A Dream Read

An exquisitely rendered depiction of life in a Black community, Dream Street is a joy to read. Written by Tricia Elam Walker with collages by Ekua Holmes, Dream Street introduces readers to the unique and dynamic individuals who make up this community. The book is based on the neighborhood in which Walker and Holmes grewContinue reading “A Dream Read”

Building Community

One of the foremost results of community activism is, of course, policy change. But another, less acknowledged, impact that community activism can have is a sense of belonging. In Laila Sabreen’s young adult novel, You Truly Assumed, three Black Muslim girls begin a blog for other young women to share their thoughts and feelings afterContinue reading “Building Community”

A Title that Fits Like a Glove

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet, by Jen Ferguson, has a perfect title. Rarely does a title match the text quite so brilliantly. The title, however, is just the beginning of Ferguson’s excellent young adult novel, which will enchant readers of all backgrounds. The book is full of rich character development and multiple stories whichContinue reading “A Title that Fits Like a Glove”

Honest History

In Imani Perry’s excellent new book for adults, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, she points out that, “even if you are a lover of the national romance, integrity requires that the stories be at least halfway honest…Because history is an instruction. And what you neglectContinue reading “Honest History”

The Politics of Personhood

According to Freedom for All Americans, there are twenty-five anti-transgender bills currently being proposed in states across the nation. Laws that attack members of marginalized communities are certainly not new to the United States. It seems that there are always groups who are seen as “less-than” or who we prefer to not see at all.Continue reading “The Politics of Personhood”

Celebrate Talent

There should be many more books like J.D. and the Great Barber Battle, written by J.Dillard and illustrated by Akeem S. Roberts. Luckily, this is the first title in a series (with two additional books available now), so I can look forward to many adventures with J.D. and his community in Meridian, Mississippi. I haveContinue reading “Celebrate Talent”

Seeing People

Every once in a while my soul aches to read a story where every character, even the most challenging, eventually shows a redeeming quality. In Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?, by Leslie Connor, I found a book with so many loving, quirky, and accepting characters that it makes me want to pack up and move toContinue reading “Seeing People”

Secrets and Lies

The title of my blog, Teaching Social Justice with Children’s Books, did not seem dangerous or problematic when I chose it several years ago, but it does today. Parents, school boards, and government representatives across the country are demanding that children’s and young adult books which address certain aspects of a person’s identity be removedContinue reading “Secrets and Lies”

Boundless Creativity

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, but I didn’t know that until I started to do some research to write this blog post. December 3 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I didn’t know that either. As a former special education teacher, it seems like I should have. But, honestly, what I wishContinue reading “Boundless Creativity”