Monday, August 21, 2017

PICTURE BOOKS TO HELP TALK TO KIDS ABOUT RACISM

AFTER CHARLOTTESVILLE

In a week after Charlottesville, here are a few suggestions...

Use these books to help talk to kids about racism and prejudice.

This is a wonderful SITE for amazing books to share with your kids.

Speaking of Reading … Want to Raise Your Child to Love Reading? Read These Secrets

By MARIA RUSSO
JUNE 29, 2017

IMAGE: A class at Public School 682, the Academy of Talented Scholars, in Brooklyn. Photo: Joshua Bright for The New York Times

“You’re the children’s books editor?” Someone has said this to me, usually with a smile, at least once a week in the almost three years I’ve been at The New York Times. “What a cool job!” is the subtext. But lurking in the background are almost always other questions, sometimes more pressing ones about kids’ reading in general. “What should my second grader be reading?” a colleague asked the other day, adding, “She’s obsessed with the books in that series with the different flower fairies, and I can’t get her interested in anything else.” A neighbor recently approached me with a worried look and said, “My 10-year-old will only read graphic novels. What should I do?”

Clearly, there’s a lot of uncertainty out there among parents when it comes to children’s books, and also an earnest desire to make the right choices and do the right thing. Parents realize the stakes are high, and childhood passes quickly.

So when the Guides team approached Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, about writing a guide to raising readers, and she asked if I was interested, I jumped at the chance. (Find it here.)

Much of what I do every day is sift through new books, deciding which ones we should assign for review, or which ones might make for a good feature story. I try to balance for different ages, different genres and books by authors from a variety of backgrounds. There’s always the thrill of discovering a book I can’t wait to tell our readers about.

I’ve also learned a great deal. I’ve seen that the classics quite often endure — kids still love “Frog and Toad” and “James and the Giant Peach” — and that new things are happening, too. I’ve watched the We Need Diverse Books movement foster a change in the publishing industry — there were more books published this year than when I started that have children of different races, ethnicities, cultures and abilities occupying center stage, as well as more girls. (This was overdue, given that over half of American kids now are not white — and obviously half are not boys.)

Continue reading the main story

Thanks to Carol Simon, Librarian, Bridgewater Public Library (and my blog friend)