Categories
Books Diversity Reading Challenge

Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup: Identity and Compassion

Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup

Identity and Compassion

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: Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

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!

 

#2: The Little Tree by Muon Van

The Little Tree by Muon Van

As the little tree sends her little seed out into the world, she wonders what will become of it.  One day she finds out. And when she does, OMG will you cry! There are so many different ways to love this book! The author of the book is of Vietnamese descent and discusses the families emigration from Vietnam to Hong Kong and then to the U.S. These feelings are depicted in the illustrations as well. Parents will appreciate the story because that’s exactly how it feels to send a small child out into the world: magical and frightening at the same time. Children will love the story because of the gentle way the tale unfolds, the soft drawings and the feeling of magic and wonder. So much diversity and multiculturalism without saying a word about it. LOVE!

The Little Tree is sure to be a favorite! Add this to your Diversity Reading Challenge.

 

#3: This Way Home by Wes Moore  Shawn Goodman

This Way Home by Wes Moore & Shawn Goodman

Elijah Thomas knows one thing better than anyone around him: basketball. At seventeen, he’s earned the reputation of a top-level player, one who steps onto the court ready for battle, whether it’s a neighborhood pickup game or a tournament championship.

What Elijah loves most about the game is its predictability: if he and his two best friends play hard and follow the rules, their team will win. And this formula has held true all way up to the summer before their senior year of high school, when a sinister street gang, Blood Street Nation, wants them to wear the Nation’s colors in the next big tournament.

The boys gather their courage and take a stand against the gang, but at a terrible cost. Now Elijah must struggle to balance hope and fear, revenge and forgiveness, to save his neighborhood. For help, he turns to the most unlikely of friends: Banks, a gruff ex-military man, and his beautiful and ambitious daughter. Together, the three work on a plan to destroy Blood Street and rebuild the community they all call home.

I’m so glad to see more books aimed at an urban or African American young adult reader. This would qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

 

#4: Chocolate Mixer by Jason Armstrong

Chocolate Mixer by Jason Armstrong

The children in Chocolate Mixer, happen to be brown like chocolate milk (and who doesn’t love chocolate milk??) even though they are a mixture of a white (vanilla) mother and a chocolate (Black) father. The very BEST line in the easy to read rhyming book is the line from Dad:

“He sat me on his lap and said “my rainbow you see” we are all some kind of mixer, just look at a family.”

Isn’t that cute? Even the youngest kiddos can look at families (possibly their own) and see how everyone is different shades of color, just like a rainbow.  What a great way to discuss similarities rather than differences with the littles.  There are SO many teachable moments in this book!

#5: Peter’s Chair

Peter stretched as high as he could.  There! His tall building was finished.”

Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats is the CUTEST book around for children and parents experiencing the joyful addition of another child into the house.  Peter, however, is none too thrilled to have a little sister who uses all his old baby things: his crib, his high chair, etc.

I’ve reviewed Ezra Jack Keats before and I love the multicultural vibe he brings. He purposely choose an ethnic variety for his main characters, and this was over 40 years ago! It’s only natural that I should review Peter’s Chair for Black History Month.  The author is Jewish and the main character is African American; I LOVE the diversity!

If you’ve not read this book, you MUST DO IT NOW!! It is delightful and easy for kids to understand; all kids everywhere can relate to being dethroned by a little sib.

 

#6: Belle Prater’s Boy

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White

So, I just finished reading an endearing book called Belle Prater’s Boy, by Ruth White. The tale is of two cousins, Gypsy and Woodrow, living in 1950s Virginia. Both children have lost a parent and both children struggle to understand why their parents left them. Gypsy is known for her long beautiful hair and Woodrow is a story teller. The language of the book is a blend of 50s charm and southern backwoods vernacular, which spoken through a child’s voice is particularly effective. I can see why the book was a Newberry Honor book.

I chose to read the book because I thought, given that the setting was the rural South, the story might contain a multicultural element. I was mistaken. While the characters within the story are Caucasian, there is a multicultural feel to the book, especially since Woodrow did not grow up in a family with money. In fact, Woodrow’s family was poor. Blind Benny adds a musical touch to the story and could certainly be African American, although not specifically stated.

Although Belle Prater’s Boy doesn’t specifically provide the multicultural blend that I was looking for, it is surely a good read: the characters are engaging, the story flows well, and the very small town lifestyle is different from what some readers may be familiar with.

