Saturday, August 10, 2019

#PB10for10 - Finding Your Voice

In today's world, information can be found at the touch of a button, the swipe on a screen, the click of a mouse. Social studies, reading, and writing is no longer about imparting information, it's about helping students think critically about that information, how it fits into their belief system and, finally - and perhaps most importantly - what to do with it. To that end, I curated a list of ten picture books, both fiction and informational, that show students how they can use words and actions - in ways both big and small - to make positive change in the world.

1. Young Water Protectors: A Story About Standing Rock, written by Aslan Tudor, co-written by Kelly Tudor. The writer was 10 years old at the time of publication. He wrote the story of his Sioux Native tribe trying to save their land from the Dakota Area Pipeline (DAPL.) A brilliant story of a young person using their voice to try to make real change that affects their lives.

2. Say Something, written by Peter Reynolds. The power of using your voice, even as a young person, to stand up for what you believe in.

3. What Can a Citizen Do? written by Dave Eggers. I love this book because it teaches kids so many ways that they can use their voices and actions to make change, and that this is their responsibility as citizens of our country.

4. I Walk With Vanessa, by Kerascoet. A narrative story with beautiful illustrations that tells the story of a girl who sees a new girl at school being bullied, and gathers other kids to help the girl, creating "safety in numbers" that results in the bully losing his power. The lesson about standing together against hate is a powerful one for students to learn.

5. The Other Side, by the great Jacqueline Woodson. Two girls, despite one's mother's reluctance, forge a friendship that shatters the boundaries of color. It is an exquisite book.

6. Come With Me, by Holly M. McGhee. When a little girl sees terrible events happening on the news, she wonders what she could possibly do to make things better. She learns that small acts of kindness - even as small as a smile - means that anyone has the power to affect positive change.

7. The Sad Little Fact, by Jonah Winter. This book is such an interesting way to teach kids how facts get hidden, distorted, and lost when people in power don't agree with them. As students learn to use their voices, they need to ground their opinions in evidence, which is perhaps one of the most important skills we can teach them.

8. Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights, written by Rob Sanders. A book that introduces students different actionable ways to stand up for what they believe in. It's really good at making abstract concepts more concrete for kids.

9. What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, written by Chris Barton. This picture book biography tells the story of Texas congresswoman Barbara Jordan, who used her voice to help bring down president Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal in 1973. The telling of her life story, how she persevered despite obstacles thrown in her way, is a marvelous way for kids to learn that anyone can make change. The illustrations by Ekua Holmes are fantastic.

10. Mixed: A Colorful Story, written and illustrated by Arree Chung. An allegory for prejudice and racism, Chung's narrative shows what happens when love overcomes division. I just love this book, which takes those topics and turns them into something even young children can understand.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on my 2019 #PB10for10! It's been a few years since I posted for this event, but it felt important to model ways I my voice to affect positive change for my students!

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