Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Have you Read: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, a 2018 #Cybils Middle Grade winner?

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

There is SO MUCH to love about this title! The Parker Inheritance has something for everyone:

  • Black History
  • Friendship
  • Bullying
  • Divorce
  • LGBTQ
  • A Mystery to solve

Take all of those ingredients and what comes out is an award winning book. Readers will love how Johnson took his time drawing our main characters into the story making sure to draw fully fleshed out personalities. Brandon and Candice try to solve a puzzle to clear Candice’s late grandmother’s name. And oh what a mystery it is. From learning about Jim Crow laws in the South to modern day experiences of bullying by adults and children, these two form a true friendship built on trust. And they might win a bunch of money too. What’s not to love about that?

The Parker Inheritance is having a great year: A Cybils award, my blog, a Diversity Reading Challenge feature, and Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Honor Award! Way to go Parker Inheritance!

If you’re keeping track, The Parker Inheritance ticks off the box for an African American young woman as the main character.

Bam.

 

 

Categories
Books Diversity Reading Challenge

I AM #BLACKHISTORYMONTH Riding Chance by Christine Kendall

Let’s celebrate Black History Month with Riding Chance by Christine Kendall

I love the premise of this book because it challenges everything you think you know about Black people: that they don’t ride horses (except cowboys). But in Riding Chance, Troy is sent to stables to care for horses rather than a juvenile detention facility. Imagine what a shock being around horses must be for an inner city teen? But then he’s forced to learn how to ride and play polo. How awesome is that? That he has to learn to deal with horses and his own prejudices against people who play polo? What an interesting concept.

 

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, a #Cybils Middle Grade winner!

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

There is SO MUCH to love about this title! The Parker Inheritance has something for everyone:

  • Black History
  • Friendship
  • Bullying
  • Divorce
  • LGBTQ
  • A Mystery to solve

Take all of those ingredients and what comes out is an award winning book. Readers will love how Johnson took his time drawing our main characters into the story making sure to draw fully fleshed out personalities. Brandon and Candice try to solve a puzzle to clear Candice’s late grandmother’s name. And oh what a mystery it is. From learning about Jim Crow laws in the South to modern day experiences of bullying by adults and children, these two form a true friendship built on trust. And they might win a bunch of money too. What’s not to love about that?

The Parker Inheritance is having a great year: A Cybils award, my blog, a Diversity Reading Challenge feature, and Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Honor Award! Way to go Parker Inheritance!

If you’re keeping track, The Parker Inheritance ticks off the box for an African American young woman as the main character.

 

 

 

Categories
Books Children

Celebrate Black History Month with Kadir Nelson Day 18

Celebrate Black History Month with Kadir Nelson

Black History Month is a great time to discover new authors and illustrators of color. I’ve been crushing on Kadir Nelson for some time now, and try as I might, he seems to allude me.  What better way to celebrate his beautifully moving illustrations by highlighting one book a day during Black History Month?

Coretta Scott

 

Coretta Scott

Ntozake Shange & Kadir Nelson

Categories
Bibliographies, Information, General Diversity Reading Challenge

Heroes of Black History

Heroes of Black History

Did you know that Black History Month is for everyone? That’s right! No matter your ethnicity or how you identify Black History Month is for you. Why? Because we can all learn from history and since Black people are important to our history, it’s important that everyone learn about the contributions to society made by people of color. Besides, just like you like to talk about your heritage (Kiss me I’m Italian) don’t you think people of color want to share their culture as well?

That’s why I’m so excited to share this book with you: Heroes of Black History.  It’s the story of four great Americans: Rosa Parks, former President Barack Obama, Jackie Robinson, and Harriet Tubman.

You’ve probably have studied one or two of these famous people in school or seen the president on TV so why not learn more?  And you know how much I love to read and learn so I thought I’d share this fab book from Time with you! Ps this is the best kind of learning; NO QUIZ!! For example, did you know that Rosa Park’s grandparents had been slaves? That’s pretty shocking isn’t it?  Sometimes history isn’t as far away as you’d think.

If you’re a teacher or a parent and want a helpful guide, I’ve got this super cool curriculum guide for you to help you study or learn all about these four great African Americans.  Click on the link to access the .

I have more cool things for you too: How about a Facts Facts page for each person? Then you and your friends can have a Fast Facts Contest (notice I didn’t say quiz?) and see who knows the most! Access the Fast Facts at this link. It’s a zip file so all you hafta do is download it. Let me know if it doesn’t work, ok?

Time Inc has so great stuff for Black History month and I’m happy to add this title to my collection to share with you.

Also? This non fiction title will TOTALLY count toward the Diversity Reading Challenge!

