Styling Librarian: World Awareness: Part 6: Favorite Read Alouds Part 3
I’m feeling quite lucky because I just cannot stop finding more World Awareness book treasures to share with students. Each time I turn around, there’s some classics and additionally some new incredible resources! I hope I’ll never stop discovering wonderful new treasures! (Or ones that I can now look at in a new light!)
Off to Class Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes – I’ve mentioned in another post how I admire Margriet Ruur’s books such as My School is a Rainforest and I was thrilled to discover this new book that I believe any school investigating perspectives of children from other cultures, lifestyles, and how children learn should read through. This is a book with depth, detail, and various ways to read. I think reading through the pictures, captions, and maps would appeal to younger readers and then the research and information will also be a treasure for 3rd-5th grade teachers and students. My favorite parts of the book were about “green” schools, from a school in Shey, India that has a solar-powered pump that draws water for drinking and washing from under the ground to a school in Windsor, Canada that has the goal of eliminating garbage… that school has: geothermal heating and cooling systems, solar-powered water heaters and green roofs in addition to solar panels.
First Day in Grapes by L. King Perez - Beautiful book from the perspective of a migrant child who would like to be know for his intellectual skills vs. his family’s migratory lifestyle. I personally enjoyed how the bully situation was approached. Summary from Goodreads: Chico’s family moves up and down the state of California all year to pick fruits and vegetables, so each September, Chico starts at a new school. Often, the other kids pick on him. But third grade promises to be different. His teacher recognizes his excellent abilities in math–he may even get to go to the math fair. When some fourth-grade bullies tease him, he surprises them with strengths of his own.
Gleam and Glow by Eve Bunting - One of my favorite read-alouds every year. I appreciate the discussion on displacement of people during wars and how hope can surprise and help those who are having a difficult time. I additionally recommend reading the author’s note at the back of the book which helps answer student’s questions- usually my students are bubbling over with questions after I read the book aloud. Summary: After a family is displaced during the war, there is hope upon return with the help of two goldfish.
Going Home by Eve Bunting – where is home when you’ve travelled and made a home in a new place? Home is in the hearts of the people who love you. Beautiful, wonderful book to treasure reading aloud! Summary from Goodreads: From a Caldecott Medal-winning team comes the heartwarming story of one family’s special Christmas homecoming. On his trip to Mexico for the holidays, Carlos comes to realize that home can be anywhere, because it stays in the hearts of the people who love you.
Since I adore Eve Bunting, thought I’d include this video from Reading Rockets- Meet the Author – Eve Bunting. Here author intention/messages is also mentioned:
Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong, Illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine is a touching story of a girl concerned that her parents don’t fit in or understand the traditions of 4th of July in America. Very simple word choice but beautiful story. Summary: A Chinese American girl fears that the food her parents are making in their restaurant on the 4th of July will not be eaten.
The Empty Pot by Demi - Powerful lesson/message is learned within this book and the culture is additionally shared clearly throughout. Summary: When Ping admits he is the only child unable to grow a seed from the Emperor, he is awarded for his honesty.
The Color of Home by Mary Hoffman – migration – beautiful celebration of art for a key form of communicate
Summary: This remarkably moving picture book follows first-grader Hassan through his first few days at school. Hassan has only recently arrived in the United States after he and his family were forced to flee Somalia, and he deeply misses the colorful landscape of his former home in Africa. But with the help of his parents, an understanding teacher, and a school art project, Hassan finds that by painting a picture of his old home and sharing his story, his homesickness and the trauma of leaving a war-torn country are lessened. And he finds that there are many things to like about his new home in America.
*Very cute YouTube book adaptation:
Faithful Elephants- A True Story of Animals, People and War by Yukio Tsuchiya, illustrated by Ted Lewin – A desperate decision during a trying time.
Summary: Recounts how three elephants in a Tokyo zoo were put to death because of war, focusing on the pain shared by the elephants and the keepers who must starve them. *Four tissue warning!
And the reason I purposefully am working to find various books representing different aspects of cultures, this brilliant TED talk presents the danger of a single story: ”The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ) I adored watching this video and the perspective of a brilliant writer explaining why there must be multiple representative models of a culture, not just one book… Enjoy the watch, worth every minute!
I wrote five other posts on International Mindedness/World Awareness:
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