If you’re looking for a quick monthly roundup, check out the best 5 books I read in April!
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As someone who regularly tells people to push past uncomfortable feelings and have important conversations with young people, having a developmentally appropriate definition to assist with teaching new vocabulary is crucial. Social Justice Education can be a foundation for the rest of academic schooling, but it needs to begin early. The issues are many, but it distills into two main points: an overabundance of white cis women in early education (80% in fact) and there’s no mandatory social justice training in teacher prep programs.
How much deeper would conversations go if those involved could articulate sizeism, confirmation bias, and misogynoir? Anyone can be active in dismantling white supremacy culture, and these are the types of resources that will enable those unfamiliar to become involved easier.
Kindly sent by @duopress
Farming While Black: I’ve been enamored with Soul Fire Farm for several years, and this book is both practical & spiritual advice for living in harmony with the natural world and using traditional farming practices from both the African diaspora and Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. I can’t recommend this book enough if you even have a slight interest in food production!
The Red Deal: Inside this tiny book is an outline for true and comprehensive #LandBack, covering specific points and suggestions for divesting from occupation and reinvesting into Indigenous communities and deferring to their guidance for a more sustainable future.
Fresh Banana Leaves: Part memoir, part guide for scientists, entirely amazing. Dr. Hernandez is a displaced Indigenous woman, and was compelled to join the STEM field in order to more fully embrace her Indigenous heritage; she considers herself inextricably connected to Indigenous Science (which she goes into more detail about in the book).
I bought all of these myself.
We Have a Dream is not only beautiful, it also honors and uplifts young activists of color that are currently working towards their ultimate dreams (which are noted on each profile, a fabulous detail). ‘Young people’ as in I’m definitely several years older than all 30 of them, which thrills me.
Badass humans from all over the globe share their dream goals for their work: prioritizing environment over economy, Aboriginal heritage education, Indigenous inclusion, and much more.
The artwork and color scheme inside is stunning, perfectly suited to the incredible activists that are changing the world every single day.
Kindly sent by @MagicCatpublishing & @Abramskids
Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by @nina_lacour is incidental representation at its finest. Mommy is leaving for a business trip, leaving Mama and our narrator at home. The story details all of the activities that the pair get up to waiting for Mommy to return home, but everything is so much better when the trio are together.
Mommy and Mama remind me of our queer friends with kids (it’s weird being in my mid-thirties, y’all), which makes me feel warm and fuzzy to see this representation.
The thread that joins these two stories is social-emotional learning, specifically patience and processing frustration. Together We Ride by @valeriebollingauthor is a poetic walk through the trials and tribulations of learning to ride a bike without training wheels. With sparse text, the evocative illustrations that Kaylani created will toss everyone back to their own experiences learning (and probably wincing at the thought of falling over).
Kindly sent by @chroniclekidsbooks & @candlewickpress
Are you looking for a YA read that covers not only the complexities of gender identity, but also how gender impacts different aspects of society, like how Black men are disproportionately incarcerated? I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated a paperback release as much as Seeing Gender!
In case you aren’t familiar with the hardcover version, Durham-based gender spelunker Iris Gottlieb has broken down concepts and historical tidbits into an engaging and fresh educational read. The paperback has had some small changes and updates, but that’s it.
Seriously though, this is a comprehensive and holistic look at gender and all of its bits and bobs. It made my heart go pitter patter when flipping to the Zapatistas page, and the impact of Residential Schools on Indigenous gender expression. Gender is something amorphous, deeply personal with rippling cultural effects and implications. Seeing Gender is unequivocally something every young person should have the chance to experience.
In an act of gender euphoria I photographed this book on my favorite denim jacket that I found at a secondhand shop, it makes me feel cozy and badass.
Kindly sent by @chroniclekidsbooks