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Let’s Focus on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion!

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are fundamental values of the American Library Association. Libraries are for everyone. Solano County Library supports equity, diversity, and inclusion for the community and the staff including addressing policies, structures, and biases that can limit library access and striving to ensure people of marginalized gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, age, disability, or place of national origin are welcomed into and supported by library services, programs, collections, and facilities.
Checkout a Solano County Library Social Justice Kit!
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Words for Change
Booklists for kids that show kids being themselves!
Solano Stories, explore the history of Solano County with Solano County Library!

Checkout a Solano County Library Social Justice Kit!

Social Justice Book Kits are intended to spark conversations around current social justice movements. Library staff have selected books, films, and other resources to inspire deeper learning and action for individuals, families, and the greater community.

Immigration Social Justice Book Kit for Kids: Contents

Ally for LGBTQIA+ Communities

An ally, straight ally, or heterosexual ally is a heterosexual and cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, and LGBTQIA social movements; challenging homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. An ally acknowledges that LGBTQIA people face discrimination and thus are socially disadvantaged. They aim to use their position and privilege as heterosexual and cisgender individuals in a society focused on cisnormativity and heteronormativity to counter discrimination against LGBTQIA people. Several LGBTQIA organizations (both on local and state levels) center the development of allies in working towards their social justice goals. 

What’s in the Kit: 

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni  

  • Longtime best friends, Archie, a snarky genderqueer artist, and Tristan, a cisgender dude team up in this short and fun comic guide that explains what pronouns are, why they matter, what to do if you make a mistake, and how to use them in the workplace and beyond. 

The Savvy Ally by Jeannie Gainsburg 

  • The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate is an easy-to-understand guidebook for being an ally to the LGBTQ+ communities. It is chock full of practical and useful tools for LGBTQ+ advocacy, including current and relevant information on identities and LGBTQ+ language; and tips for what to say and what not to say when someone comes out to you. 

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead 

  • It is a story about a queer, indigenous youth trying to find a way through the poverty, racism, and homophobia in his life. Jonny has one week before he must return to the rez, and his former life, to attend the funeral of his stepfather. Preparing is like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz  

  • Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendshipThrough this friendship Ari and Dante learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. 

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G with illustrations by Mady G., Jules Zuckerberg, and J.R. Zuckerberg 

  • In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and Jules Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships. A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys! 

Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising that Changed America by Martin Duberman 

  • On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New Yorks Greenwich Village, was raided by police. But instead of responding with the typical compliance the NYPD expected, patrons and a growing crowd decided to fight back. The five days of rioting that ensued changed forever the face of gay and lesbian life. Duberman re-creates those revolutionary, sweltering nights in vivid detail through the lives of six people who were drawn into the struggle for LGBTQ rights. 

DVD – Moonlight  

  • A young African American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions: 

Before you read or watch: 

  • In what ways have you acted as an ally? 
  • Do you know anyone who considers themselves to be an ally? Do you identify as an ally? 

After you read or watch: 

  • In what ways have you acted as an ally? 
  • Do you know anyone who considers themselves to be an ally? Do you identify as an ally? 
  • In what ways did your answer change after reading/watching? 
  • What are some ways you will act as an ally?  
  • How will you combat difficult situations within your household? Your professional circle? Your social circle? The greater community? 

Ally for Race Equity

How does a White Person become an Ally to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islanders People? The purpose of this kit is to define and share frameworks to learn how to be an Ally in movements, workplace, classroom, and daily life led by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islanders People. Allyship requires work, learning, and cultural humility. The books in this kit provide the historical background, personal exploration of race, identify actions, and most importantly the role of white people in movements addressing the historical intentional and unintentional oppression of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islanders People. Allies de-centers their whiteness. 

What’s in the Kit: 

How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi 

  • In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. 

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 

  • Explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. 

Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum 

  • Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about communicating across racial and ethnic divides and pursuing antiracism. 

We Are Not Yet Equal Understanding Our Racial Divide (White Rage adaptation for teens) by Carol Anderson 

  • History texts often teach that the United States has made a straight line of progress toward Black equality. This book examines five of these moments and the limits inherent in the progress from the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction to the War on Drugs that disproportionally targeted blacks to the backlash of the election of Barak Obama and violence inducing rhetoric of the 2016-2020 presidential administration. 

