Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Picture Books for PRIDE (& for #classroombookaday all year long)

As 2020 PRIDE month concludes, and because I have been asked a lot this month, I'm sharing some of the picture books I most often recommend for #classroombookaday around LGBTQIA+ characters & gender identity themes. Because ALL students and ALL types of families should be able to see themselves and their lived experiences celebrated in the books we share in our schools. 
Gatekeeping is a type of soft censorship. By choosing not to share books with these identities with your students, you are censoring their humanity and saying they have no place in your classroom.
 
In the TREVOR Projects' Facts About Suicide, they share statistics that should be startling to every educator: 
If knowing this, you continue to make a choice to reject these identities in your classroom by not sharing books with LGBTQIA+ characters whole class, you are willingly causing harm. 

I think back on Jess Lifshitz's twitter thread that started with this:
And Josh Thompson's reply about the impact on queer students AND cishet students has stuck with me: 

If ALL educators are not explicitly making a space for queerness to be affirmed in our classrooms, or completely erasing those identities by neglecting to include any read alouds that speak to those lived experiences, they are perpetuating harm. 

Picture book author/illustrator Mike Curato wrote a blog post after a school told him he couldn't talk about Worm Loves Worm on his school visit. I will be holding these pieces of his response close to my heart:

You can not tell me you support all kids and then refuse to support queer kids and families through the choices you make and who/what is centered, celebrated, and affirmed through your choices. So please read, share, read aloud, and celebrate these books in your classrooms. Not just during PRIDE month when most are out of school, but all year long. 
Shop this list at my Bookshop storefront & support independent bookstores + my work!






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