All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
This book is a must read for all children in our Early Years classrooms. Perfect for the first day of school especially, but any time we need to send the message that everyone belongs. I love the diverse characters and the different kinds of families that are featured. Beautiful illustrations by Suzanne Kaufman add to the celebration of diversity and inclusion.
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Based on the memoirs of the author, this book features a 10-year old girl who helps out at the hotel that her immigrant parents manage. She is able to keep a lot of secrets, including the fact that her parents hide immigrants who need help. Themes of racism, immigration and poverty make this is a book relevant to today's world, and messages that we need to discuss with our students and children. Teaching ideas scream out at me almost every time I turn the page. An awesome addition to any Middle Grade kid's library.
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
Graphic novels are so popular right now, and this beautiful book would made a perfect pairing with The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (soon to be released as a movie - can't wait!) or Just Mercy (just read it this summer as part of Penny Kittle's Book Love teacher book club) by Bryan Stevenson. All of these books tackle themes of police brutality in the US, the Black Lives Matter movement and poverty issues. This story is about Alfonso Jones, who is shot by a police officer while buying his first suit, as the officer mistakes a clothes hanger for a gun. Alfonso, as a ghost, rides a ghost train to learn of other people's struggles for equality and how his friends and family deal with his death. I highly recommend this book for high school students.