Beyond Ally by Maysa Akbar 

  • Dr. Maysa Akbar, a race-based trauma expert, and originator of the Urban Trauma® framework, deftly delineates what the allyship process is for White people to align themselves with people of color through the lens of a person of color. In this book she redefines previous frameworks of allyship, and through her new identity model of allyship. 

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad 

  • Teaches listeners how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. 

What If I Say the Wrong Thing? by Verna Myers 

  • In this compelling new tip book, youll find innovative and surprising ways to keep your personal diversity journey moving and the diversity commitment of your organization. Written to make this information bite-size and accessible, you’ll find quick answers to typical “What should I do?” questions. 

DVD – Dear White People 

  • A campus culture war between blacks and whites at a predominantly white school comes to a head when the staff of a humor magazine stages an offensive Halloween partyThis film delves explores society’s assumptions during Obama-era post-racial thinking. 

DVD – Do the Right Thing 

  • Set in Brooklyn, New York, this film explores the daily interactions and racial tensions of a neighborhood. Events of the day lead to a violent end. After 30 years, this film is hailed as relevant to today’s issues of police brutality, colorism, and poverty and systemic racism. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions: 

Before you read or watch: 

  • In what ways have you acted as an ally? 
  • Do you know anyone who considers themselves to be an ally? Do you identify as an ally? 

After you read or watch: 

  • In what ways have you acted as an ally? 
  • Do you know anyone who considers themselves to be an ally? Do you identify as an ally? 
  • In what ways did your answer change after reading/watching? 
  • What are some ways you will act as an ally?  
  • How will you combat difficult situations within your household? Your professional circle? Your social circle? The greater community? 

Black Lives Matter

The purpose of this kit is to clear up misconceptions about the Black Lives Matter Movement and create an opportunity to learn more about it. In 2013, three female Black organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and Opal Tometi — created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter began with a social media hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin back in 2012. The movement grew nationally in 2014 after the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. Since then, it has established itself as a worldwide movement, particularly after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, MN.  Most recently, #Black Lives Matter has spearheaded demonstrations worldwide protesting police brutality and systematic racism that overwhelmingly affects the Black community. 

Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada just celebrated an eight-year anniversary. Their mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.  

What’s in the Kit: 

I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina (Young Adult) 

  • A graphic novel that follows Alfonso Jones who is shot on his way to get his suit and an off-duty officer mistakes his hanger for a gun. Now in the afterlife, Alfonso gets help from well-known victims of police brutality. 

The Black Lives Matter Movement by Peggy J. Parks (Young Adult) 

  • This novel gives background of the Black Lives Matter Movement from its beginning in 2013 and how it has grown to a worldwide movement we see today. 

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds (Young Adult) 

  • Two teens are forced to grow up very fast when faced with police brutality. One on the receiving end of it another just a bystander, both must deal with what happens after. 

Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Young Adult) 

  • The story of an ivy league bound teen, Justyce McAllister who becomes a victim of racial profiling. The author wrote this book in response to the killing of 17-year- old Jordan Davis in Jacksonville over loud music at a gas station. 

Why Im No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge 

  • Journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who werent affected by it. 

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho 

  • Former NFL player and current Fox Sports analyst Emmanuel Acho addresses many questions that white Americans are afraid to ask. Providing a space for compassion and understanding to anyone who wants to learn more about different things that affect the black community. 

Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds 

  • This is a book about the here and now. A book to help us better understand why we are where we are. A book about race and the competing ideas as they have evolved in the U.S from the colonial period to the present. 

Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter by Veronica Chambers 

  • A history of Black Lives Matter through photography, in depth reporting, stunning visuals, timelines, graphics and compelling quotes. For any reader looking for concrete information on Black Lives Matter. 

Discussion Guide: 

Before you read or watch: 

Before we get started, please take a deep breath and remember to keep an open mind. This is a learning experience, and we are grateful that you decided to tackle the often uncomfortable conversations, feelings and thoughts that can occur when discussing the Black Lives Matter movement and what it means. Social Justice is not a new topic, but is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities.  

After you read or watch: 

After reading selected material, prepare an area where an open dialogue can be had. These discussion questions were handpicked to start conversations and inspire everyone to think critically on themes and topics discussed in the readings. This is a challenge to think bigger, expand on what you learned and connect that to real world events 
and ideas. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions: 

  • What did you learn about Black Lives Matter that you didn’t know before? 
  • What are the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement? 
  • What are some of the themes of racial injustice that were discussed in the novels? 
  • Is there a link between gun violence in the Black communities and the excessive force used by police? 
  • What is systematic racism? How does this continue to exist? 
  • A few of the novels show a clear case of right and wrong; however, some characters still seem unwilling or unable to see past bias. How do you see that same circumstance played out in the media? 
  • If Black Lives Matter does that mean All Lives don’t? 
  • Why are Black Americans pushing for the defunding of police departments? 
  • Often adults tell kids to wait until theyre older to get involved in politics, protests, and the like. Give three examples of what kids can do to be active in their communities when they feel passionately about a cause and how adults can help rather than hold back.  
  • Should we fear someone based on the color of their skin? 
  • What are some questions you still have about #BlackLivesMatter? 

Take Action Now!

Videos to Watch:

Black Lives Matter

(For Kids)

The materials in this kit are designed to start conversations with children about racial equity and the Black Lives Matter Movement. In 2013, three female Black organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter began with a social media hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin back in 2012. The movement grew nationally in 2014 after the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York. Since then, it has established itself as a worldwide movement, particularly after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, MN. Most recently, #BlackLivesMatter has spearheaded demonstrations worldwide protesting police brutality and systematic racism that overwhelmingly affects the Black community. 

Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada just celebrated an eight-year anniversary. Their mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.  

Materials in this kit are geared for children pre-K through 6th grade and chosen to spark discussions. 

What’s in the Kit: 

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi (Board Book, 2+) 

  • Introduces the youngest readers and grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Provides the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age. 

Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano (Picture book, 4+) 

  • This powerful story of how both a black and white family discuss a police shooting help guide talks about bias and racism. 

Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy (Picture book, 4+) 

  • A child reflects on the meaning of being Black, through celebration of black culture and history. 

When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Picture book, 4+) 

  • This book not only affirms young Black children but calls on all children to acknowledge the importance of Black lives and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson (Picture book nonfiction, 6+) 

  • A poetic tribute to Black heroes and struggles; including back matter about important historical figures and events. 

Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham & Charles Waters (Picture book nonfiction, 9+) 

  • Two young poets, one white and one black, explore different experiences of race: including common stereotypes at home and at school. 

What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado (Chapter book, 10+) 

  • Biracial sixth-grader Stephen questions the limitations society puts on him after he notices the way strangers treat him when he hangs out with his white friends and learns about the Black Lives Matter movement. 

This Book is Antiracist by Tiffany Jewell (Chapter book nonfiction, 11+) 

  • An activist guide to defying and disrupting racism, helping young people to stand up for what they believe in. 

DVD – John Lewis: Good Trouble (10+, PG) 

  • Chronicles Lewiss 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform, and immigration. 

Book on CD – Stamped (for Kids) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (Chapter book nonfiction, 8+) 

  • Narrated by 9-year-old Pe’Tehn Raighn-Kem Jackson, kids will discover where racist ideas came from, identify how they impact America today, and meet those who have fought racism with antiracism. 

Talking About Race – Conversation Tips: 

  • Start early! By 6 months, babies are noticing racial differences; by age 4 children have begun to show signs of racial bias.
  • Share your observations and feelings while reading the books and encourage children to share what they see, as well as their feelings and experiences.
  • Ask questions, for example, “Is his hair straight or curly?” “Yes, curly, and look at how it reaches to the sky!”
  • And make observations, “This baby’s knees are brown.”
  • Answer difficult and sometimes embarrassing questions. “That’s a good question, I do not know” or “Let me think about that for a while” are fine initial responses.
  • Recognize your own biases and offer tips on how your family or group might overcome bias.

Drawing attention to human difference is not innately negative and is important for children to learn how to respond to the world around them. The key is to tell and show children that these differences are a positive aspect of being human and a reason to celebrate, not discriminate.

Discussion Guide: 

Before you read or watch:
Before getting started, please take a deep breath and remember to keep an open mind. This is a learning experience, and it is great that you decided to tackle the often uncomfortable conversations, feelings, and thoughts that can happen when discussing Black Lives Matter and what it means. Social Justice is not a new topic, but is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities.  

After you read or watch:
After reading/listening/watching selected material, prepare an area where an open dialogue can be had. These discussion questions were chosen to start conversations and inspire everyone to think critically on themes and topics discussed in the readings. This is a challenge to think bigger, expand on what you learned, and connect that to real world events and ideas. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions:
(Use the questions that are appropriate for your child or age group) 

  1. What did you learn about Black Lives Matter?  
  2. How does what you see/experience shape how you see other people, who may look or act differently from you?   
  3. Do your friends or classmates have different color skin? 
  4. What is racism? 
  5. Have you or your family ever experienced racism?  If not, do you know someone who has experienced racism? 
  6. Have you ever done something that might be considered racist?  
  7. What is systematic racism? How does it continue to exist? 
  8. Have you ever stood up for social justice at school or in your community?  
  9. Give three examples of what kids can do to be active in their communities when they feel passionately about a cause and how adults can help.  

Take Action Now!    Dive Deeper!

Websites

Further Reading/Viewing

A is for Activist by Nagara, Innosanto (Picturebook, 3+)

  • An ABC book for families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, civil rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko (Picturebook nonfiction, 4+)

  • A powerful true story about racial justice through the landmark marriage equality court case.

The Day you Begin by Jacqueline Woodson (Picturebook, 4+)

  • Describes kids who feel different and uncomfortable with their peers at school.

I Affirm Me: The ABCs of Inspiration for Black Kids by Nyasha Williams (Picturebook, 4+)

  • An empowering alphabet book of affirmations to inspire and remind Black children of their inner power, strength, and worth.

Unspeakable : the Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford (Picturebook nonfiction, 6+)

  • A powerful and sensitive look at the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history.

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham (Picturebook nonfiction, 8+)

  • Invites white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it’s real, and cultivate justice.

Little Legends Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison (Picturebook nonfiction, 8+)

  • Biographies of notable black men inspire, educate.

Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L. Brown  (Picturebook nonfiction, 8+)

  • A collection of poems to inspire kids to stay woke and become a new generation of activists.

Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter by Shani Mahir King (Picturebook nonfiction, 9+)

  • Honors the fortitude of Black role models and celebrates their achievements in sports, music, art, literature, journalism, politics, law, science, medicine, and social justice.

The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Chapter book nonfiction, 10+)

  • Essays, stories, poems and letters that make plain the hard conversations we all need to have about race.

DVD
Hidden Figures (10+, PG)

  • The inspiring story of how Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines at NASA in 1961.

Disability Rights

The purpose of this kit is to help understand the marginalization of people with disabilities and the need for accessibility advocacy. Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four adults in the US lives with a disability. These can include mobility, cognitive, sensory, or self-care disabilities that often impact how people are able to conduct routine tasks and daily life. In 1970, disability rights advocate Judith Heumann founded Disabled In Action, an organization that used political protests like sit-ins to secure the protection of people with disabilities under civil rights laws.  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990, which “guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services.” Unfortunately, many buildings and services remain inaccessible to people with disabilities and the fight for accessibility continues today.  

What’s in the Kit: 

A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen 

  • This nonfiction read is the first history book that places people with disabilities at the center of the narrative, using primary source documents and other historical sources.  

About Us: Essays From the Disability Series of the New York Times by Peter Catapano 

  • This collection of essays is from people with disabilities describing the impact of living with a disability has on their lives.  

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha​ 

  • This collection of essays explores intersectional identities and disability justice, a movement that centers the lives and leadership of sick and disabled LGBTQ+, Black, and brown people. 

The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging by Hannalora Leavitt 

  • This nonfiction young adult book provides a basic overview of how living with a disability can affect a person’s access to education, employment, housing, transportation and healthcare. The focus is mainly on visible and cognitive disabilities. 

Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century by Alice Wong 

  • This is a collection of stories from people with disabilities, compiled by the creator of the Disability Visibility Project. https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/ 

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown 

  • This memoir is written by a black journalist born with cerebral palsy about her relationship with her able-bodied identical twin, her creation of the hashtag #DisabledAndCute, and her transformation from wishing to be “normal” to self-love.  

