This isn’t what I had planned on posting this month. But my heart has been heavy reading responses from friends on both sides of the aisle to the recent presidential election. There is fear of racism and persecution (and now actual occurrences of such). There are unfounded generalizations and accusations. There is lack of empathy for those with fears.
And since I don’t quite know how to encourage people to listen to each other better, I’m going to recommend something else. Read diverse books with your children. Guard their hearts from racism. Talk with them. Help them see life through another person’s eyes. That way, in another twenty years, when our country disagrees on politics (which is always will), perhaps we can have a discourse instead of a mud fight.
I wrote this poem about a month ago in honor of Sarah Mackenzie of the Read-Aloud Revival and all she does to encourage parents to read to their kids. It seemed appropriate to this post.
On a Personal Note
Those of us who are white may not get what a big deal racism is. I’ve had a small taste of it (an accusation made over the phone based on my last name), and while the experience left me feeling violated and ill, I new view it as a gift. I know what a tiny taste of racism feels like on the receiving end. And anything I can do to stop it, I will. That’s what makes books like the ones on the following list so important for our children.
If you are a Christian like me, these kinds of books are doubly important. We see in the Bible that all people are made in God’s image, that He loves the whole world, and that He longs for people of every tribe, tongue, and nation to follow Him. If our Lord views all people as equally worthy of love, we can do no less than to follow in his footsteps.
So, here a few of my favorite diverse books in various categories, as well as what’s next on my reading list.
Diverse Picture Books
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio
People by Peter Spier
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
A Weed Is a Flower by Aliki
One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul
10 Little Ninjas by Miranda Paul
Diverse Early Reader/Chapter Books
Anna Hibiscus book by Atinuke
Year of the Dog by Grace Lin
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanore Estes
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Diverse Middle-Grade Novels
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Ashtown Burials Series by N.D. Wilson
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Resource for Choosing Multi-Cultural Books
Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin