Tuesday Blurb: Tweaking the New Year’s Resolutions

You probably saw this one coming … by participating in Lee Wind’s and MotherReader’s Comment Challenge, I had already hedged on the resolution “I will not participate in challenges in 2010.” Well, now the other shoe has dropped. I have signed on for the People of Color Reading Challenge.

Do I need to join a challenge to broaden my reading and be more thoughtful in the selections I make? No, and you probably don’t either. But like you,  I AM part of a community … an online community that draws attention to books by talking about them, and as a walking, talking resident of Charlottesville, VA.

Although I have not commented on the recent series of cover controversies, I have followed the discussions (link to Colleen Mondor/Chasing Ray). If you have not read the various posts, you need to. Whether you agree with the method or strategy, they are passionate, eloquent, thoughtful, and share views  with respect for each other’s positions. You will walk away thinking not only about your own approach to books, but with the eyes of readers of color.

If we want kids to be lifelong readers, then we need to connect them with books that resonate with them … where they are, who they are, and how they see themselves. For me, it is not just about changing book covers, adding more display space, and/or buying/boycotting publishers. It is about modeling a reading life. If we want them to read broadly, then WE need to read broadly. If we want them to be citizens of the global community, then WE need to read books that represent that community AND guide them there. If don’t read things that look/sound/feel interesting to them, then how can we ever hope to create that magic spark we feel every time we pick up a book? [stepping off soapbox]

I  have joined the People of Color Reading Challenge. I have officially signed up for 7 to 9 books, but I am going to shoot for 15. If you’re looking for ideas on books to select, then…

  • head over to the POC Reading Challenge blog. In the upper left corner is a box that has the link-up pages for each month. You can see what people are reading.  Right above that is also an extensive list of authors and books by People of Color.
  • visit Diversity Your Reading. On the right side, there are Category lists of authors by region of origin.
  • check out the books folks read in 2009 as part of Ali’s Diversity Rocks Book Challenge.
  • ask your librarian!

If you aren’t able to participate in the challenge, that’s Okay. I would encourage you to add these two blogs to your reader so you can regularly visit some of the bloggers who are writing about diverse books, add books of interest to your TBR pile, then write a post about these new books you want to read!

18 responses to “Tuesday Blurb: Tweaking the New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Pingback: Terry Doherty
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  4. Thank you for letting us know about all of this, Terry.

    I truly believe that if we want to create a better world, one where people don’t judge people based upon how they look or where they are from, we need to start with the picture books we are reading to children. Not everyone lives in a diverse neighborhood, but many people can access a wide variety of multicultural picture books from their local library.

    If children put themselves in the places of many different cultures of book characters, then they will come to understand that we are all special and unique, inside and out. It’s up to parents, teachers, librarians, and caregivers to actively seek out picture books which will enable them to do so.

    I spent a significant amount of time studying diversity, and how to infuse it into my teaching, during my graduate studies. Unfortunately, it did not seem to be something that was valued at all by the classroom teachers I worked with. I find that extremely unfortunate, and it’s part of the reason I started my blog.

    Thanks again for calling our attention to these blogs.

    1. Thanks, Dawn! You’ve done a great job highlighting books with diverse characters and I’m looking forward to more of them this coming year.

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  8. Amen to your point about the importance of modeling a reading life. Right now I’m feeling a little frustrated that my oldest is not taking much initiative to read on his own time and my next child is entering rather slooooowly into literacy. I figure the best thing I can do is not to prod too much but to keep plenty of books around and to let them see me reading (not such an onerous task!).

    1. What a wonderful gift you are giving to your children. With my 8YO I sometimes fall into that trap of reminding her “you need to read.” I’ve found more recently, though, that if I leave her be, she’ll pick up something that interests her (magazine, newspaper, book) and start reading. Having “plenty of books around” is a great solution.

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  10. Thanks for highlighting these challenges. I was doing the Diversity Rocks! challenge last year and I really enjoyed the links and suggestions by the other readers. I found some new authors & books that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Great kids’ books too! These are great ideas here.

    1. You are so right. I found some wonderful books in the Diversity Rocks! challenge last year, too. Great variety of audiences and topices. This is a great challenge … I wish I could do this one AND the Around the World Challenge, but …

      I am SO impressed by how many options are already listed for the POC challenge. I have found the Jan reviews very helpful.

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  12. I am doing this challenge, too. I had not thought to connect it to children’s books but I may do that for at least 2 or 3 of my books. Thanks for giving me the idea! I am signed up for WAY too many challenges this year. So many good ideas and I just can’t say no apparently. Is there a rehab clinic for obsessive challenge-joiners?

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