This month, we have several new books for all ages.
While we may have an inclination to protect children from much of the unfairness in the world, talking to them about current issues like poverty, racism, and homelessness is important. Children are very observant, and will notice all of these things in the world around them.
To develop children’s empathy, the adults around them need to show that it’s a good thing to notice and care. One of the easiest way to open this conversation is with a book. Lisa Klinger has donated several children’s books with social justice themes to the library. Check them out with a child in your life.
I had the great pleasure to read The Last Stop on Market Street to three 3-year-olds at the Good Works Bazaar in November. What a wonderful story about riding the bus and finding beauty! The book was written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. It has been recognized with Newbery, Coretta Scott King, and Caldecott Honors!
Our library grows mostly from donations. Also new to the library are two books donated by Mary Sue Galvin, Biased by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt and Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. I am currently reading Biased, and find this analysis of “the hidden prejudice that shapes what we see, think, and do” fascinating and often quite disturbing. Blending the results of her own research and others with personal experiences and interviews, Stanford psychologist Dr. Eberhardt reveals how ingrained our prejudices are. While the book covers a range of topics, including housing and employment, she has also worked with police departments and taught classes in San Quentin prison, and offers a fresh perspective on police violence and mass incarceration.
For those in-between ages with in-between interests, the library has also recently acquired two books about Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth (In Their Own Words). Reading one of these with a school-age child would be a great companion to watching the current movie out about Harriet Tubman.