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, November 21, 2016

Channeling Anger Into Recs That Aid In Critical Conversations

Good lord, folks.

I have been putting some books to good use in the library the last two weeks, that's for damn sure.
Information and conversation with the kids are critical. 

I will save you from my rant and start with ONE book recommendation for now. More to come, but this is one of those books that isn't so overtly about history or feelings. It's not overly didactic. It's a picture book, but one that you could read to adults and really get a nuanced convo going, especially when read in context post 11/9/16.

Gecko Press's, "Don't Cross The Line!" by 
The book is super visually appealing, the illustrations are bright, colorful and child-like. Juxtapose that with the story of a General (dictator?) who will not let the characters of the book over to the right page. These orders must be carried out by a solitary guard. What will the characters do? How will they react? A slow and peaceful revolution blossoms (*started by a CHILD, please note*) with characters pouring onto the right hand page, eventually followed by the guard. When the General calls for the arrest of the guard, the populous protects him, leaving the General to question, "Who wants to be the hero of a children's story, anyway?"

Check it out!