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Are These Topics Too Adult for Young Readers?

was reading the NY Times and came across this article entitled "Are these topics too adult for the youngest readers?" and immediately wanted to read a bunch of the books. Obviously, I do not think these topics are too adult for young readers at all. So, here's a bit about each of these banned books. What a great way to begin a new year of reading!

Title: Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

Author: Rob Sanders
Illustrator: Steven Solerno
Year published: 2018
Category: Children's nonfiction
Pages: 48 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2024 Google Reading map)USA (CA)

SummaryIn this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today's world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders's stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno's evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable - and undertold - story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.

Title: I am Jazz

Author: Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Illustrator: Shelagh McNicholas
Year published: 2014
Category: Children's nonfiction (memoir)
Pages: 32 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2024 Google Reading map)USA (FL)

SummaryFrom the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.

Title: Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship

Author: Irene Latham and Charles Waters (these two also wrote the fantastic book African Town--link to my review)
Illustrators: Sean Qualls and Selina Alko
Year published: 2018
Category: Children's fiction
Pages: 43 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2024 Google Reading map)USA (PA)

SummaryTwo poets, one white and one black, explore race and childhood in this must-have collection tailored to provoke thought and conversation.

How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don't know each other . . . and they're not sure they want to.

Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is Black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. Accompanied by artwork from acclaimed illustrators Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (of The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage), this remarkable collaboration invites readers of all ages to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.

Challenges for which these books counts:
  • Literary Escapes--California, Florida, Pennsylvania
  • Alphabet (Author)--A, H, L, M, Q, S, W
  • Alphabet (Title)--C, I, P
  • Decolonize--by a marginalized author 
  • Bookish--all about writing poetry as a team
  • Nonfiction--History

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