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

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
Adult Fiction Diversity Reading Challenge

I Did NOT Want to Finish Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

I’m such a goober when it comes to this book. Ok, not just this book but lots of books. I’ve been wanting to read Another Brooklyn for a while and put off scooping it because of this dilemma: once you read a book for the first time you can never read it again for the first time.

Weird, right? So that first time is magical. It’s like opening up a present you’ve been waiting for and you can never get that euphoria back. I purchased Another Brooklyn from Busboys & Poets in DC a few months ago and I promptly put it on my desk promising myself I wouldn’t read it.

I wanted to read it, mind you. It’s just that once you read it, you can never read it again for the first time (see above). l put it off and put it off until I couldn’t wait any longer and I finally cracked the spine. Now I warn you this book is not a YA book but older teens could certainly handle it. There are mature issues inside but I’ve read rape scenes in YA books that are more chilling than the facts within this  beautifully written novel. And to be sure, there are no rape scenes in Another Brooklyn. It’s the tale of one young woman who grows up learning to lean on a circle of girlfriends as they all mature into womanhood.

As the girls grow, there are perhaps your typical scenarios that you might encounter in an inner city neighborhood: drug use, dating, sex, unnecessary advances from older men, school, hunger, homelessness, etc. Written in prose, though, the story unfolds so beautifully  that I literally DID NOT WANT TO FINISH THE BOOK.

I dragged the story out as long as I could, which is difficult because the book is short, a mere 177 pages.  I loved reading the book, getting lost in the prose as if Woodson were writing a poem just for me. As my own son now lives in Brooklyn I like to imagine what the town looked like in Woodson’s 1970s Brooklyn, before cell phones, and iPhones, and Uber.

I will definitely revisit Another Brooklyn, because books can be enjoyed more than once. Another Brooklyn also qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge.

Categories
2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Children

LuLu and the Very Big Meanies A Multicultural Children’s Book Day Book! #ReadYourWorld

I’m preparing for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day is January 27th. Lots of great titles about diverse characters. If you’re in need of titles, pop on over there and check it out. Today I’m thrilled to share with you a great title:

LuLu and the Very Big Meanies

Lulu and the Very Big Meanies by Mac McGooshie and Alexis Hogwood

Here’s the official blurb about it:

Lulu and the Very Big Meanies is the first book in the new series, Lulubug’s Week in the Life: Meet Laila, AKA Lulu, young Muslimah, drama queen extraordinaire, and big-time fashionista! Lulu can’t cut a break this week! First she finds out that she’s moving to a new school and a new town for the next school year, and it’s not even her fault. Then Veronica B. and Veronica C., the most miserable bullies in the world, hand-pick Lulu for their evil plans. Add to that a very sick kitty and the something buzzing in the woods out back, well, Lulu is just not having a great time of it. Even with the help of her friends and family, can she possibly survive the Week of the Very Big Meanies?

Ok so good book, right? But that’s not the HALF of it!! Our heroine, Lulubug is a Muslim American and the ins and outs of her religion are woven into the little one’s life.

That’s the great delight of this book. Every child can relate to LuLu’s everyday trauma of being in school and having bullies, and getting what you want from your parents, etc. But how many of us know what a Muslim child goes through every day?

Honestly? Now we do. LuLu’s life is no different from ours, right? Ok we might not be Muslim but we can certainly can relate to having to wash up for church or do the right thing because that’s what’s expected.  We’re different but we’re the same. To emphasize the similarities between us, I thought it might be fun to complete a word search.

Everyone loves word searches, right?

So why not complete a word search from LuLu’s book that includes Muslim words?

LuLu’s Word Search

Click the link to see the word search.  I’ve included a word bank for you. You’re welcome. See if you recognize any of the words!

MCCBD’s  2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold SponsorsSatya House,  MulticulturalKids.com,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof, Silver Sponsors: Junior Library GuildCapstone Publishing, Lee and Low Books,  The Omnibus Publishing. Bronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls, Bliss Group Books, Snuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,  Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.