I find myself always being attracted to books that deal with social issues such as race, culture, and gender. I spent a whole year in the social work program because I wanted a career that helped people and changed lives.
I love to experience reading through a window that allows me to experience live in different ways. I love the new perspectives, the new outlooks I develop. I love the empathy and understand that is fostered when I read books outside of my experience.
Students, I feel can benefit from this as well. In my blog last week, I addressed the lack of diversity in reading. In that post, I wrote about how a lack of diversity can affect students:
There is a danger for the students who have plenty of mirrors to look through. They are lacking multicultural windows that promote understanding and acceptance. In a country where racism is still pervasive, books that allow other children to see people who are different is the beginning of building tolerance.
That is exactly why I try and read diversely. Looking through multicultural windows helps grow me into a better person. I desperately want the same thing for my students. Social justice is always near and dear to my heart. Students grow in awareness when they are reading socially diverse books.
This semester, two things have really helped me to focus reading diversely this semester.
- Dr. E’s Book Challenge Bingo Sheet. It contains various books relating to genres and issues of a social nature. For me, it helps me to keep an eye on what I’m giving my reading attention to.
- BOOKCLUB. I love bookclub. This semester I have been able to gather recommendations for books I would never find myself reading. Not only do I get recommendations, but I also receive accountability.
In my classroom, I hope to implement these two things into my classroom. I believe it will help my students diversify their reading.