Two weeks ago, NPR reported on a UW-Madison study which tells us that despite the increasing diversity of most classrooms, the vast majority of childrens books on display are still overwhelmingly white. While some of those books are classic and certainly deserve a spot in the classroom library, there’s no doubt that kids want and need to see themselves in the books they read at school.
In fact, the report cites census data that says nearly one-half of kids under five years old are not white. I think that means this is the summer for educators to update their classroom libraries! So what are your favorite non-white stories or non-white authors?
I can’t say I’m unique, but my summer Institute experience made me fall in love with Peter from Ezra Jack Keats’ childrens books. The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair, A Letter to Amy, Goggles!, and Pet Show are all read in my classroom at some point during the year. Also, as a teacher of all African American students, I like to read I Love My Hair by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley.
Please share your favorites and let’s build up our libraries and our students! For more suggestions, search #booksofcolor on twitter!