In October 2017 we went on a little book-buying spree, our last book purchase of the year. In the past, I’ve posted about book hauls and then never reviewed any substantial portion of the books. It takes long time for me to post reviews (I have about a two month turn-around time assuming nothing else comes up). However, I felt bad about posting pictures of the awesome books on my shelf and then never reviewing them.
Last year my goals were too many and too complicated. At the beginning of this year I chose 11 goals (many tweaked versions of last year’s) between blogging, reading, and book habits. This is my check-in/tweaking mid-year post. Continue reading “My 2019 Bookish Goals Mid-Year Update”
Trying to decide the next course of action for my board book review series.
Way back in early 2017 (actually end of 2016 but the first post went up in 2017), I started reviewing diverse board books. We had little kids again, and with my newfound passion for diverse literature, I wanted to build a collection that was diverse from the very beginning and do better by our youngest children.
My first priority was books with black children or African-American authors, but it was also important to me that our board books represented the world around us, so pretty soon I was collecting more books so that other groups were represented as well. Our daily life does not, to my knowledge, include Native Americans, so I wanted to be sure to represent #ownvoices indigenous board books. A few people have also given us diverse books (either from our wish list or just because they’re awesome).
I also wanted to include both fiction and nonfiction, and have been surprised and very pleased with the amount of diverse nonfiction I was able to find.
Over the course of Colorful Book Reviews, I’ve reviewed almost 200 books, ranging from board books to academic works. I’ve also learned a LOT from you, the diverse book blogging community, reviewers, authors, publishers, readers, parents, teachers, and children.
Sometimes what I learn is that I got it wrong. Usually when that happens I go back to my review post and add in a note that it’s been edited and what my opinion is now and maybe why it’s changed.
Whether a different edition shows me something about the book to like (or dislike as the case may be) or another person points out a problematic aspect that I’d missed, it’s usually an easy fix to the blog’s content. However in this case my views on an entire subject have changed.
At one point I did not like books which used strong language for elementary school children. The more I’ve read and listened to people talk about this issue, the more my views have changed. The tipping point was reading this interview with Mildred Taylor.
I still have not worked out how to handle some words in a diverse classroom setting, but that is no longer such a concern as my career is taking a different path these days. At home, I’ve realized that softening the words and events of the past is part of the problem.
While we do soften or avoid some topics with young or particularly sensitive children, downplaying the Holocaust, lynchings, or apartheid stops us learning from those horrible events and working to prevent them. This can be done on a developmentally appropriate level, although it does take a bit more effort and education as a parent and teacher.
I will continue to mention instances of slurs or especially swears as I notice them in books, so that parents or teachers can make their own informed choices. However for historical fiction and nonfiction, that will no longer impact my overall opinion the same way.
Thanks for listening,
In the beginning of 2018 I set a whole bunch of goals. Blogging goals, and goals for the Nonfiction Challenge. Then my real life happened. Here’s the breakdown of how I did with all of those different goals, and the ONE surprising goal I actually completed! Continue reading “I Didn’t Meet My Goals and That’s Okay”