Diverse Children’s Books – June 18, 2016

Diverse Children’s Books is a new book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

 

We hope this community will grow into a great resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, July 2nd and on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

Most Clicked Post from Last Time

The most clicked post from our previous #diversekidlit is 2016 Américas Award Winning Children’s Books by Svenja at Colours of Us. She provides a brief description of each of the winners, finalists, and commended titles from this year’s awards announcement. The Américas Award is a great resource for incredible books about Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos in the US.

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted By:

Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live? Click here to join the mailing list. Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Today I’m sharing a book I originally wrote about for the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2016 is a weekly celebration of imaginative children’s nonfiction materials.

sex

Title:  Sex is a Funny Word
Author: Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
Publisher: Triangle Square
Publication Date: 2015

My Two Cents: When I was growing up a long time ago, getting honest, non-judgmental information about sexuality could be challenging. The internet was still in its infancy, there were few detailed, age-appropriate books available, and the thought of asking parents or teachers personal sex questions was mortifying. The situation could be made even more difficult if you attended a religious school like I did – the general philosophy seemed to be that since students wouldn’t be having sex until they married a person of the opposite gender in a few decades’ time, there wasn’t much point in talking about sex beforehand, and you certainly didn’t talk about sexuality or gender identity.

Oh how I wish books like Sex is a Funny Word were available when I was a curious child. This colourful, non-threatening comic-style sex book goes beyond the basic “birds and the bees” sex ed and talks about sex, sexuality, gender, relationships, body image and more. Potentially uncomfortable or confusing topics are approached with openness, honesty and compassion. Sex is a Funny Word is inclusive, sex-and-body positive and diverse – people come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colours, abilities and genders, and sex isn’t something limited to white, cisgendered, hetero, physically-abled individuals.

This is a book about values, as much as it is about sex. ‘Justice means that every person and every body matters’, the author writes, and children are encouraged to be respectful of themselves and of others. Sex isn’t something to be feared, but it is something to be taken seriously and respected. While the target audience is tweens aged 8-12, this is a great resource for teachers, librarians, parents and anyone who might work with young people. It would also be a nice title to have available in a library or classroom for children to read privately, particularly those who might be feeling isolated or afraid to talk to an adult about gender or sexuality. Just realizing that an adult cares enough to have information like this available might help a child realize that they aren’t alone, and that there might be someone they can talk to.

Diverse Children’s Books

Diverse Children’s Books is a new book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

 

We hope this community will grow into a great resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, June 18th and on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

Most Clicked Post from Last Time

The most clicked post from our previous #diversekidlit is The Importance of Author’s Notes in Some Picture Books by Charnaie of Here Wee Read. Her post is a reflection of a recent conversation she got into with other book bloggers about the recent released Thunder Boy, Jr. by Sherman Alexie and illustrated Yuyi Morales. The questions raised by Charnaie and others serve to underscore the importance of author’s notes in helping readers to understand or even interpret a story.

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted By:

Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live? Click here to join the mailing list. Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

 

Five Finds – YA with wheelchair-using protagonists

This feature was originally shared on The Book Wars – check out the full post here!

FIVE

Dancing Daises

Brynn is just like any other 17 year-old girl. She  wants to be popular, gets herself embroiled in friendship dramas, and heads off for summer camp. There just one thing that makes Brynn a bit different – she has cerebral palsy, and uses a motorized wheelchair to move and a computer to communicate. Dancing Daisies is a valuable addition to any YA fiction collection not only because it features a smart, independent female wheelchair user, it’s also written by a strong, successful young woman with CP who is a tireless advocate for others with the condition.

Push Girl

Co-author Chelsie Hill was in high school when she was paralyzed in a drunk driving-related car accident. Push Girl is a positive, semi-autobiographical account of Hill’s experiences adapting to life in a wheelchair. High school student Kara is paralyzed in a car accident, but refuses to let her new reality, and the perceptions and reactions of others around her, stop her from living life to the fullest.

The Running Dream

Jessica is an accomplished high school runner who is devastated when she loses a leg in a car accident. Jessica is stunned by the reactions of those around her to her new reality – it’s as though people don’t know how to talk to her or act around her any more – it’s as if she’s become invisible. Jessica realizes that before her accident she treated a fellow classmate, a girl with CP, in exactly the same way.

Good Kings Bad Kings

The teen characters in Good Kings Bad Kings are just like teenagers everywhere, except for one thing – they live in a group home for youth with disabilities. Sharp, witty, humorous, honest, respectful and real, this novel challenges society’s perceptions about individuals with disabilities.

Accidents of Nature

It’s the 1970s, and Jean, a smart, talented, successful young woman with CP, is attending Camp Courage, a summer camp for young people with disabilities. At camp, Jean will meet young people with very different backgrounds, attitudes and experiences, who will challenge, expand and explode her understandings of what it means to be disabled.

brown girl dreaming

I recently bought my ticket to see the inspirational Jaqueline Woodson speak in Vancouver on May 8, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I recently picked up Woodson’s free-verse memoir brown girl dreaming, and words cannot express how deeply moving this beautiful, beautiful book is.

brown girl

I have been sharing one of my favourite passages with everyone I’ve come across, particularly my fellow library staff:

 

stevie and me

Every Monday, my mother takes us

to the library around the corner. We are allowed

to take out seven books each. On those days,

no one complains

that all I want are picture book.

 

Those days, no one tells me to read faster

to read harder books

to read like Dell.

 

No one is there to say, Not that book,

when I stop in front of the small paperback

with a brown boy on the cover.

Stevie.

 

I read:

One day my momma told me,

“You know you’re gonna have

a little friend come stay with you.”

And I said, “Who is it?”

 

If someone had been fussing with me

to read like my sister, I might have missed

the picture book filled with brown people, more

brown people than I’d ever seen

in a book before.

 

The little boy’s name was Steven but

his mother kept calling him Stevie.

My name is Robert but my momma don’t

call me Robertie.

 

If someone had taken

that book out of my hand

said, You’re too old for this

maybe

I’d never have believed

that someone who looked like me

could be in the pages of the book

that someone who looked like me

had a story.

We need libraries. We need diverse books.

 

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014. Print. Pages 227-228.