 

#7: Little Shaq by Theodore Taylor III

Little Shaq by Shaquille O'Neal

When you think of Black History month do you think of politicians or just of musicians and actors? What about famous athletes? African American have contributed to society in so many ways! I’d like to share with you a great little book about Shaquille O’Neal, the basketball player.  He has a  series out called Little Shaq.

Little Shaq is a book for emerging and middle grade readers, depending on their interest.

When Little Shaq and his cousin Barry accidentally break their favorite video game, they need to find a way to replace it. That’s when Little Shaq’s science project inspires a solution: a gardening business. They can water their neighbors’ gardens to raise money for a new game! Little Shaq and Barry make a great team both on and off the basketball court, but will their business be as successful as they hoped?

The best thing about this book is that it shows kids (and maybe some adults) that athletes can have other talents than on the ball field or the court. Friends, family, business, and fair play are lessons that readers will enjoy.

This title also counts toward the Diversity Reading Challenge. Way to go Little Shaq!

 

#8: Don’t Forget DEXTER! by Lindsay Ward

Dexter T Rexter might be the cauuuuuutest T-Rex I’ve ever met! And sadly, I would be devastated if he were mine and got separated from me. But you know what, that’s exactly what happens in this adorbs story. Poor Dexter gets left behind in the doctor’s office waiting room. He’s sure his best buddy would never leave him behind on purpose so he sets out to figure out what happened and then tries to help himself get rescued.

The illustrations are multidimensional and so clever. I love love love this story. No spoiling the ending either, so you’ll hafta find out for yourself what happens.

PS you’ll be singing the dinosaur song all day!

 

 

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Power Girls: Young Women of Color who Kick Ass

Power Girls: Young Women of Color
who Kick Ass

You didn’t ask for it but here it is. A list of books featuring young women of color. They are strong, they are powerful, they are smart, they make friends. They are more than the stereotypical “pretty” girl.

Here we go:

Marjane

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Sunny

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

 

Sierra

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Julia

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L Sanchez

 

Sandra

How Dare the Sun Rise by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

 

Starr

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

 

Sonia, Tara, Shanti, Anna

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

 

Xiomara

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

Patty

Patina by Jason Reynolds

Zelie

The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

 

Zuri

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

 

Bri

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Layla

Internment by Samira Ahmed

 

Need a role model for a book report? That’s  about a dozen POWERFUL young women to choose from. Hey! That’s one Power Girl for every month of the year! And they’d all qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Have any power girls to add? Let me know here or hit me on Twitter: @pamlovesbooks

Categories
Books Diversity Reading Challenge

Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup: Identity and Compassion

Diversity Reading Challenge Roundup

Identity and Compassion

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: Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

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!

 

#2: The Little Tree by Muon Van

The Little Tree by Muon Van

As the little tree sends her little seed out into the world, she wonders what will become of it.  One day she finds out. And when she does, OMG will you cry! There are so many different ways to love this book! The author of the book is of Vietnamese descent and discusses the families emigration from Vietnam to Hong Kong and then to the U.S. These feelings are depicted in the illustrations as well. Parents will appreciate the story because that’s exactly how it feels to send a small child out into the world: magical and frightening at the same time. Children will love the story because of the gentle way the tale unfolds, the soft drawings and the feeling of magic and wonder. So much diversity and multiculturalism without saying a word about it. LOVE!

The Little Tree is sure to be a favorite! Add this to your Diversity Reading Challenge.

 

#3: This Way Home by Wes Moore  Shawn Goodman

This Way Home by Wes Moore & Shawn Goodman

Elijah Thomas knows one thing better than anyone around him: basketball. At seventeen, he’s earned the reputation of a top-level player, one who steps onto the court ready for battle, whether it’s a neighborhood pickup game or a tournament championship.

What Elijah loves most about the game is its predictability: if he and his two best friends play hard and follow the rules, their team will win. And this formula has held true all way up to the summer before their senior year of high school, when a sinister street gang, Blood Street Nation, wants them to wear the Nation’s colors in the next big tournament.

The boys gather their courage and take a stand against the gang, but at a terrible cost. Now Elijah must struggle to balance hope and fear, revenge and forgiveness, to save his neighborhood. For help, he turns to the most unlikely of friends: Banks, a gruff ex-military man, and his beautiful and ambitious daughter. Together, the three work on a plan to destroy Blood Street and rebuild the community they all call home.

