15 If You Like That, Then Try This Recommendations

Have you ever seen those displays at libraries or bookstores that get you to try a new book you’ve never heard of by comparing it to a popular book you really like?

I am a sucker for those and always buy something from them.  This is my attempt to do that, but suggesting a diverse literature choice instead.

The suggestions range from infant to adult! Continue reading “15 If You Like That, Then Try This Recommendations”

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Review: Educating All God’s Children

“Most disturbing, Anthony regarded society’s low expectations of him as the reason why his school didn’t have the necessary supplies.” page 12

Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can – and Should – Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids by Nicole Baker Fulgham.
BrazosPress, Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2013.
Persuasive non-fiction, 235 pages including notes.

Fulgham wrote this book for the sixteen million children growing up in poverty in the United States of America and receiving a drastically different education than their upper and middle-class counterparts.  This book is fairly unique to America, because US education is uniquely flawed.

Educating All Gods Children

The first time I read this book was as a young educator ready to change the world.  This time, I read it having parented, including having parented children in highly segregated schools.

Continue reading “Review: Educating All God’s Children”

New (to me) Books I’m Excited About

So, I posted a while ago about books that I was excited to read – namely two books I pre-ordered (something I rarely do).  Now that it’s the end of May, both books should be arriving at my door soon!

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a buying spree, so I’m not pre-ordering any more books, but there are a few books that I’m excited about.  Most are new or recent releases, but a few are new-to-me.  Two I already own (so you can look for reviews later this summer). Continue reading “New (to me) Books I’m Excited About”

100 Indigenous Books

Back in 2015, I started reading diverse.

In 2016, I got educated about #ownvoices (and started this blog).

What will 2017 bring?

I have some specific goals in mind.  Although the main focus here will continue to be children’s books featuring African Americans, I want to branch out into some other areas.

While my actual reviewing of said books is uneven, I read children’s books from most other groups even if they never make it onto my blog.  But even though I’ve been following Debbie Reese on and off for the past decade, I don’t do a good job reading indigenous books.  How can I expect my students to read the American Indian Youth Literature Award winners when I have not?

american-indian-youth-literature-award

Part of this is availability.  None of the libraries I work at have what I would consider a good Native collection, and the local public library is sparse as well, although they have been open to suggestions.  Mostly my power here has been negative, that is, removing outdated books with stereotypes or those that relegate Native culture to the past.

This is ridiculous given that I live in Wisconsin, where Act31 requires the teaching of treaty rights, three periods of Native American studies, and the inclusion of diverse reading materials.

WI tribalgovernmentmap600

This year, I want to be more positive.  We made a start as a family by watching a few videos about modern natives and attending a powwow.

Now I am going to make a promise here: to read 100 books by indigenous authors.

I also have a goal of buying 50 of those 100 books.  We probably won’t keep all of them, so my thought is to donate some to libraries that don’t have them.  I would love to review all 100, but might just read some without reviewing them.

This is a massive undertaking, so I am not going to set a time limit.  Also, many thanks to my amazingly supportive partner, who’s willing to devote a large portion of our family resources towards this and other reading projects, and who selflessly gives up his weekend whenever I decide we need to educate the kids about something.

While I’m guessing most of the books I select will be Native American (and I’m hoping for a lot of Great Lakes area #ownvoices), I’m also going to include indigenous authors from elsewhere in this challenge, mostly Canadian, and likely some indigenous Australians as well.  I’ve already purchased a number of books.

For this challenge, I will be relying heavily on these lists, but I’m open to other sources.  Most of the books will probably be children’s or YA, but I’ll fit in some adult reads as well.

Anyone else want to give this a try?  (You don’t have to do 100 books!)

Update: You can find my booklist here, with notes on the books I’ve purchased, read, and reviewed.

New Tag & Booklist: Diverse/Disabled

I became interested in this after talking with Naz about how seldom people of color are represented in works about disability, particularly fiction.  I’ve been an avid reader all my life.  People constantly give me books, and I’m always buying more or making great finds on the free shelf at the library.  Besides the thousands of books my family owns, we always have at least a dozen library books checked out from various places (usually closer to a hundred…).  For at least the past decade, I’ve had an interest in reading books with disabled characters.  How could I never have read a book with diverse disabled characters?

