Our world is colorful and we need to embrace the colors, learn from the past,improve our future. How boring would a color-blind world be? I feel that Celebrating Black History Month does not belittle, undermine or replace other cultures or heritages. It simple lets us learn and in turn see our world as amazing.
Scholastic has once again provided me with some great books for Black History Month! I will review them for you, share with the girls’ classrooms and keep at least one of them for my home library. While I believe you can never have to many books, my bookshelves are bursting a bit :)
My favorite is a beautiful hard-back by Henry Cole, UNSPOKEN: A Story From the Underground Railroad. The illustrations are amazingly simple sketchings that make a huge impact. My favorite thing about this book though is that there are no words! It is wonderful to let kids come up with their own words from the pictures. This book is staying in my family library! The story is one of a young girl finding a hidden runaway slave in her barn, showing her kindness and then have kindness returned to her. Perfect for younger kids learning that what they do matters and that kindness begets kindness.
I Am Martin Luther King, Jr illustrated by Elisabeth Alba and I Am Harriet Tubman illustrated by Ute Simon were both written by Grace Norwich are amazing new biographies aimed for third and fourth graders. I know that there are other biographies on these people, but I really like this new format. The pictures/illustrations have a current feel to them, there is a pictorial index of the different people the reader will meet in the story and at the end a feature called “10 More Things That Are Pretty Cool To Know”. My fifth grader grabbed these immediately to see if they are AR for school and thankfully the Martin Luther King Jr one is worth 2.0 points, I couldn’t find Harriet Tubman’s but I found several more in the series so my guess is that it is so new it is not on the list yet. These will be donated to the class room, once I get through them.
I Survived The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 by Laren Tarshis. This is one in a series of I survived, also featuring 9/11 and the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. It is a level 4 reading book.Action packed the story tells of Thomas and his little sister running away from slavery and meeting up with Union troops to make it North.
The final book I want to review is Jackie Robinson: American Hero by Sharon Robinson. I love the fact that it was written by his daughter. This book is full of family photographs and goes in depth on Robinson’s story, while not getting to heavy for the age group it is focused at (2nd-4th graders). While the story of oppression and bigotry is in the book, the successes of Jackie Robinson is in the forefront of the story.
Here are links to some of my other Black History Month posts: Black History Month , Book Review For Black History Month. I also like to provide classrooms with multicultural markers/crayons. What are some fun things you do to celebrate diversity and other cultures?
(Disclosure: I received the above books from Scholastic to review them on my blog, no other compensation was received and opinions are my own. Links are not affiliate.)