This morning, I read the words of Tariq Ramadan in regards to the horrible attacks in France and the following protests in Paris,
"Demonstrating for dignity, for freedom, against terror. Yes, a thousand times yes! And yet ... marching with whom? Difficult to walk beside (or behind) leaders whose ideologies and political decisions have killed thousands of children, women and men, and are one of the causes of extremism. They march in Paris for human dignity and freedom of expression while their government is killing, torturing and destroying."
This resonates with me. I have been feeling so frustrated by the dominant culture's lack of perspective and lack of historical memory (or just plain ignoring of it?). But I digress...
So today, I feel I need to highlight acts of solidarity. And so we have, "The Grand Mosque of Paris" a non-fiction book by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland Desaix. People helping people. Yes.
From the publisher,
"When the Nazis occupied Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation. Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet during that perilous time, many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place--the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Not just a place of worship but a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, especially children. Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched."
I am an elementary school librarian in an urban setting in Massachusetts. Through the work of creating a more representative and inclusive library collection for my students, I learned a lot about the politics of the publishing industry, the accepted institutional racism and purposeful exclusion of communities in books and that we should be outraged at the continued disenfranchisement of our children.
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Monday, January 12, 2015
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Before I get to the lovely lists, I want to share some (more) anecdotal evidence that books really do
Now, onto the lists!
Lists of lists- a librarian's dream! We've entered the time of year when bibliographies abound and we review the past year. Here are a few highlights...my goal is to not overwhelm.
This affords a moment to look back at the work we've accomplished and look ahead to what more we will do. I've also added these lists to my Delicious page.
Kirkus Review's Best Picture Books that Celebrate Diversity 2014
Latinas for Latino Lit: Remarkable Latino Children’s Literature of 2014
Best Multicultural Books of 2014- ALSC
Teaching For Change's Best Books of 2014
Welcoming School's Book List of Inclusive LGBT Families and Characters
First Book: The Stories for All Project
In a survey of more than 2,000 educators from First Book schools and programs, 90 percent of respondents agreed that the children in their programs would be more enthusiastic readers if they had access to books with characters, stories and images that reflect their lives and their neighborhoods. We're not the first ones to address this problem. We know that if we want actually make a difference we need a market-driven, sustainable solution.