Longtime Teaching My Baby to Read followers will remember that I have been building my collection of diverse children books for years. If you want to read some previous posts on the subject, check out:
- I want my children to read about diversity
- African American Literature for Children
- Teaching Kids about Islam
Today I pulled some books from my shelves to create a Sunday School lesson for our Untied Methodist Church. This was my question for the kids: Have you ever thought about diversity in children’s literature? It was a simple question, but the 3rd-6th graders had deep thoughts on the subject and I learned a lot from them.
For example, they brought up the diversity differences between DIARY OF A WIMPY KID and BIG NATE. One series has many more diverse characters than the other, which I had never before considered.
One thing that saddened me about the conversation was that nobody had read–or even heard of–Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Taylor by Mildred D. Taylor. She was one of my favorite authors growing up.
Unfortunately, my time ran out this morning before I was able to complete the lesson. I had passages marked in several books that would have furthered the conversation. If this had taken place in a school classroom, instead of church, I would have then challenged the kids to search through their classroom library for books that were worthy of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag.
But in a way, I’m glad we ran out of time this morning before the lesson was complete. This is a conversation that shouldn’t end.