that people who look like their friends were treated so harshly.
As Fast as Words Could Fly is a great addition to any school or home library. I’m especially thrilled because the author spoke at KidLitCon in Hershey last Nov and she signed my book, woooooo! Fangirl here we come!!!
As Fast as Words Could Fly totally counts toward the Diversity Reading Challenge.
#5 Zane And The Hurricane: A Story Of Katrina By Rodman Philbrick
I’m totally adding this to my TBR list. It’s got diversity and heroism; two of my faves.
Zane Dupree is a charismatic 12-year-old boy of mixed race visiting a relative in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. Unexpectedly separated from all family, Zane and his dog experience the terror of Katrina’s wind, rain, and horrific flooding. Facing death, they are rescued from an attic air vent by a kind, elderly musician and a scrappy young girl–both African American. The chaos that ensues as storm water drowns the city, shelter and food vanish, and police contribute to a dangerous, frightening atmosphere, creates a page-turning tale that completely engrosses the reader. Based on the facts of the worst hurricane disaster in U.S. history, Philbrick includes the lawlessness and lack of government support during the disaster as well as the generosity and courage of those who risked their lives and safety to help others.
#6 I Survived Hurricane Katrina 2005 By Lauren Tarshis
You know how much I love the I Survived series, right? Current events for tweens. And diversity!
Barry’s family tries to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hits their home in New Orleans. But when Barry’s little sister gets terribly sick, they’re forced to stay home and wait out the storm.
At first, Katrina doesn’t seem to be as bad as predicted. But overnight the levees break, and Barry’s world is literally torn apart. He’s swept away by the floodwaters, away from his family. Can he survive the storm of the century — alone?
#7 Let’s Hear It For Almigal by Wendy Kupfer
Let’s Hear it for Almigal by Wendy Kupfer is hands down one of the best books I’ve read lately for children! Our heroine, the hearing aid wearing and spunky little Alimgal, is the kind of protagonist every child’s book should contain. Almigal wears a hearing aid but still lives a full life doing things other little kids do: playing, having sleepovers, and attending school. But this little heroine is better because she shows readers that you don’t always have to be perfect to be in a good book.#8 The 39 Clues By Jenny Goebel
Kudos to the author and illustrator for depicting children of mixed ethnicities and abilities in this delightful little book. I love that Almigals friends are African-American , Hispanic, wear glasses, are twins, and even speak sign language! Kids, even little kids, want to be able to identify with the character they’re reading in a book. They want to see someone who is like them and in Almigal they’ve found it. There is something for everyone in this book.
I especially love that Almigal isn’t perfect as kids with disabilities are often depicted ( Disney channel): kids who don’t get I trouble or in time out.
Get this book for every child who has ever felt different or out of place or who wears a hearing aid or who just likes a good book!
#8 Is The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry
The Silent Boy, by Lois Lowry is a sweet tale. I haven’t quite figured out what Lowry’s themes are about, but according to her website, they are about human connections. But anyway, this is a delightful book. Not in a silly kind of way, like some of her others, but because the main character, Katy, has no prejudice and has an open, curious spirit. While the title would lead you to believe that the story is about the boy, it isn’t really. The silent boy, Jacob, seems to me to only be a peripheral character. The child does not speak, and because of that is called many awful names that Katy seeks to understand.
I chose this book because I thought it would address children with disabilities. Jacob is eventually sent to an asylum where they care for mentally ill and possibly disabled people. Of course, at that day and time they were probably considered to be the same. I was hoping for more insight into Jacob’s disability but I guess that would have been too difficult a topic for a children’s book. Each chapter contains a vintage photo which helps the reader visualize the characters. Have times changed for boys like Jacob?