I’m so glad to see more books aimed at an urban or African American young adult reader. This would qualify for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

 

#4: Chocolate Mixer by Jason Armstrong

Chocolate Mixer by Jason Armstrong

The children in Chocolate Mixer, happen to be brown like chocolate milk (and who doesn’t love chocolate milk??) even though they are a mixture of a white (vanilla) mother and a chocolate (Black) father. The very BEST line in the easy to read rhyming book is the line from Dad:

“He sat me on his lap and said “my rainbow you see” we are all some kind of mixer, just look at a family.”

Isn’t that cute? Even the youngest kiddos can look at families (possibly their own) and see how everyone is different shades of color, just like a rainbow.  What a great way to discuss similarities rather than differences with the littles.  There are SO many teachable moments in this book!

#5: Peter’s Chair

Peter stretched as high as he could.  There! His tall building was finished.”

Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats is the CUTEST book around for children and parents experiencing the joyful addition of another child into the house.  Peter, however, is none too thrilled to have a little sister who uses all his old baby things: his crib, his high chair, etc.

I’ve reviewed Ezra Jack Keats before and I love the multicultural vibe he brings. He purposely choose an ethnic variety for his main characters, and this was over 40 years ago! It’s only natural that I should review Peter’s Chair for Black History Month.  The author is Jewish and the main character is African American; I LOVE the diversity!

If you’ve not read this book, you MUST DO IT NOW!! It is delightful and easy for kids to understand; all kids everywhere can relate to being dethroned by a little sib.

 

#6: Belle Prater’s Boy

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White

So, I just finished reading an endearing book called Belle Prater’s Boy, by Ruth White. The tale is of two cousins, Gypsy and Woodrow, living in 1950s Virginia. Both children have lost a parent and both children struggle to understand why their parents left them. Gypsy is known for her long beautiful hair and Woodrow is a story teller. The language of the book is a blend of 50s charm and southern backwoods vernacular, which spoken through a child’s voice is particularly effective. I can see why the book was a Newberry Honor book.

I chose to read the book because I thought, given that the setting was the rural South, the story might contain a multicultural element. I was mistaken. While the characters within the story are Caucasian, there is a multicultural feel to the book, especially since Woodrow did not grow up in a family with money. In fact, Woodrow’s family was poor. Blind Benny adds a musical touch to the story and could certainly be African American, although not specifically stated.

Although Belle Prater’s Boy doesn’t specifically provide the multicultural blend that I was looking for, it is surely a good read: the characters are engaging, the story flows well, and the very small town lifestyle is different from what some readers may be familiar with.

 

#7: Little Shaq by Theodore Taylor III

Little Shaq by Shaquille O'Neal

When you think of Black History month do you think of politicians or just of musicians and actors? What about famous athletes? African American have contributed to society in so many ways! I’d like to share with you a great little book about Shaquille O’Neal, the basketball player.  He has a  series out called Little Shaq.

Little Shaq is a book for emerging and middle grade readers, depending on their interest.

When Little Shaq and his cousin Barry accidentally break their favorite video game, they need to find a way to replace it. That’s when Little Shaq’s science project inspires a solution: a gardening business. They can water their neighbors’ gardens to raise money for a new game! Little Shaq and Barry make a great team both on and off the basketball court, but will their business be as successful as they hoped?

The best thing about this book is that it shows kids (and maybe some adults) that athletes can have other talents than on the ball field or the court. Friends, family, business, and fair play are lessons that readers will enjoy.

This title also counts toward the Diversity Reading Challenge. Way to go Little Shaq!

 

#8: Don’t Forget DEXTER! by Lindsay Ward

Dexter T Rexter might be the cauuuuuutest T-Rex I’ve ever met! And sadly, I would be devastated if he were mine and got separated from me. But you know what, that’s exactly what happens in this adorbs story. Poor Dexter gets left behind in the doctor’s office waiting room. He’s sure his best buddy would never leave him behind on purpose so he sets out to figure out what happened and then tries to help himself get rescued.

The illustrations are multidimensional and so clever. I love love love this story. No spoiling the ending either, so you’ll hafta find out for yourself what happens.

PS you’ll be singing the dinosaur song all day!

 

 

Categories
Children

Do Fairies Bring the Spring? by Liza Gardner Walsh Illustrated by Hazel Mitchell

Do Fairies Bring the Spring?

