No Longer Hidden Away

Bayard Rustin worked with A. Phillip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator John Lewis, and many other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. However, his own role as a major leader in this movement was often kept secret from the public because of his sexual orientation. Bayard never wanted to hide who he wasContinue reading “No Longer Hidden Away”

Not Alone

Lynne Kelly dedicates her book, Song for a Whale, to everyone who’s ever felt alone. This is the perfect way to introduce a story that highlights the experiences of an underrepresented group, while also reflecting the thoughts of children from every background. Kelly’s book centers around Iris who is twelve and the only Deaf studentContinue reading “Not Alone”

Picturing Home

Home is a bit of an abstract concept. While the dictionary defines home as the place where someone lives, people have been expanding that definition for many years. We have all read things or said things such as: home is where the heart is, home away from home, or home is the people who loveContinue reading “Picturing Home”

Safe Spaces

As the new school year begins, I want to emphasize the crucial role that schools and classrooms can play as safe spaces where students can be themselves. Most students, hopefully, go home to families where they are accepted, but we know that this is not true for every child. In I Wish You All theContinue reading “Safe Spaces”

Define “From”

Chants of, “send her back,” accusations of “invasions” and “infestations,” have all become a part of our political narrative. While none of this is new, the outspoken and “everyday” nature of these messages seems significant. Children hear this language and see its effects on a daily basis. While some of it might be difficult forContinue reading “Define “From””

Essential Conversations

A recent article in the journal Language Arts addressed the importance of sharing children’s books about death and grief in elementary classrooms (Husbye, Buchholz, Powell, & Zanden, July 2019). Often, as educators, we like to have a deep understanding of topics that we are going to discuss with our students. Death is one issue thatContinue reading “Essential Conversations”

Reflecting the Passage of Time

Twenty years ago, Tricia Brown and Roy Corral interviewed children from seven Alaska Native cultures and produced the book Children of the Midnight Sun. Recognizing that cultures are constantly evolving and being influenced by global changes, Brown and Corral returned to create Children of the First People. They interviewed kids from the eight Alaska NativeContinue reading “Reflecting the Passage of Time”

A Turning Point

I recognize that, given the time of year, I am a little late with this reflection on two books covering the Stonewall Uprising. However, just like Black history should not only be taught in February, LGBTQ+ history should not be taught solely in June. This is especially true because many schools across the country areContinue reading “A Turning Point”

Identity within a Community

I have to admit up front that I know very little about rap and hip hop. So writing about Angie Thomas’ new book, On the Come Up, is a bit of a challenge for me. At first, I felt like maybe my lack of first-hand knowledge of this musical style and the community that ThomasContinue reading “Identity within a Community”

Honoring her Stories

Dreamers, The Poet X, Lucky Broken Girl, Juana and Lucas, Niño Wrestles the World. All of these books have been recipients of the Pura Belpré Author or Illustrator Awards. But how much do our students know about this extraordinary and important individual’s contributions to the history of children’s literature? Planting Stories: The Life of LibrarianContinue reading “Honoring her Stories”