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%”

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”

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”

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”

The Right Age

We are starting to see a greater range of relationships with LGBTQIA characters in young adult literature. There has been a demand for more picture books with gender fluid or transgender children and juvenile fiction has been expanding its depiction of families with two moms or two dads. However, most books that include main charactersContinue reading “The Right Age”