Tag Archives: religion

36 Titles for Babies & Toddlers: Social Justice, Equality and Diversity

17 Jan

I just recently had someone reach out to me on Facebook asking for titles for a new baby/toddler about social justice, equality, and diversity. Basically, a way to flood her child’s bookshelf with books that make them a better citizen of the world. Now, there aren’t a ton of titles for your woke toddler (or baby) for that matter, but it’s important to showcase a variety of races, cultures, religions, disabilities and more on your bookshelves because it’s likely that your child will see people that will look/dress/act/speak differently than they do and what better way to first explore the world than cuddling with your family in a safe, happy environment? And if you live in a community that is very similar, then why not teach your child to respect and accept differences in people to be educated about the world them live so that whenever they do meet someone who is different they know what to do – treat them like a human being. So check out these (few) but great titles about social justice, equality, diversity and celebrating the differences that make us all unique!

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Board Book Titles

  1. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
  2. All of Baby, Nose to Toes by Victoria Adler and Hiroe Nakata
  3. Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara
  4. Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee
  5. Fast and Slow by Britta Teckentrup
  6. Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
  7. More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
  8. My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith and Julie Flett
  9. Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora
  10. Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
  11. Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
  12. Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz
  13. Tinyville Town series by Brian Biggs
  14. We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers by Julie Flett
  15. Welcome Song for Baby by Richard Van Camp
  16. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, illustrated by Leslie Staub

Picture Book Titles

  1. All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee
  2. Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
  3. Come With Me by Holly McGahey, illustrated by Pascal Lemaître
  4. Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly
  5. Families, Families, Families by Suzanne Lang
  6. The Family Book by Todd Parr
  7. Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Julie Paschkis
  8. Golden Domes, Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
  9. Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by John Parra
  10. Happy In Our Skin by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Lauren Tobia
  11. Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho, illustrated by Holly Meade
  12. I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
  13. Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
  14. Most People by Michael Leannah and Jennifer E. Morris
  15. One Family by George Shannon, illustrated by Blanca Gomez
  16. Over the Hills and Far Away edited by Elizabeth Hammill
  17. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
  18. Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Grace Lin
  19. Say Hello! By Rachel Isadora
  20. We’re All Wonders by R. J. Palacio
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Top Ten Tuesday: New to Me Authors in 2017

2 Jan

I started reviewing what I had read in 2017 and realized that I was already familiar with many of the authors I read, but there were a number of really amazing debut novels this year, so I focused my Top Ten list on those authors – new to me (and the world).

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  1. Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give)
  2. Dusti Bowling (The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus)
  3. Ellie Terry (Forget Me Not)
  4. Ibi Zoboi (American Street)
  5. Jake Burt (Greetings from Witness Protection!)
  6. Karina Yan Glaser (The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street)
  7. Nic Stone (Dear Martin)
  8. Karuna Riazi (The Gauntlet)
  9. Sally J. Pla (The Someday Birds)
  10. Sandhya Menon (When Dimple Met Rishi)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

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.

Community Connections – Interfaith Education

14 Jun

I spent a few hours last night at a Sharing Ramadan event hosted by our local Islamic Society. It was a wonderful event with a speaker who took the time to talk about the beliefs of the Islam faith as well as how Muslims are being viewed by the media. He even took time to answer questions from the audience – and there probably would have been even more questions, but it was time to break the fast before prayers. We also got to go into the prayer area of the mosque for prayers and then shared dinner together as a large group. It was so nice for a group of people to open up their house of worship for questions and understanding and when it comes down to it many of today’s religions (specifically in this case Islam, Judaism and Christianity) are far more similar than they are different.

I’m now thinking about ways to provide an interfaith program at the library from an educational standpoint to share how people are people and that a person’s beliefs are just one part of their identity. We’re also looking at partnering with the school district on a bullying prevention program and with the police department on the opioid epidemic. I believe that these topics all require community connection and dialogue because no one agency or organization can make a difference, but by working together we can start to make our communities stronger and safer for generations to come.

If your library is currently working on anything like this, I’d love to hear more!

Happy Hanukkah! 10 Read Aloud Titles for Hanukkah

24 Dec

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I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about Hanukkah, I grew up in a small town in (fairly) rural, western PA. We had only a few kids in our school that didn’t look like me, and we knew no one who celebrated Jewish holidays. So, take this holiday list with a grain of salt, there may be better options out there (which I’d love to know about!). I took a look at a number of Hanukkah booklists available online and chose the titles that I thought looked not only interesting, but also were an accurate representation of the holiday and the religion.  Happy Hanukkah!

  1. Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko
  2. The Hanukkah Hop! by Erica Silverman
  3. The Eighth Menorah by Lauren L. Wohl
  4. Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel
  5. Honeykey Hanukah by Woody Guthrie
  6. Hanukkah Haiku by Harriet Ziefert
  7. The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah by Martha Seif Simpson
  8. Hanukkah Lights by David Martin
  9. How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? by Jane Yolen
  10. Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Krouse Melmed
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