Here are five wonderful 2016 books to add to your child's library!
My daughter and I are big fans of Brad Metzler's "Ordinary People Change the World" books. We already own his books featuring Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson. What we love are the wonderful illustrations by Christopher Eliopoulos and the deft balance of potency and humor from Brad Metzler. I am Martin Luther King, Jr. is a wonderful tribute to Dr. King and contains some powerful advice for children and the adults in their lives. ("You must never feel you are less than anyone else." "There is power in words.") I also appreciate how each person who is featured in this series is shown to be human and far from perfect. If you are looking for a book to discuss the legacy and importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., check out this book, which is also available in the iTunes bookstore.
Further reading: here's a link to a review I wrote last year of another good book, Martin and Mahalia, that focuses on Dr. King.
In 2011, Taye Diggs and Shane Evans crafted a thoughtful and beautiful book entitled, Chocolate Me. The book focuses on a Black boy who is dealing with kids who are teasing him because of the darkness of his skin and texture of his hair. His mother eventually reminds him how beautiful he is. The message is so important for all students, but especially for children of color. I was a victim of some of the same barbs this character faces, so I was truly moved by this book and added it to my daughter's library.
Now, the duo have created a second book, Mixed Me , that focuses on "Mixed Up Mike" who is a biracial boy. Like Chocolate Me, this boy is being mistreated by children who see his skin color and hair as something wrong. The book is empowering and repeats this mantra: "Mom and Dad say I'm a blend of dark and light. We mixed you perfectly and got you just right." I couldn't be more excited about the existence of a book like this. With a multiracial child at home, I want her to be empowered consistently and often. But, the book works well for all children who might sometimes feel out of place. So, add Mixed Me to your library.