The Power of Personal History

There are many practical reasons for knowing about family history. It can help people to make medical decisions, inspire intellectual curiosity, or cause us to search for long-lost rich uncles. But I think there is something deeper within our collective psyche that calls us to search for greater knowledge of where we come from andContinue reading “The Power of Personal History”

We Must Speak the Unspeakable

What happened in Washington, D.C., on January 6 was newsworthy, but it certainly wasn’t new. Violent attacks by mobs of white Americans carrying weapons are not as infrequent as so many of us like to pretend. This was history repeating itself. I in no way wish to diminish the significance of these events. Instead, IContinue reading “We Must Speak the Unspeakable”

Chronic Illness Can Be Beastly

Lycanthropy, or the transformation of a human into a wolf, is probably not the first diagnosis that comes to mind when you think about chronic illness. However, as many people with unrecognized chronic illnesses find out on a daily basis, there are a lot of symptoms and conditions that medical science still cannot explain orContinue reading “Chronic Illness Can Be Beastly”

Making Peace with Stories

Joseph Bruchac has written a number of extraordinary books for children and young adults that have brought the stories of Native American people to a wide audience of readers. Peacemaker will be released in January 2021 and, while the story takes place centuries ago, I feel like it is a perfect message for our times.Continue reading “Making Peace with Stories”

The Paper Boat by Thao Lam

Without the subtitle, “A Refugee Story,” on the cover of The Paper Boat it might be difficult for children to immediately recognize the message that this wordless book shares so beautifully. It isn’t until reaching the end of the book, where there is an author’s note from Lam, that young readers learn exactly what theContinue reading “The Paper Boat by Thao Lam”

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh

Ada is a character who is learning to see herself through her own eyes. For her entire life, she has tried to be what others want her to be. A respectful and religious daughter for her father. An unconditionally loving daughter for her mother. A studious scholar for colleges and a submissive beauty for men.Continue reading “Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh”

The Ebb and Flow of History

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas begins in the late 1970s and ends in the early 1980s. Many of the 10-12-year-olds who read this book will think that seems like ancient history. For many of them, this precedes the birth of their parents. However, if these dates were not shared with them, andContinue reading “The Ebb and Flow of History”

Cinderella is Dead, by Kalynn Bayron

I have to admit that the 1950’s animated version of Cinderella was one of my favorite movies as a little girl. I could probably still sing every song. I honestly don’t know exactly what I liked about it. It might have been the mice. Anyway, I don’t think I will ever be able to watchContinue reading “Cinderella is Dead, by Kalynn Bayron”

“The Truth Is” by NoNieqa Ramos

It wasn’t so long ago when I still believed that it was impossible for a politician to run on a platform of white nationalism and come anywhere close to winning. Now I realize that this belief was a result of my white privilege and that, for many people in the United States, this possibility wasContinue reading ““The Truth Is” by NoNieqa Ramos”