Friday, November 14, 2014

Diverse Books for the Kids from Scholastic Bookfair

I've survived another week of the school Scholastic BookFair.  Five days of running the little temporary bookstore in the space now known, again, as the Media Center.  Along with spending the day as book-seller, its a unique look into the normal school day.  Every class and every student comes through the book fair.  Talk about getting to know your kid's school.  Add to the fun by dressing in costume with the theme of the fair - I managed to get away with walking around the school all week and attending my parent/teacher conference in a long red cape and crown.  Don't miss the fun - you should volunteer for the school book fair. (And I'm not just saying that as a plug for my 2015 team.)

While stocking, searching for, and selling books, I always end up with a pile of books for my own kids.  Of course, there's the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid (somehow our book fair is always timed to the release of the newest book so there's that madness), some LEGO or airplane building guide, and some princesses or fairies.  This year we also picked up Lucky Dog, a book about rescued dogs; this because the dog on the cover looks like our own lab/shepherd which we adopted from Lucky Dog Rescue.

As I've said in previous posts (like Where Does My African-American Child See Herself in Books), you know I've always got my eye out for books that reflect diversity, especially in a "normal kid" kind of way, going through whatever experiences kids go through.  Here's what we found this year.

What does Kennedy's assassination and integration look like from the eyes of a young Black girl?Kizzy Ann Stamps is a young girl in the early 1960's.  Her neighborhood schools are about to be integrated, which means she has to leave the school she's been attending and her Black teacher to the new integrated school with a new White teacher. And she is not too happy about this change in her life.  To ease into the change, her teacher suggests that she write a letter to her new teacher to introduce herself.  The book is told through her continued letters and then, when her new teacher gives her a journal, entries in there.   

The Mighty Miss Malone: Men and women, dads and moms, do what they can to take care of their families. Sometimes that means moving to a new city for a new job, but not necessarily as a whole family all at once.  This is Deza Malone's family's journey through the Great Depression.  The timing and picture of the little girl with braids on the cover makes me think of my own aunt and makes me want to know her story.  Written by Christopher Paul Curtis, award-winning author of The Watsons go to Birmingham and Bud, Not Buddy.

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu: What if your grandmother's aunt came to live with you as you get ready for sixth grade? Add to that, she is going to be your new room-mate.  And while you're trying to be a regular kid, your family continues to follow Chinese cultural traditions and make you go to Chinese school.  The premise of the story just made me laugh, and not just in a typed "LOL" way, but for real laughing out loud.

Jump Into the Sky: In post-WWII 1945, Levi sets out towards a southern Army base in search of his paratrooper dad. I anticipate that it will be an interesting historical fiction: 1945, traveling through the south, Black soldiers, and a teen Black boy.  And I would expect there are some interesting coming of age issues, as well.  I picked this one up for my son. 

Happy reading!  And when you're done, let the kids read, too.

Join the conversation on Facebook: Just Piddlin' with Frances

No comments: