Progress in Fits and Starts

It is 2020 and one of the prospective Democratic candidates for the presidency of the United States is an openly gay man. Not only that, he kinda, maybe, sort-of won the Iowa caucuses (sorry about all of the confusion, by the way). This can be hard to reconcile with the fact that forty-six years andContinue reading “Progress in Fits and Starts”

History for Every Month

To me, it seems important that we have sections of the year that are dedicated to the history of marginalized communities. This provides one more “nudge” to encourage teachers to make sure that these communities are included in our instruction. However, these months or weeks devoted to the study of particular identity groups come withContinue reading “History for Every Month”

American Dreamers

When Mia Yang’s parents decided to immigrate from China to the United States, they were convinced it was because they would have endless economic opportunities and would be free to pursue their dreams. Friends and colleagues had written home about their success and sent money to family members in China. This was the opportunity ofContinue reading “American Dreamers”

Undeniable Courage

I have written about several books that contain brief biographies of courageous individuals across history. I am particularly fond of these books because I think they can inspire future, deeper study of the people profiled as well as the causes they champion(ed). There are many wonderful books that fit into this specific category of juvenileContinue reading “Undeniable Courage”

Inspiring Activists

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books- If ever there was a book to inspire future social justice activists, it is Saving Savannah by Tonya Bolden. This book also offers insight into a portion of African American history that we don’t often have the opportunity to read about in young adult literature. Saving SavannahContinue reading “Inspiring Activists”

Searching for Friends

There are many picture books about making friends and playing with friends. But few address the challenges involved in this process as beautifully as A Friend for Henry written by Jenn Bailey and illustrated by Mika Song. Henry is on the autism spectrum and he navigates the world of his classroom differently than his peers.Continue reading “Searching for Friends”

Comfort Food

In Salma the Syrian Chef, written by Danny Ramadan and illustrated by Anna Bron, we are reminded of common bonds and universal languages that we all share. Languages like laughter, cooking, and beauty. In this book, which will be published in March 2020 by Annick Press (received as an ARC from NetGalley), Salma has justContinue reading “Comfort Food”

A Special Place

During World War II, there were many individuals from multiple countries who stood up against Nazi persecution. It still wasn’t the norm, though, as resisting took unbelievable amounts of courage and a desire/ability to see beyond the message that many government officials were delivering to the public. Therefore, the fact that so many of theContinue reading “A Special Place”

Representing the 14%

We need more books for children and young adults that feature main characters with disabilities. This seems evident even without statistics, but just to provide a bit of context: The most recent figures that I could find which specifically focused on children’s books featuring characters with disabilities were from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center inContinue reading “Representing the 14%”

How We View the World

When someone experiences a trauma, or is close to someone who does, there can be a shift in worldview. Sometimes our lives are split in two- life before the event and life after. Or it can feel like you are living in one world, where the trauma remains, while everyone else carries on in theirContinue reading “How We View the World”