Never Have I Ever…

Last year, my students told me about the game Never Have I Ever, which they enjoyed playing in their classrooms. In this game, someone says something that they have never done or has never happened to them and those people who have done it would respond. For example, a student might say, “I have neverContinue reading “Never Have I Ever…”

Some Things Stay the Same

I read two adult nonfiction titles last month that have influenced my reading of children’s and young adult literature. The first was The Plateau by Maggie Paxson which looked at a region of Southern France called Plateau Vivarais-Lignon. This region is best known for the number of individuals and families that hid Jews during WorldContinue reading “Some Things Stay the Same”

A Guide to Anti-Racism

Tiffany Jewell’s book, This Book is Anti-Racist, is not just a fantastic book for youth who are looking to increase their own activism. It is also a tool for young adults to make sense of their own identities and to dive deeply into issues of privilege. Jewell does a remarkable job of conveying the importanceContinue reading “A Guide to Anti-Racism”

Humanity Eclipsed

The last residential school for Native American Indian children in the United States was closed in 1973. The last residential school for First Nation Canadians closed in 1996. These schools were specifically designed to force children, native to their countries, to assimilate to the cultural norms of white people. The methods used to force thisContinue reading “Humanity Eclipsed”

Becoming and Accepting

I often write about why individuals are not always able to live their lives openly. However, I have just finished a book that made me think about identity in a different way. I was lucky enough to receive an advance reader copy from NetGalley of Becoming Beatriz by Tami Charles and published by Charlesbridge Teen.Continue reading “Becoming and Accepting”

Standing Up by Standing Out

In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton takes place in Atlanta, Georgia in 1958. After the death of her father, Ruth Robb moves from New York City to Atlanta with her little sister, Natalie, and her mom, Alice. Atlanta is where Alice grew up and “came out” (in the debutante sense, that is).Continue reading “Standing Up by Standing Out”

The Violence Inside

Oftentimes, when we discuss homophobia and hate crimes, we are talking about heterosexual individuals who hate and/or attack, members of the LGBTQ community. In Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley, a different narrative unfolds, and this one seems equally important to include in discussions of homophobia. In this book, it is a member of the LGBTQContinue reading “The Violence Inside”

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”