 

Categories
Children Diversity Reading Challenge

As Fast As Words Could Fly by Pamela Tuck, illustrated by Eric Velasquez

As Fast As Words Could Fly

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 will be speaking at KidLitCon in Hershey Nov 3-4 and I’m gonna beg charm her to sign my book, woooooo! Fangirl here we come!!!

As Fast as Words Could Fly totally counts toward the Diversity Reading Challenge.

Categories
Books Diversity Non Fiction

The Black Count and Alex Haley

When you think of France you undoubtedly think of one place: the Eiffel Tower.

But what do you think of when you think of 18th century France? Do you think of Les Miserable or The Three Musketeers?

If so, you’d be almost correct.  The story of The Black Count, by Tom Reiss, is a tale of  Alex Dumas, the man who fathers the man who writes The Three Musketeers and inspires The Count of Monte Cristo.

As a side note, I often refer to The Shawshank Redemption (or Friends) for many private chuckles.  In this case, the prisoners in Shawshank prison visit the library and one of them sees a book entitled The Count of Monte Cristo.  The prisoner mispronounces the author’s name as Alexandree Dumass.  (chuckle)  They are then informed that this book is about something they might be interested in:  a prison break.

 

Anyway, where were we?

oh yes, the Black Count.

Who is the Black Count? It’s no other man than Alex Dumas, the man who fathered the man who wrote The Three Musketeers, etc.  You know him, we discussed him in the previous paragraphs.  So, it’s no big deal, right? A black man fighting in the military? Maybe so today, but 3 centuries ago, this was practically unheard of.  There was, however, a brief time in France in the 18th century (1700s) when Blacks experienced moderately good civil rights.  They could be free, own property, conduct business, marry within and outside their race, etc.

I thought it might be interesting to find out what Black men looked like back then.

Notice anything familiar? It’s our Alex Dumas in the lower left corner, riding the horse; the same man as on the cover of The Black Count.  Also? The man on top of Alex Dumas? Yep, that’s his son, the author (Three Musketeers).

Now that we know what men might have looked like I thought it would be equally as interesting to see what the women looked like.  These photos, however, were more difficult to find.

I can only assume the lack of depiction of Black women had to be because of their lack of social standing regardless of the laws.  What I find interesting is what the mixed race people might have looked like.  If Dumas was from a White and Black union, the depictions I’ve seen don’t show it.  Some of the pictures show lighter skinned Blacks who, to me, look like they could be mixed.  But then, I guess this could be a cause for deeper research, sort of like an Alex Haley type of Roots exercise; remember that book? Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were more photos of the French and Haitian people of this time period so we could compare Alex Dumas’ history to Alex Haley’s?

If you like history or Black history or French history or The Three Musketeers, pick up a copy of The Black Count and research the turbulent history for yourself.  It’s amazing, really.

I give the book 4 paws for the historical retelling of life for 18th century Blacks; the book is, however, very informative and thorough, much like a textbook.

 

 

Categories
Books Diversity Reading Challenge

I AM #BLACKHISTORYMONTH Riding Chance by Christine Kendall

Let’s celebrate Black History Month with Riding Chance by Christine Kendall

I love the premise of this book because it challenges everything you think you know about Black people: that they don’t ride horses (except cowboys). But in Riding Chance, Troy is sent to stables to care for horses rather than a juvenile detention facility. Imagine what a shock being around horses must be for an inner city teen? But then he’s forced to learn how to ride and play polo. How awesome is that? That he has to learn to deal with horses and his own prejudices against people who play polo? What an interesting concept.

 

Categories
Books Children Diversity Reading Challenge

Discover Black History Month with The Jumbies

Discover Black History Month with The Jumbies

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

 

How fun is it to say Jumbies???

Lots of fun, but you DON’T EVER EVER EVAR

want to run into one.

EVAR.

They are scary ghosts who will eat you and do terrible things to you.

Or at least that’s what Tracey Baptiste says.

Here’s my review from last year.

If you’ve got a fan of horror in your house, this is the book for them.

If they like RL Stine they’ll love The Jumbies.

Black History. It’ll scare the pants off of ya.

Categories
Books Children

Celebrate Black History Month with Kadir Nelson Day 18

Celebrate Black History Month with Kadir Nelson

Black History Month is a great time to discover new authors and illustrators of color. I’ve been crushing on Kadir Nelson for some time now, and try as I might, he seems to allude me.  What better way to celebrate his beautifully moving illustrations by highlighting one book a day during Black History Month?

Coretta Scott

 

Coretta Scott

Ntozake Shange & Kadir Nelson