Tag Archives: diversity

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!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten YA Book Recommendations For Empathy

15 Aug

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It’s been a rough weekend of news and it’s heartbreaking that we live in a world where this type of thought and action still occur. So, now that we’re back to official Top Ten Tuesdays, I wanted to create a list that could teach, or at least, show students how other people live in the country (or mirror what other teens seen in their neighborhoods every day). There are so many more titles that could be on this list, but I wanted to provide a wide array of experiences that are far too commonplace today. These books may not be easy to read, but they are necessary and needed. I can guarantee they’ll rip your heart and stay with you for a long, long time.

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  2. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  3. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  4. Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
  5. Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

  6. How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
  7. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

  8. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
  9. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  10. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/7/17

7 Aug

I finished Calling My Name by Tamani Liara and really enjoyed the perspective of this story, it’s not one you read about very often (check out my review). I also read Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham, a graphic novel I grabbed off the shelf for a patron (she decided on Babysitter’s Club instead) so I took this home and read it. And I’m in the middle of The Painting by Charis Cotter, which I’m really excited to read the ending as I have no idea what’s going to happen.

For the rest of the week, I’d like to also read The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg (which I didn’t get to last week) plus if I have time open Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed. Have a great reading week!


IMWAYR

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR

Multi-Cultural Night

2 Aug

Multiculturalism.jpgThis is one of my favorite programs we put together at our library – we’ve done this a few times. What makes it absolutely amazing is that we ask our patrons to share their culture which means we get an authentic look into a variety of cultures in just one evening. Each patron/family sets up a table with clothing, household goods, toys, food, etc. to share with attendees. We also invite local dance schools to highlight different music and dance – this year we had Mexican folk dancing and a variety of other dances including the tarantella and an old fashioned square dance.

This is a wonderful program to support the multi-cultural community we live in  and with 150 people in attendance, I think it was well worth the time and organization to bring it all together. I won’t share program photos here on my blog, but it was wonderful to see a diverse crowd of people learning and exploring new cultures in an environment that lent itself to asking questions and understanding. Because, when it comes down to it.. that’s what we all need, kindness, empathy and understanding.

Book Review: Calling My Name

2 Aug

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Calling My Name by Liara Tamani is the story of Taja a young teen growing up in Houston, Texas with her family and friends. Taja knows what her parents expect of her – spend quality time with the family, get good grades, go to church every Sunday and abstinence is the only option. Taja is trying to keep up with her classmates as the talk ranges from first kisses to first relationships and beyond, while also being the daughter she is expected to be. She also has high hopes of going to college in California to follow her dream and to find her own relationship with God, separately from what her parents expect that relationship to look like.

I really liked this story, much closer to my own in many ways than much of the young adult literature being published today. I took my grades seriously, wasn’t too interested it boys, but struggled in some ways to figure out where my relationship with God fit into my world as a teenager living in today’s society. This is not the type of story you see written very often and I felt that Taja’s voice rang true to a young teen searching for herself in the midst of family and friends.

The writing was a bit confusing and it’s easier to think of the chapters as short stories spanning Taja’s teen years rather than a specific day-to-day account. But I felt that this was a voice that many teens will be able to relate with and understand. Taja struggles with her family’s conservative view on abstinence while also realizing that her brother always has more freedom than she does and dealing with peers who bully/body shame her at times. It’s a very real story that needed to be told and I truly enjoyed it. I’ll say this – it is a young adult story in that although Taja begins as a middle school student in the beginning, there are intimate scenes as she grows up that will firmly plant this book in the young adult department. Give this to teens searching for themselves – especially those who are spiritual/religious as they navigate high school.

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): High schooler, Taja Brown is searching for her own relationship with God as she navigates family, friends, romance and dreams.

Title: Calling My Name
Author: Liara Tamani
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Page Number: 384 pgs.

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