Mirrors and Windows: Diversity and Inclusion in Children's Literature
Mar 5, 2020
The books students are exposed to during childhood are powerful tools for representation that can serve as both “mirrors and windows.” A book is a “mirror” when it reflects a student’s own culture/identity. A book is also a “window” into the world, allowing students to learn about the lives of others.
It is critical that all students, no matter their identity, are exposed to books that both show them the world and show them a reflection of themselves. Here are some resources & book recommendations from our faculty/staff to help give your child “mirrors and windows.”
Kate Conway, Assistant Head of School recommends: www.theconsciouskid.org – a resource for children’s books centering underrepresented groups. They also have an outstanding instagram account – give them a follow!
Arnaud Cabanel, Media Hub Specialist recommends:La boîte rouge by Carl Norac – a story about the adventures of a young girl whose Native American grandfather still lives in the traditional way of his tribe. It reflects on the past and present experiences of Canada’s indigenous people.
Tammy Tang, Chinese Media Skills Teacher recommends:小星星的大月餅 (A Big Mooncake For Little Star) by Grace Lin – a picture book showing the interaction between a mother and her young daughter in a Chinese-American family, through a fun science fiction story.
Lauren Than, Elementary School Principal recommends: George by Alex Gino– a novel about a 3rd grader who knows she is a girl even though the world sees her as a boy.
Maryam Shabani, Dean of Students, recommends: www.kaleidoscope.quebec– offering over 400 French language books encouraging children to move beyond preconceived ideas and foster openness and tolerance.
Chu Hsi Tseng, 2nd Grade Teacher recommends: 阿肯的歡樂之家 (Ah-Ken’s Happy Household) by Liú Yú Háo– celebrated for being the first Taiwanese children’s book about LGBTQ families.
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