Pinned by Sharon G. Flake 

  • This teen novel explores a relationship between Autumn, who has a reading disability, and Adonis, who uses a wheelchair. The story alternates being told by each of the two characters, creating two very strong and distinct voices to share their own experiences with being different. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions: 

  • What does “disability” mean?  
  • What is ableism? 
  • How do you behave when you see a person with a visible disability? 
  • What kind of devices, like wheelchairs or canes, do you know about, that can help people with disabilities?  
  • What are some ways that people may experience the world differently? 
  • Do you know anyone with a disability?  
  • What do you do when you see a person with a disability who might need help? (It’s okay to notice and answer questions and encourage curiosity) 
  • See: https://childrensplaygarden.org/10-strategies-for-talking-to-kids-about-disability/ 

Take Action Now! Dive Deeper!

Disability Rights

(For Kids)

The purpose of this kit is to help understand what experiences people with disabilities may have when navigating their daily lives. Some people may look, talk, act, think, or move differently from you. People with disabilities may use tools like a wheelchair or a hearing aid to help them. Sometimes tasks that are easy for able-bodied people may be more challenging for people with disabilities and these books help you understand a little bit of those experiences.  

Materials in this kit are geared for children pre-K through 6th grade and chosen to spark discussions. 

What’s in the Kit: 

Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis (Picture book, 2+) 

  • This fun rhyming story goes through activities in Susan’s day until you find out at the end that she also happens to use a wheelchair. 

The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin (Picture book, 5+) 

  • This tactile picture book has black pages with raised line illustrations and words to describe the colors in the scenes. The text also includes Braille, so that a sighted person can begin to imagine a little of what a blind person may experience. 

All The Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel (Picture book nonfiction, 5+) 

  • When Jennifer Keelan was 8 years old, she participated in an event called the “Capitol Crawl” to help pressure Congress into passing the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey (Picture book, 5+) 

  • Henry, a boy on the autism spectrum, interacts with his classmates in search of a friend. 

Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw (Picture book nonfiction, 6+) 

  • This introductory book is written for school-age children by an author with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and he shares his experience and answers questions to explain his experience living with a disability. 

Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman (Picture book, 6+) 

  • Moses and his friends are deaf and use American Sign Language to communicate. In this story, his entire class gets to attend a concert with a surprise for them. 

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper (Chapter book, 10+) 

  • Melody was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to speak or walk. She has a photographic memory, however, and refuses to be defined by her disability as she looks for a way she can share her voice. 

Talking about Variations in Ability – Conversation Tips: 

  • Start early! By 6 months, babies are noticing differences; by age 3 children have begun to show signs of bias.  
  • Share your observations and feelings while reading the books and encourage children to share what they see, as well as their feelings and experiences. Don’t deny that differences in physical, cognitive, or emotional abilities exist; and… reinforce how kids are similar. 
  • Be thoughtful in your language. Use people-first language, for example, “Henry who has autism…” 
  • Make observations, “You both talk. You use your voice while Suzie uses her hands…” 
  • Answer difficult and sometimes embarrassing questions. “That’s a good question, I do not know” or “Let me think about that for a while” are fine initial responses.  
  • Recognize your own biases and offer tips on how your family or group might overcome bias. 

Drawing attention to human difference is not innately negative and is important for children to learn how to respond to the world around them. The key is to tell and show children that these differences are a positive aspect of being human and a reason to celebrate, not discriminate. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions:
(Use the questions that are appropriate for your child or age group) 

  • What does “disability” mean? 
  • Do you know anyone with a disability?     
  • What are some ways that people may experience the world differently?  
  • What kind of devices, like wheelchairs or canes, do you know about, that can help people with disabilities?   
  • How do you behave when you see a person with a visible disability?  
  • What do you do when you see a person with a disability who might need help?(It’s okay to notice and answer questions and encourage curiosity.)  
  • What is ableism?  
  • See: https://childrensplaygarden.org/10-strategies-for-talking-to-kids-about-disability/ 

Take Action Now! Dive Deeper!

The Future is Feminist

The purpose of this kit is to give a diverse perspective on what “Feminism” has looked like in the past and what it can look like in today’s world. The authors and voices here range from modern day bloggers who have made space for women’s voices in our 21st century online world and feminist activist authors who were laying the groundwork for a new generation of women in the 1960’s and beyond. The hope is that you will find something that resonates with you 
so that you can decide how to define the word “feminist” for yourself. 

