We all like to think that we are just one little person and we really can’t do anything to affect change. As a teacher, that can’t be further from the truth. I believe teachers have immense power in their classrooms.
I think of my third grade teacher who embarrassed me in front of my class saying I couldn’t even cut straight with scissors. That still affects me as an adult. LOL! I think about my fourth grade teacher who introduced me to my first book series and got me to start to love reading when I hated it before.
One simple thing we do in our classroom can stay with a child forever.
What if that one simple thing was just a book? One book. A book that for the first time, your student actually saw himself as the main character. Your student could see his face reflected on the pages of the book. And it wasn’t a book about Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. It was just a regular old book with a regular old, powerful story. Sadly, something this simple has to be discussed and isn’t the case in all classrooms.
If this holds true for your classroom library, let’s see why that is. It’s kind of difficult to have the right representation when books aren’t even being published!
Posted with Permission Huyck, David and Sarah Park Dahlen. (2019 June 19). Diversity in Children’s Books 2018. sarahpark.com blog. Created in consultation with Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K. T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner, with statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: http://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/pcstats.asp. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/picture-this-diversity-in-childrens-books-2018-infographic/.
This is why we, as classroom teachers, have to do the work and find the quality books that are out there.
I have done research trying to find the best books possible to add to my classroom. Below you will find links to others who have done a much better job than me collecting all of these titles into one place.
Here are just a few to get you started. This is in no way an exhaustive list of all cultures.
Enjoy adding more books to your library!