Thursday, February 25, 2021

Kid Lit Must-Read | A Kid's Book About Racism

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love this whole series, but this one might be my favorite so far. Simple text and imagery with the words themselves, as well a differing colors, make this a must for school and public libraries, and personal ones as well. It is a great starting part to talk to your kids about racism because it is a hard conversation that must happen. As my good friend Daryetta says, if her Black sons are old enough to experience racism, white children are old enough to learn about racism.

After George Floyd was murdered and our country was on fire with rage and pain and fear and trauma, I began explaining more and more to Eleanor what racism is. It could not have been avoided even if I had wanted to. This is something that has never occurred to her in her entire seven and a half years. She has had a lot of questions - especially because her best friend has beautiful caramel skin, and she can't ever imagine anyone not liking her BFF because of that. Eleanor knew that I had attended multiple protests at times when she was at her dad's house, and she had many questions about the protests as well. We also attended a smaller women's rally/march at the courthouse on a beastly hot afternoon over the summer with her BFF, plus BFF's siblings and their mom. Eleanor and her BFF stood there talking to news crews, holding hands, trying to explain to grown-ups just how absurd and wrong it is to judge people by the color of their skin. Nobody coached them on what to say, they simply answered the reporter's questions as regular seven-year-olds who so clearly saw then and still see now, what too many adults can or will not. Most of the women in attendance that day were in tears, including the reporter herself.

Teaching kids to be colorblind is not the answer. First of all, it is impossible. You can't not see someone's skin color. If you ignore it, you are ignoring a lifetime of their experiences. Teaching kids to love all colors and appreciate their beauty and uniqueness is the answer. We can fight racism with books like this, start those hard conversations with our children, and raise better humans.


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