My heart goes out to our Colorful Pages Community and beyond! We have gotten a handful of requests for diverse book recommendations to help students and children through the events of today (Wednesday, January 6, 2021) at the U.S. Capitol and many other locations (my own state, Washington, being one of them).
As all of you probably know, today, the U.S. Capitol was stormed by Pro-Trump extremists resulting in violence and mayhem. Many of us watched all day as the news unfolded, including our kiddos. Our Grades PreK-5 students ARE seeing the affects of the news on their grown-ups and/or seeing the news themselves. Just like our older students (middle school & high school), they need a place to process through the events of the U.S. Capitol Terrorism.
To help, below, I have listed several diverse books in different categories that you can use to process with your students and/or children. I hope this helps you as we all navigate the extreme hurt and distrust that resulted in today (and let’s be honest, many years).
Diverse Books to Help With Feelings Check-Ins
It is important to check-in with all our students about how they are feeling. Use these two books to help students find the vocabulary or colors to express how they feel in a time of extreme emotion:
- The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh, by Supriya Kelkar
- My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood, by Tameka Fryer Brown
Diverse Books to Talk About Anti-Racism & Privilege
The U.S. Capitol Terrorism was a clear example of white privilege. It inflicted a lot of harm in our BIPOC communities, especially because of the stark contrast in the government’s response to the Black Lives Matter Protests that happened in 2020. Use the following diverse books to talk about anti-racism and privilege:
Potential Books for Soley Focusing on White Privilege (not really diverse books but still important):
Diverse Books to Talk About the Government & Elections
Some of our students and kiddos might need reassurance and information about how our government and elections work. Use these diverse books to talk about government and elections:
- Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio
- V is for Voting, by Kate Farrell
- Citizen Baby: My Vote, by Megan E. Bryant and Daniel O. Prosterman
Diverse Books to Help Brainstorm What a Caring Community Actually Looks Like
Some of our students and kiddos might need some hope or points of action. To help them meet that need in a healthy way, consider brainstorming as a class what a caring community actually looks like (MAKE SURE to validate the hurt they are feeling and the wrongs they saw – we don’t want to live so much in hope that we ignore the bad feelings). Use these diverse books to help read about caring communities:
- What Can a Citizen Do?, by Dave Eggers
- Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood, by F. Isabel Campoy
- Thank You, Omu!, by Oge Mora