I read an article in Entertainment Weekly a few weeks ago that I found disturbing: http://shelf-life.ew.com/2014/04/15/kid-lits-primary-color-white-report/ . Basically it says that an alarmingly few number of children's books are published each year with multi-cultural characters in them. Because there is just not enough demand for them. I am always on the lookout for books with characters representing other ethnicities. I've seen firsthand that given a whole library of books, kids gravitate towards characters who look like them. And if more of them existed, they certainly would have more reason to read! I don't know about you guys, but my classes are always made up of a very diverse demographic.
These are some of the favorites from my class:
A cute little story about a girl who hasn't completely accepted the fact she will be getting a new brother or sister. Warning though-there's a part where they are doing a jump rope rhyme "mama's having a baby, people are going crazy...."--if your students are anything like mine, they will recite that repeatedly! I still know it by heart. :)
We watched a Brainpop on Eloise Greenfield and the kids asked me if I could get this book for them It's a really sweet, simple book about things she loves in her life. Went perfectly with our gratitude unit.
This happens to be one of my all-time, top-ten favorite stories. I just think it's really well-written and fun!
My kids especially liked this one because I had a student who could fold paper cranes and everyone was always wanting to learn!
A classic, I know. A little girl tries on her mother's ring when she isn't supposed to and is afraid it's baked inside the tamales.
My Hispanic ESL kiddos love to hear me try to speak Spanish! So this becomes a fun little read-aloud about something a simple as a scarf.
I like to use this story at the beginning of the year. We compare it to Chrysanthemum who also does not like the name she as been given.
I love the poetic language of this book! Whenever we have a few weeks without rain I think of these characters and say "come on, rain!"
There are many books about running for class president out there (even one with a duck candidate!)-so why not choose Grace. I must have read this book 20 times this year-the kids just love it!