Continue reading “New Tag & Booklist: Diverse/Disabled”

Pre-Ordering Diverse

I think the last time I pre-ordered a book was in my Harry Potter days.  Not that I don’t get excited about books, and wait eagerly for certain new releases.  However, I don’t like to plunk my money down for something that doesn’t exist yet.  It’s the same reason I’ve never invested in a Kickstarter, although there are some I’ve followed closely and bought products from when they were released.

This year I’m going a little wild with book buying, and this week I pre-ordered a book, nope, two books!

The first one you’ve probably heard of because it’s been generating a lot of buzz in the blogosphere: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.  This is an #ownvoice light romantic YA about an arranged marriage.  It’s told with two narrators, which I’m a little leery of, and it’s a YA romance, which is not my favorite genre.  But…  I read the first three chapters and sort of loved it.  And the cover is amazing:

When Dimple Met Rishi cover resized

And as we all know, I’m easily moved by gorgeous covers.  (Remember how I almost bought Everything, Everything even though I knew it was very problematic?)  The henna, the modern clothes with traditional coloring, the title written on a drink cup…  I probably shouldn’t have bought this in hardcover, but I’m a sucker.  Hopefully it lives up to the beginning.

The reason I started pre-ordering is because I was going on a bit of a book-buying spree.  Okay, a somewhat irresponsible one.  As I was browsing around, I stumbled across a book I had to get!  This was perfect because I’d been thinking -here I am blowing my whole book budget on things that I’ll read quickly, review slowly, and then not be able to buy anything for quite a while.

Chasing Space

Enter Chasing Space: An Astronaut’s Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances by Leland Melvin.  I’ve been on quite a space kick lately, although you wouldn’t know it from the blog because other than Hidden Figures and a Mae Jemison book, all of the books have been very white.

Leland Melvin was in the NFL until an injury led him to seek a new career.  He started training for NASA but went deaf during the process.  After he recovered partial hearing, he was allowed to go into space.  The synopsis doesn’t even go into some of his other accomplishments because he’s already in an elite category of one!

This story ticks all the boxes.  STEM PoC role model, check.  Deafness and diversity, check.  Space, check.  Sports (not a box for me but certainly for others), check.  It was a must-buy!  Although I’ll certainly be looking out for instances of audism and looking at how his hearing “loss” and cure are treated, this is definitely the most interesting book release I’ve seen so far this year.

What books have you pre-ordered?  Are there any new releases you’re eagerly anticipating this year?

 

Web: Zero Discrimination Day

Have you heard of Zero Discrimination Day?

It began as a program promoting healthcare access for people with HIV worldwide.

But people were interested and it began taking on a larger meaning, and now is a day aimed at ending all forms of discrimination.  (PDF)

I had never heard of this until a friend shared it with me yesterday, and with today being Website Wednesday, it was the perfect time to share this information with all of you!

zero-discrimination-day

My favorite article is this one from UpWorthy with 19 big and small things you can do for Zero Discrimination Day.  They have a list of recommended children’s books, signs, and information on simple ways to help people being harassed and stand up for diversity.

A new website that I in particular found very helpful and interesting was Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice.  It lists a lot of different ways to advocate for change at various levels and in different areas of our lives.

Of course, one way that bibliophiles can help is by reading diversely, promoting diverse books, and putting our book money towards new diverse books (this is the goal with my Target Picks).

While diversity and discrimination prevention should never be limited to one day a year, I also love days like this that give us opportunities to share resources and reach out to those who might not otherwise be thinking about diversity.

This year for Zero Discrimination Day, my family will be reading books from cultures we’re not very familiar with yet and reflecting on how we can be more inclusive of others this week.

Have you ever heard of Zero Discrimination Day before?  Do you plan to celebrate?

I’d love to hear how your day goes!