Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What Diverse Books Will Your Students Read?



On September 17th  the American Immigration Council co-hosted a tweet chat with multicultural children’s book publisher LEE & LOW BOOKS. We discussed the hows and whys of building diverse libraries with educators, librarians, school professionals and enthusiastic readers from across the nation. We learned of new titles, shared free resources to bolster a classroom library, and importantly talked about ways to resist stereotypes and to support learning in diverse and non-diverse environments.

As the U.S. immigrant student population grows, the need to cultivate diverse libraries, ones that are reflective of all students and various immigration experiences is ever more prescient. By 2050, one in three children under the age of 18 will be either an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

Our conversation was rich and we want to share what we learned with you. We’ve highlighted a few resources below and we encourage you to read the archived tweet chat for more details.  Please continue to use the hashtag #diverselit to add your voice to this ongoing conversation and tweet us @ThnkImmigration.  

Click here to read the entire archived tweet chat on Storify.

Click here to read our list of immigration-themed books for all ages.

Click here to read LEE & LOW BOOKS titles and resources.


Recommended Websites

American Indians in Children's Literature A website by the American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) that provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.

Annette.Gilbert A Literacy K-8 Teaching Blog that offers practical teaching resources for teaching about immigration and diversity.

Disability in Kid Lit A website dedicated to discussing the portrayal of disability in middle grade and young adult literature.

One World: Teens on Writing. Teens on Culture.  A website and project developed by middle school English teacher Brian Kelley where students host a podcast discusses diverse reads and share student writing from around the world. Your student submissions are encouraged.

Reading While White a blog created by a group of white librarians who strive to confront racism in the field of children’s and young adult literature


Recommended Books

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt
Behind the Mountain by Edwidge Danticat
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Colour of Home by Mary Hoffman
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Dreaming in Indian by Lisa Charleyboy
From Somalia with Love by Na'ima Robert
How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitch
Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ying-Hwa Hu
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Knots on Counting Rope by Bill J. Martin and John Archambault
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz
Pocho by Jose Antonio Villarreal
Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes
Tia Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina
The Wall by Peter Sis


Recommended Articles & Video

The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, is a recommended “must-see” TED Talk by several participants. We developed a companion lesson for her TED Talk that can enhance the reading of diverse literature in the high school classroom and lends itself to a discussion on the benefits of diversity.



Where to Find Diverse Books” (WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS)

Rewriting History: American Indians,Europeans, and an Oak Tree” by Allie Jane Bruce, diagrams a lesson on resisting stereotypes in a picture book.

Support Diversity and Encourage Young Writers by Using Window and Mirror Books in Your Writing Workshop” by Stacey Shubitz, lists 15 favorite picture books to use as models for students writing.


Stay Connected!

The American Immigration Council offers free lesson plans, resources, book/film reviews, and grants to teach immigration. We also welcome teacher and student book reviews and contributions to our blog. Email us at teacher@immcouncil.org and follow us on twitter @ThnkImmigration.