 

After a long winter s rest with little to do,
are the fairies ready to start something new,

Do they use tiny brushes and oil pastels
to paint crocuses, lilacs, and daffodils?

It may not seem like it but spring is right around the corner! If you have a little one at home who loves fairies then they will love this book. I’ve always wanted to make a fairy garden and maybe this year will be the year I finally get it done. How sweet are the miniature homes, chairs, tea cups, and etc?

Do Fairies Bring the Spring is the perfect book for homeschool, regular school or even after school playtime. You could incorporate so many gardening lessons with it. As the lovely poem skips along through the book you can see what the multicultural fairies do to keep the ground ready for flowers. You could build lessons that do similar care and feeding of the flowers. You could also build little fairy gardens in a plant pot if you don’t have access to outdoor space.

I’m totally thinking I might want to build a tea party around this adorable book!

Categories
Children Diversity Reading Challenge

Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin; illustrated by Meilo So

Wonderful You: An Adoption Story

Never have I read a book that so beautifully captures the dreams of young mothers for their unborn children. To be sure, Wonderful You is an adoption story, but it is about so much more than adoption. Mothers have dreams and visions of what their life will be like once a baby comes and I feel like adoptive or birth mothers have similar visions. I can only imagine that the mother giving up her child for adoption hopes the adoptive parents live up to her dreams. Both mothers want the best life for their new babies and want the babies to feel loved and supported. Wonderful You captures those feelings beautifully.

Especially captivating are the watercolor illustrations. They make you feel dreamy, like you’re in the heads and hearts of both families. And the fact that the adoptive parents are multicultural are an extra bonus!

Wonderful you is a lovely  book but it’s not just for adoptive families; it’s for every family that wants to show their child that they, too are Wonderful.

Categories
Children Diversity Reading Challenge

Calling the Water Drum by LaTisha Redding, illustrated by Aaron Boyd. #ReadYourWorld

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

It’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day! It’s the day we get to celebrate all things diverse and multicultural for kids. It’s one of my favorite days of the year because we get to learn about all the great books out there that you might not normally hear about. Books for kids of all kinds? WIN.

I’m thrilled today to bring you another great book from Lee & Low publishers. The book is

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.

*************************

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

 

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i

Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 

Categories
Bibliographies, Information, General Diversity Reading Challenge Lists

2017 #DIVERSITY READING CHALLENGE January Suggestions

It’s January; What do I read?

So you wanna read some diverse books this year? Don’t know where to start? I can help. Following are a few suggestions if you want to get one diverse read in this month.

COURAGE TO SOAR by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford

COURAGE TO SOAR by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford

This Olympic gymnast soared her way into my heart. I had all the feels watching her.

or

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon

Then Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

I like the idea of this book because the author and the main character is Jamaican. And we need more Jamaica in our lives. Now that we’ve got YA covered, need something for a younger kid? Have you read

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I know there are younger kids growing up so surely someone somewhere needs a copy of this book. Who doesn’t want to be a better person after reading about Augie? Already read it? How about

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

You’ll look at homelessness differently. And for the littles, I suggest

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by my buddy Phil Binder

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Binder

Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans and the wonderful garbage man who loved his city.

There. Is that enough to get you going? Let me know what book or books you chose!

 

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Starting Today! The Diversity Reading Challenge 2017

 

The Diversity Reading Challenge 2017

It’s my third year of hosting The Diversity Reading Challenge. I meant it as an easy peasy way for readers to dive into diversity while keeping up with their reading. Twelve books in 12 months, which equals 1 diverse book a month. You can’t get easier than that! Whether you read non-fiction or fiction, picture books, or graphic novels, the Diversity Reading Challenge will fit in with everything you do.

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Coming Soon: Diversity Reading Challenge 2017 {A Sneak Peak}

 

As we’re nearing the end of 2016 it’s time to reflect on the diverse books we’ve read this year and think about the books we’ll read next year. I’m excited too and I thought I’d share with you a sneak peak of the new graphic I’m working on.

Stay tuned and see the finished copy!

Meanwhile tally up your 2016 Diverse reads and we’ll chat about them as soon as I get mine tallied.

Chat soon!

Categories
The Pod

It’s Monday, how about a podcast?

It’s Monday, how about a podcast?

All good things take time, my friends. Please enjoy another podcast episode.