Saturday, September 9, 2017

Books That Celebrate Differences

It feels so weird not to be posting about our back-to-school activities-because we aren't back in the classroom yet. Fortunately a majority of the schools in our district will begin on Monday. A few will begin in a few weeks and unfortunately a few will not re-open this year. I met a friend for lunch in one of Houston's suburbs the other day and was shocked at the number of businesses and restaurants that have not reopened yet. I can't imagine how much that loss of business will hurt-especially small business owners. And now Florida will be facing the same issues.

Anyway, I found a post that I wrote in 2013 and wanted to re-post the information. I am always looking for stories that my students can find themselves in. Whether that is in multi-cultural characters or characters that have quirks and face the same difficulties they face in being accepted. This is my list of books that celebrate those differences!

Wallace has an obsessive need to make lists. Any student who has OCD tendencies will be able to relate to him.

There is a great version of this read aloud with a great accent on Tumblebooks if you have access to it. The moose is born to a family of ducks and tried very hard to go against his identity and fit it--but it doesn't work and the moose is not happy. A great theme of be yourself and you may find your own tribe.

A book of poetry written by a diverse group of authors.

I know most people are familiar with this story. It's read beautifully on StoryOnline by Jane Kaczmarek . The true story of Patricia Polacco and the difficulties she had growing up with learning how to read.

Dr. Seuss was criticized for his uniquely creative ideas. Luckily, he was not deterred from telling his stories and ended up becoming a famous author despite the hardships.

A great story of accepting others even if they look differently than you do.

Imogene has a passion for history and no matter what anyone else says, she fights to help preserve the history in her community.

Your ESL kiddos will relate to the protagonist in this story. He is a refugee from Africa and he misunderstands a lot about our culture. It's also about bringing ideas from your culture into the new one as he saves a local cow because he believes cows are sacred.

My all-time favorite book to share about kids with differences. Melody has cerebral palsy and everyone underestimates her intelligence. I think all teachers should read this book to remember to really listen to our students and give them what they need instead of what we think they need.

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