Reading for Pride & Justice 2020

20200312_225231_0000Birthday Book Drive 2020

It has been a doozy of a week. COVID-19, aka coronavirus, has tested our humanity, resolve, and resources. Many of us are working remotely, school is out for six weeks in parts of Washington, and many are concerned for friends and family. I have no new words to offer about the present situation, except to say take care of each other and yourselves.

What I will share this week is the 2020 Birthday Book Drive, Reading for Pride & Justice. Last year my friend Carrie and I decided to celebrate our February birthdays by hosting a book drive. A third grader wrote in their thank you card to us we’re doing it all wrong — we’re supposed to get gifts on our birthday. The kid was thankful we birthday-ed wrong and loved the books. While it is traditional to get gifts for one’s birthday, we decided we didn’t need gifts for ourselves and instead asked our friends to share books by poc authors or about disabilities to donate to several public schools in our community. Our friends and family are wonderful and donated over 170 books, that went to two high schools and three elementary schools in South Seattle.

Why Reading for Pride & Justice – Why Books?

This year Carrie and I came up with a theme to help make this year’s book drive a little different and to focus the book selection a little differently than last year. We landed on a theme of Changemakers and looked for titles along these lines for our wishlist. The changemaker theme allowed us to focus some of the books and ensure we were digging deeper into finding new titles to share with schools.

Books by authors of color and books about disabilities are important “mirrors and windows” for children to learn about the world around them with compassion, empathy, and understanding. The books in my kid’s school library are well-loved and many of the popular titles, especially the graphic novels, are held together with tape and the spines so frayed the titles are impossible to read. There are also some poc authored books or books about disabilities, but it takes hunting to find them. By donating more quality books by pocs and about disabilities we want to increase the odds that students will find themselves in the books, or their teachers will have a new resource to teach with.

This year we worked to make sure many of the titles on our wishlist would be appealing to kids. We requested a lot of graphic novels by authors of color or about disabilities; these are often gateway books for many readers. We wanted to make sure we donated books kids would want to read, not academic books that would just sit on shelves unread. We aimed for diversity in race and ethnicity, disabilities, language, etc. For the books about disabilities, we prioritized first-person narratives, nothing that perpetuates inspiration porn, and we avoided books about death.

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A thank you tweet

A special thank you to our friends, colleagues, supporters, and family who donated to the book drive. We are so lucky to have you in our community and your generosity to this project makes it special. When we delivered the books to schools everyone we met ohhhed and ahhed over the books. Hands immediately went into the crates of books and people were pulling them out to see what was in there. Becca, a friend and second/third-grade teacher, said she didn’t even get a chance to shelve the books since her third-graders saw the books and started reading them.

We’re sharing the booklist so you can help to find new titles to read. Order these from your favorite POC bookseller, independent bookstore, request them from the library, and make library purchase suggestions if they don’t have it in the catalog. Most of all, share them with young people in your life.

