Diversifying Reading Lists Promoting diversity in literature is one of the core building blocks of the librarian profession. It is second nature for most of us to seek out books that feature characters from other countries, races, religions, backgrounds, and identities. But teachers often don’t have autonomy in choosing which books to include in their curriculums. According to an article in the fall 2019 issue of the Harvard Ed. Magazine, “It’s been more than 50 years since literacy experts first stressed the need for more diverse books in the classroom, and yet reading lists look surprisingly the same as they did in 1970” (Anderson). I’ve written before about how reading cultivates empathy. Though collection development and readers’ advisory are two of the most vital jobs of librarians, these tasks mean little if we don’t succeed in getting students and teachers to actually read the book collections we’ve worked so hard to curate. Here are some of my recent reading lists: Work Cited: Anderson, Jill. Like this:
Resources | Dia! Diversity in Action – El día de los niños, El día de los libros ALSC Blog Connect with the ALSC Blog to find a collection of articles written about Día by ALSC members and Committees. All Día articles can be accessed at: Día Get Together Facebook chats ALSC offers periodic Día Get Together Facebook chats on the Día Facebook Page. January 2015 chat – The ALSC Public Awareness Committee and Colorín Colorado discussed available multicultural program resources.March 2015 chat – The ALSC Quicklists Consulting Committee and First Book discussed how to choose and find multicultural titles for Día programs. History of Día Celebration These articles address various aspects of El día de los niños / El día de los libros and preserve the history of the celebration. "Celebrating more than a decade of Día in Texas!" Useful Websites These useful websites were shared at the Day of Diversity at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in January 2015.
Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents - Multicultural Children's Book Day Welcome! The following is a downloadable/clickable “List of Lists” designed so that parents, teachers, and caregivers can find the multicultural and diverse book titles for kids that they are in need of. These lists are broken down into easy-to-find topics and themes. Every blue title is a link to more book lists on that topic. Here are some examples of some of our lists that are in high demand right now: Anti-Racist Books and Resources Imagination Soup: Anti-Racist Books for Kids Ages 8 – 12 The Conscious Kid: Critical Conversations PragmaticMom: White Privilege Books for Kids Feminist Books for Kids: 9 Children’s Books About Police Brutality Imagination Soup: Picture Books That Teach Kids About Prejudice, Inclusion, and Kindness PragmaticMom: How To Teach Kids About Microaggressions InCulture Parent: 6 Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth Colours of Us: 37 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination PragmaticMom: Children’s Books about Skin Color And so many more! NEW! Save
The Problem With #OwnVoices LGBTQ Lit In case you aren’t familiar with it, #ownvoices is a hashtag that was created by Corinne Duyvis to highlight books that are written by an author that shares a marginalized identity with the protagonist. So a Deaf protagonist written by a Deaf author is #ownvoices.* This is a hugely helpful term! When seeking out diverse books, we should be primarily looking for diverse authors, and the best people to represent a marginalized group are those who experience that marginalization. The funny thing about such a general concept, though, is that it doesn’t map on to every marginalization in the same way. The first is that, of course, the “LGBTQ” community covers a lot of different groups. Trans lit, on the other hand, is a much smaller category. So here’s the funny part: #ownvoices lesbian and bisexual women books aren’t really a thing. There’s one more aspect to #ownvoices in LGBTQ lit: the pressure to be an out author. Category ID: 9969 Category ID: 4284 It’s a tricky topic.
Add Magic to Read Alouds with Novel Effect In this guest blog post, certified special educator and Chief of Education for Novel Effect Melody Zagami Furze introduces Novel Effect, a free voice interactive storytelling app that can “add music, sounds, and even characters’ voices, simply by reading a book out loud” to enrich the storytelling experience with kids. Lee & Low is excited to have soundtracks for several of our books available now on Novel Effect! As an early childhood educator and now a parent, I know how exhausting it can be to squeeze in all the classroom activities you need in a single day. We created Novel Effect so that story time can be an achievable daily goal for you and your students, especially the ones who may find it extra hard to sit still until the end of a book. If you’re newly discovering Novel Effect in this blog post, you’re in for a treat. Get a nice blue-tooth speaker. This isn’t crucial when reading to one child. Take your time. We’re following you in the text! Get the students involved.
500 Internal Server Error In a vibrant, multicultural society, representing the richness of students’ lives in a class or school library takes a conscious effort. Including writers and fictional characters with a variety of backgrounds, beliefs, and life circumstances is a way to increase the chances that students will find both windows and mirrors in the library—books that reflect their lives, and ones that give them insight into the lives and experiences of people who aren’t like them. No book shelf is going to represent the fullness of this nation. From the descendants of people who arrived here more than 15,000 years ago to the newest immigrants, we’re simply too much. But the inclusive set of books below—many of which were recommended by multiple teachers—span all grade and Lexile levels up to 1140L, and include award winners and best sellers, books that have stood the test of time and newer options. Grades pre-K to 2 Grades 3 to 5 Grades 6 to 8 Grades 9 to 12
#ownvoices • Corinne Duyvis Q: I know #ownvoices started in the kidlit world, but can I use it to recommend adult novels? Go for it. Q: What about comic books? Q: Is this about race? Queerness? Whoaaa remember what I said about not wanting to moderate or regulate it? Let’s highlight some of those words, though: “Author,” as in the actual author has this identity, not their spouse, child, sibling, student, neighbor, friend, etc. “Identity,” as in at least somewhat specific. And “a” marginalized identity, not “all.” Beyond that? Q: Right, but you gave wildly different examples. Sorry, I’ve said pretty much all I feel comfortable saying. And that’s exactly why I don’t think it’s my place to make that call. Q: If my character and I share one type of identity, but the character is also marginalized in ways that I’m not, wouldn’t it be misleading to call it #ownvoices? Depends on how you frame it, IMO. • Awesome Book features a Chinese-American trans girl! See the difference between the first one and the other two?
Diversity in Graphic Novels Special thanks to member Laura M. Jiménez for her time and expertise in reviewing and adding additional resources for this blog post. This summer members highlighted the need for more diversity in graphic novels. We’ve looked around the internet and compiled a list of suggested resources to check out. You will find some overlap between the titles suggested within these resources, but we’ve tried to find various lists that offer characters, authors, and illustrators from many places, with varied backgrounds, identities, and abilities. At the end of this post, you will also find some research and additional reading on diversity and representation in graphic novels. Book Lists Teaching for Change carefully selects the best multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators as part of their Social Justice Books project. Each year, the Young Adult Library Services Association branch of the American Library Association announces their top graphic novels list.