Tag Archives: diversity

Resource: Diverse BookFinder

29 Sep

Diverse-Book-Finder-LOGO_L.pngCheck out this great new resource for getting diverse picture books into the hands of readers. The Diverse BookFinder “is linked with a circulating collection of picture books published since 2002, housed at Ladd Library on the Bates College campus.” And although not as extensive as maybe this diverse list from the Children’s Book Council, it does provide really nice curated lists about specific topics and themes.

This will become a wonderful resource for teachers, librarians, parents and kids as they search for books that they can relate to or learn from. It’s my hope that as they continue this website, their collection will grow and become even more extensive. Because the list directly relates to a physical collection in a library, it will not be as robust a list as one of any title ever created that fits a specific theme. But, I also hope that because this curated collection is exactly that, curated by professionals in psychology, children’s literature and librarians – that they are able to create a really strong collection of the best titles that portray each of the themes available. I can’t wait to spend some time searching for a few of these titles in my library’s collection and maybe even purchasing a few for my personal library as well.

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Book Review: Sparrow

20 Sep

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The story opens in a white hospital room after Sparrow’s apparent suicide attempt. The custodian found Sarah on the edge of the school’s roof, but no one will believe that she wasn’t up there to jump. She was up there to fly. When the world on the ground gets to be too much Sparrow checks out and pictures herself turning into a bird and flying away.

Sparrow keeps to herself, gets good grades, doesn’t cause trouble for her mom, but is lonely and searching for something. And she finds it when she “flies away” with the birds in the neighborhood. With the help of a therapist, Sparrow begins to see that life on the ground isn’t all bad and with help and she can feel like flying through the power of music.

I was hesitant to read this story because I expected it to be about suicide and I read middle grade books for a reason (I need that underlying hope). But, in the end I am so glad I got a chance to read this book and enter into Sparrow’s world. Sparrow sees a therapist once a week and this story brings the stigma of mental illness to the forefront. The story works through Sparrow’s thought that she is crazy and the idea her therapist will through her in a padded cell when she hears about Sparrow’s crazy. It works through Sparrow’s idea of what her mom thinks of her and how she can’t be the perfect daughter she thinks her mom wants and needs. It’s a story of receiving help and taking chances to make your own life better and I think it’s a story that so many people need to read.

There’s a stigma in this country that makes people believe that receiving medication, seeing a therapist or doing something about your mental health should be hidden away, but I think that if more people accepted mental health in the way they see staying fit and active, eating healthy and getting a physical, we’d be a lot healthier overall. Definitely take the time to pick this book up, it’s a must read.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Sparrow can’t seem to convince her mom that she isn’t crazy, but with the help of a therapist and rock’n’roll, Sparrow finds a way to fly.

Title: Sparrow
Author: Sarah Moon
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Page Number: 272 pgs.

Book Review: Love, Hate and Other Filters

14 Sep

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Have you ever read a book that you liked, but it just took you forever to get through? Well, this isn’t one of those books. I read this book in about a 12 hour period and loved every minute of it even when it was tearing out my heart and stomping on it.

An #OwnVoices young adult novel about an Indian-American, Muslim teen facing growing up in the face of Islamophobia. Maya’s wish is to attend film school in New York, while her parents expect her to go to school closer to home and marry a nice Indian boy, settle down and start a family.

But what happens when a terrorist attack occurs by a suspect who happens to have the same last name as Maya? How will her community react to the news and to her family as the only Muslim family in her small town? This story is an important read for teens in today’s world where being different is feared rather than celebrated, where teens have to worry about things far bigger than choosing a college and getting their first kiss. If you read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and it stuck with you, this is a must read.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Indian-American Muslim teen Maya wants to go to NYC for film school & is ready to tell her family when a terrorist attack changes everything

Title: Love, Hate and Other Filters
Author: Samira Ahmed
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Page Number: 288 pgs.

Back to School – Middle Grade Edition

25 Aug

back to school middle grade

Back to school is always exciting and slightly scary time for kids and you can find gobs and gobs of picture books discussing the new school year, but it’s a lot more difficult to find titles for middle grade students getting ready for a new school building, a new school year or heading to school for the first time. Grab a title to enjoy during the first few weeks of schools!

  1. Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
  2. The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
  3. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  4. Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  5. School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough
  6. Sideways Stories for Wayside School by Louis Sachar
  7. Schooled by Gordon Korman
  8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  9. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts

Importance of Fairy Tales

17 Aug

fairy talesFairy tales are one of my favorite genres to read, I love the magic, the mystery and the thought that these stories have been passed down through the generations. I love reading fractured fairy tales, different spins on old classics and modern re-tellings. I came across a few articles on Brightly that discuss fairy tales and wanted to add my own take.

Hear what Liesl Shurtliff, a middle grade author of fairy tales talk about the importance of taking fairy tales seriously, how fairy tales look simple from the outside, but when you really dig deep you find more questions than answers and maybe even some answers to questions you didn’t know you had.

Check out Melissa Taylor’s ten reasons why it’s important to read non-Disney fairy tales. Simple reasons like life lessons, more difficult reasons like cultural appreciation and scary in a safe context and more importantly – princesses don’t have dress codes that require them to wear pink.

And last (but certainly not least) – if you’re like me and believe that the fairy tales you know are mostly from Europe, you’d be surprised to find how many variations there are of the same story across the world. Lon Po Po is similar to Red Riding Hood in China, The Rough-Faced Girl is an Algonquin Cinderella story and The Talking Eggs is a Creole inspired fairy tale from Louisiana. You won’t want to miss this list of great multicultural fairy tales and if you stop by your local library, you’ll find even more great titles!

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