2020 Reading For Pride & Justice Book List

Title Author Category (Notations are my best guess)
Lead From the Outside Abrams, Stacey POC – African American/Black
The Poet X Acevedo, Elizabeth POC – Latinx
One Person No Vote Anderson, Carol POC
We Are Not Yet Equal Anderson, Carol POC
Dear America Antonio Vargas, Jose POC – Latinx
She Came to Slay Armstrong Dunbar POC – African American
Never Caught the Story of Ona Judge, YA Edition Armstrong Dunbar, Erica and Kathleen van Celeve POC – African American/Black
Sosu’s Call Asare, Meshack POC / Disability
Brazen Bagieu, Penelope POC
El Deafo* Bell, Cece Disability
Super Sorda, El Deafo (Spanish) Bell, Cece Disability
Courage to Soar Biles, Simone POC – African American/Black
Emergent Strategy brown, adrienne marie POC
The Pretty One Brown, Keah Disability / POC – Black
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin Bryant, Jen Disability
Laughing at my Nightmare Burcaw, Shane Disability
I Am Enough* Byers, Grace POC – Black / African American
72 Hour Hold Campbell, Bebe Moore POC – Black/ African American, Disability
When the Beat was Born, DJ Kool Herc And the Creation of Hip Hop Carrick Hill, Laban POC – Black
Pashmina Chanani, Nidhi POC
We Gon’ Be Alright – Notes on Race and Resegregation* Chang, Jeff POC – Asian / Pacific Islander
Freedom Soup Charles, Tami POC
Major Taylor Cline-Ransome, Lesa POC – African American
The Water Dancer Coates, Ta-Nehisi POC – African American/Black
The Truth as told by Mason Buttle Connor, Leslie Disability
Eloquent Rage Cooper, Brittney POC – African American/Black
Firebird Copeland, Misty POC – African American/Black
Misty Copeland, Life in Motion – Young Readers Edition Copeland, Misty POC – Black / African American
Harriet Tubman, Demon Slayer I & II Crownson, David POC – African American/Black
Claire of the Sea Light Danticat, Edwidge POC
The Labyrinth’s Archivist: A Broken Cities Novella Day, Al-Mohamed Disability
The Day Abuelo Got Lost de Anda, Diane Disability
Mixed Me Diggs, Taye POC – African American
Never Caught the Story of Ona Judge, YA Edition Dunbar, Erica POC
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne POC – Native American
Geek Love Dunn, Katherine Disability
Milo’s Museum Elliott, Zetta POC – African American/Black
Freshwater Emezi, Akwaeke POC – Black
Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen* Florence, Debbi Michiko POC – Asian
Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper* Florence, Debbi Michiko POC – Asian
Like a Mother* Garbes, Angela POC – Filipinx
Rooted in the Earth Glave, Dianne POC – African American/Black
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess Green, Shari Disability
Real Friends Hale, Shaonnon Disability
Autobiography of Malcolm X Haley, Alex POC – African American/Black
The Truths We Hold Harris, Kamala POC
New Power Heimans, Jeremy and Henry Timms
Imagine Herrera, Juan Felipe POC – Latinx
The Reason I Jump Higashida, Naoki POC – Asian / Disability – Autism
Como Pez En El Arbol Hunt, Lynda Mullaly Disability
(Don’t) Call me Crazy, 33 Voices

