: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not suddenly turn The United States into a utopian society. Our present day has its fair share of flaws. And although our first instincts may be to protect our children from horrifying events like what happened yesterday in Charlottesville VA, we cannot be assured that they too may not face acts of racism, discrimination or mistreatment of any kind. We also cannot be assured that they won't face moments requiring them to reach for their moral code to determine their next step, words or action. Knowing this, it is our duty as parents, teachers, and caring adults to steer our children onto a path of love instead of hate. We have to teach them acceptance of differences instead of isolation and division. The following books can help begin this necessary dialogue in your household.
For YA readers: The Hate you Give is a book about a girl who witnesses her black male friend become victim to police brutality. The aftermath of her friend's death ignites many feelings throughout the community.
For Middle Grade readers: One Crazy Summer is about an eleven year old girl and her sisters who spend the summer with their mom in Oakland, California in the 60's. Here, they are introduced to the Black Panther Party and their ideas about race, fighting the power and empowering their community.
For Middle Grades readers: The Great Gilly Hopkins is about a foster child who moves to a new home. Although the story centers around her adjusting to her new home and longing for her birth mother, it includes moments that describe Gilly's contempt for her black neighbor and her black teacher.
For Young readers: Little Blue and Little Yellow seems like a simple story about colors. But it can spark a big discussion for our smallest readers about differences, tolerance and acceptance.