Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s topic? Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity

I was thrilled to see this topic this week and decided to celebrate a range of books – right from picture books to young adult novels. As readers we need to see both ourselves and others in the books we read. Reading beyond ourselves? It opens up our world, deepens our understanding, makes us think differently. Reading about ourselves? It confirms. It soothes. It makes us feel connected. As a reader I want both of these experiences. As a teacher and a parent, I want these experiences for the children in my life.

Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That We Need Diverse Books logo

The definition of diverse books on the We Need Diverse Books site is one that I always refer to:

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

From the Mission Statement on the We Need Diverse Books site.

Diverse Literature Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Ten of my favourites:

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

A book to savour. To read slowly. It inspires questions about the life of Frida Kahlo – her art, her culture, her passions. I had the pleasure of hearing author Yuyi Morales read this title aloud. Just beautiful.

 Viva Frida Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Shin-Chi’s Canoe written by Nicola Campbell and illustrated by Kim LaFave

An emotional story of two Aboriginal children (siblings) who are sent to residential school. Accessible for younger readers. The emotional pain endured by the families and children impacted by residential schools is powerful in this book. Beautifully illustrated.

Shin-Chi's Canoe Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

No 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke

Much to love in this title: the unique characters, the entertaining dynamics and the beautiful setting of Africa. So very, very good.

 No 1 Car Spotter Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

El Deafo by Cece Bell

All kinds of honest and vulnerable and powerful and hilarious. I am in awe of how this story is told, how friendship issues are explored and highlighted, how the power and powerlessness of a “disability” was portrayed through a child’s perspective.

El Deafo Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai

A powerful story about the pull of home, the strength of family, the importance of culture and the complexities of personal and family histories.

Listen, Slowly Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Verse novels hold so much power to literally wrap us up in evocative images and in this case, personal history. In some senses, it feels like spying to be so close. A beautifully written memoir of a time and a place – oh so personal but yet, with connections and links to many more than young Jacqueline Woodson. A gift to readers.

brown girl dreaming Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan 

A story that is fictional but not at all. Because Habo’s story could be, might be and in fact, is, playing itself out STILL in Tanzania for other albino citizens. This book speaks to everything both beautiful and horrific about humanity.  A human rights crisis. One that needs attention. One that needs to stop. “Be that one person,” – the words Sullivan leaves us with in her author’s note. Read this book and remind yourself to be more human than less. A story that will never leave the reader. And never should.

goldenboyTop Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I find myself strangely without words on this title about two young women – special education students now living on their own for the first time. The pages are seeped in vulnerability for so many reasons. There are some hard and heartbreaking pages. It’s a quick read that follows you around for days. I can see why the Schneider committee selected this book. A YA read.

Girls like us Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds 

What characters. What quietly bold and beautifully human characters. Jason Reynolds, these characters you write . . .

 When I was the Greatest Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon

A shooting of a young teenage boy. Is it racially motivated? Who is at fault? What is the truth? All important questions. More important though -the grieving and the moving on of a community and family impacted by the loss of one of their own. Powerful.

how it went down Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

What titles would you add to this list?

Monday February 16th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This was taken during buddy reading with the Ks. What I love about it? That children are everywhere. All reading. Under things. On the carpet. At tables. Walking around. Reading, reading, reading.

Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

imwayr

Loved some special books this week – here are a few of my favourites:

My Teacher is A Monster (No, I am Not!) by Peter Brown 

Everyone has read this book, I know, I know. I kept not reading it thinking I might buy it. How I love Peter Brown! Then I tried to reign in my book purchasing and requested this title from the library. Now, of course, I really want it . . . My logic around not buying books usually fails. Miserably.

I adored this book. It’s sweet and funny. But also tender and kind of vulnerable. That’s how it struck me at least. All about perspective of course but also about opening yourself up to viewing someone in a new way.

My Teacher is A Monster (No, I am Not!) Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead

Ode to imaginations and pickle sandwiches. Absolutely charming.

Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Toys in Space by Mini Grey

What happens if you leave your toys outside all night? Well, they’ll be abducted by aliens of course.

Toys in Space Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature poems by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Heard

Oh these illustrations. This book is a treasure. The poetry is varied – many poems became my favourites. I tried to list them but kept changing my mind! A beautiful book to give, to have, to read.

 Outside Your Window Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I find myself strangely without words on this title. The pages are seeped in vulnerability for so many reasons. There are some hard and heartbreaking pages. It’s a quick read that follows you around for days. I can see why the Schneider committee selected this book. A YA read.

Girls like us Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I am reading The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds 

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 61/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 5/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 15/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 5/50 books read