start the conversation about mental health

Jensen, Kelly Disability
Remember Balloons Jessie Oliveros, Dana Wulfekotte Disability
The Magical Monkey King Mischief in Heaven Ji-Li Jiang POC – Asian
The Parker Inheritance Johnson, Varian POC – African American / Black
How to be an Antiracist Kendi, Ibram X. POC – African American/Black
Amina’s Voice Khan, Hena POC – Middle Eastern
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns – A Muslim Book of Colors* Khan, Hena POC – Muslim
when they call you a terrorist – a black lives matter memoir Khan-Cullors, Patrisse and Asha Bandele POC – African American/Black
Amulet* Kibuishi, Kazu POC – Asian
Miracle Creek Kim, Angie POC
Braiding Sweetgrass* Kimmerer, Robin Wall POC – Native American
Go Show the World, a Celebration of Indigenous Heroes Kinew, Wab POC – Native American
Inside Out & Back Again Lai, Thanhha POC
Bridge of Flowers* Lakshimi Piepzna-Samarashinha, Leah POC – Disability (This is from a micro-press with tons of wonderful titles)
Green Lantern – Legacy* Lê, Minh POC -Asian (First ever Asian Green Lantern)
March 1, 2, 3* Lewis, John POC – African American
The Year of the Dog Lin, Grace POC – Asian
When Adrian Became a Brother* Lukoff POC illustrator / LGBTQ
Ten Ways not to Commit Suicide McDaniels, Darryl POC – African American/Black, Disability
Merci Suarez Changes Gears Medina, Meg POC – Latinx
Where Are You From Mendez, Ymile Saied POC – Latinx
Redefining Realness Mock, Janet POC – African American/Black
Sick Kids in Love Moskowitz, Hannah Disability
The Proudest Blue Muhammad, Ibtihaj POC – Muslim
Proud, Living my American Dream Muhammad, Ibtihaj POC – Muslim
Fish in a Tree Mullaly Hunt, Lynda Disability
A is for Activist Nagara, Innosanto POC
Counting on Community Nagara, Innosanto POC
We Should All Be Feminists Ngozi Adichie, Chimamanda POC – Black
Sulwe Nyong’o, Lupita POC – African American/Black
Becoming* Obama, Michelle POC – African American/Black
Shuri, Black Panther Okorafor, Nnedi POC – African American/Black
The Remembering Balloons* Oliveros, Jessie Disability
So You Want to Talk About Race Oluo, Ijeoma POC – African American/Black
There There Orange, Tommy POC – Native American
Anger is a Gift Oshiro, Mark Disability
The Witch Boy Ostertag, Molly Knox
Hawking Ottaviani, Jim Disability
Wonder & 365 Days of Wonder Palacio, Disability
The Astonishing Color of Afer Pan, Emily, X.R. POC – Asian
Nya’s Long Walk — A Step at a Time Park, Linda Sue POC — Asian / Black / Immigrant
A Single Shard Park, Linda Sue POC – Asian, Korean
Parachute Parker, Danny and Matt Ottley Disability – Anxiety
A Different Pond* Phi, Bao POC – Asian
Patina Reynolds, Jason POC – African American
As Brave as You Reynolds, Jason POC – African American/Black
Jake Makes a world, Jacob Lawrence, a Young Artist in Harlem* Rhodes-Pitt, Sharifa POC – African American/Black
Juliet Takes a Breath Rivera, Gabby POC – Latinx
M is for Melanin* Rose, Tiffany POC – Black / African American
Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories Sakade, Florence POC – Asian
Gang of Four* Santos, Bob and Gary Iwamoto POC – Cross racial
You Failed Us Savage, Azure POC
Tea with Milk Say, Allen POC – Asian
Silent Days, Silent Dreams Say, Allen Disability
American Journal Smith, Tracy K. POC – Black
Pasando páginas Sotomayor, Sonia POC – Latinx
My Beloved World Sotomayor, Sonia POC – Latinx
Just Mercy, YA edition Stevenson, Bryan POC – African American/Black
Chicken with Plums Strapi, Marjane POC – Middle East
Yayoi Kusama From Here to Eternity Suzuki, Sarah POC – Asian / Disability
They Called Us Enemy* Takei, George POC – Asian
The Opposite of Fate Tam, Amy POC – Asian
I Love My Hair Tarpley, Natasha Anastasia POC – African American/Black
Guts Telgemeier, Raina Disability – anxiety
Ghosts* Telgemier, Raina Disability
Baby Sitters Club – The Truth about Stacey Telgemier, Raina Disability – Diabetes
My First 50 Tigringna Words* Tesfamariam, Elinor K. POC – Black
The Hate You Give Thomas, Angie POC – African American
Down These Mean Streets Thomas, Piri POC – Latinx
How I Became a Ghost Tingle, Tim POC – Native American
Stone River Crossing* Tingle, Tim POC – Native American
Separate is Never Equal Tonatiuh, Duncan POC – Latinx
Ojichan’s Gift* Uegaki, Chieri and Genevieve Simms POC- Asian, Disability – memory loss, aging
Trickster* Various authors POC – Native American
My Fate According to the Butterfly Villanueva, Gail D. POC – Asian Filipinx
Magic Ramen, the story of Momofuku Ando* Wang, Andrea POC – Asian
Stargazing Wang, Jen POC – Asian, Disability
Other Words for Home Warga, Jasmine POC
We Speak for Ourselves Watkins, D. POC – African American/Black
Voice of Freedom, Fannie Lou Hamer (Note: It has the n-word and b-word in it) Weatherford, Carole Boston POC – African American/Black
Home for Chinese New Year: A Story Told in English and Chinese* Wei Jie, Xu Can POC – Asian, bilingual
The Collected Schizophrenias Weijun Wang, Esme Disability / POC
Red at the Bone Woodson, Jacqueline POC – African American/Black
Malala, My Story of Standing Up for Girls Rights Yousafzai, Malala POC – Muslim
I am Malala Yousafzai, Malala POC – Muslim
Malala’s Magic Pencil* Yousafzai, Malala POC – Muslim
Yasmin in Charge* Faruqi, Saadia POC – Muslim
Krip Hop Disability
Animals — Braille Disability / bilingual (Braille)

*Erin’s recommendation

Thank you to everyone who supported the project:

Thank you Erica, Elinor, Ubax, Stacy, Makeba, Kristina, Tracy, Sherri, Paola, LouAnn, Rebekah, Chandra, Brooke, Sarah B., Hassan, Fred, Debra, Rose, Stephanie, Selma, Equity Matters, Heidi, Tina, Maggie, Leslie, Dan B., Renee, Hannah, Jon, Stefanie, emily, CiKeithia, Ryan, Ivan, and Emi.


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