What’s in the Kit: 

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua

  • A collection of essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry and visual art, this landmark feminist text focuses on the experiences of women of color and lays the foundation for a new, intersectional feminism. 

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lord 

  • The poet and activist Audre Lorde documents her experiences growing up as a queer black woman in the mid-20th century. 

Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks 

  • Explores the nature of feminism and its positive promise to eliminate sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. hooks encourages readers to see how feminism can touch and change their lives—to see that feminism is for everybody. 

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists by Mikki Kendall  

  • A graphic history of the fight for women’s rights from antiquity to the modern era, covering a wide range of issues, events and key figures. 

Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism edited by Daisy Hernandez and Bushra Rehman 

  • A new generation of women offer their perspective on feminism in the 21st century. 

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Choo Nam-Joo  

  • This slim novel chronicles the life experiences of a South Korean woman, illustrating both commonplace instances of sexism and misogyny in a woman’s life and the structural nature of sexism. 

Feminism: A Graphic Guide by Cathia Jenainati 

  • An illustrated guide to the basics of feminist theory. 

Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin  

  • A guide to being a feminist in today’s world that bounces between being an instruction manual, self-help book and history lesson, all the while focusing on intersectional feminism and collective action. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions: 

  • What did you know/how did you feel about feminism before interacting with the items in this kit? 
  • What is feminism? If someone asked you what it means to be a feminist, what would you tell them? 
  • Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not? 
  • What have you learned about feminism from the book(s)/media in this kit? 
  • Who is your favorite feminist & what are they known for? 

Further Reading

Radical Feminist Solidarities: A Reading List

  • Leaders from Black Women Radicals and the Asian American Feminist Collective reflect on shaped, catalyzed, and transformed their understandings and practices of solidarity.

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

  • Examines how a gender gap in data perpetuates bias and disadvantages women.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

  • A manifesto for change; a groundbreaking examination of sexism in modern day society.

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall

  • A collection of essays taking aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

  • A sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

How to Raise a Feminist Son: Motherhood, Masculinity, and the Making of My Family by Sonora Jha

  • Follows the struggles and triumphs of one single, immigrant mother of color to raise an American feminist son.

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman

A breathtaking exploration of the lives of young black women in the early twentieth century.

The Future is Feminist

(For Kids)

The materials in this kit are designed to start conversations with children about feminism. This kit will aid you in discovering how to use language to discuss gender parity, equality and freedom from oppression for all girls and women that is age appropriate. We hope your family or classroom use this kit as preparation to guide children of all genders as they start to form their perceptions and knowledge of feminism.

Materials in this kit are geared for children pre-K through 6th grade and chosen to spark discussions.

What’s in the Kit:

ABC For Me: ABC What Can She Be? Girls Can be Anything They Want to Be, from A-Z by Sugar Snap Studio (Board Book, 3+)

  • This joyful alphabet book shows a world of possibilities for little girls, from astronaut to zoologist. 

My First Book of Feminism (For Boys) by Julie Merberg (Board Book, all ages)

  • Presents teachable concepts for very young boys who will hopefully grow up to be feminist.

Pink is For Boys by Robb Pearlman (Picture book, 3+)

  • Encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up.

Franny’s Father is a Feminist by Rhonda Leet (Picture book, 5+)

  • Showcases what it means for a man to be a feminist, and how male feminism can play a vital role in the empowerment of young women. 

Ambitious Girl by Meena Harris (Picture book, 6+)

  • A girl discovers the labels used against women and girls, such as “too assertive” and “too ambitious” and explores the ways in which the labels can be reframed and redefined.

Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle (Picture book, 6+)

  • A girl dreams of playing the drums in 1930s Cuba, when the music-filled island had a taboo against female drummers.

Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights by Malala Yousafzai (Chapter book biography, 8+)

  • Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s story of courageously standing up for girls’ education.

Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison (Picture book nonfiction, 9+)

  • Get inspired and learn about true stories of 35 women creators, ranging from writers to inventors, artists to scientists.

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez (Chapter book, 9+)

  • Twelve-year-old María Luisa O’Neill-Morales starts seventh grade with a bang and riot-grrrl power.

DVD – Hidden Figures (10+, PG)

  • The inspiring story of how Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines at NASA in 1961.

Talking about Feminism – Conversation Tips:  

  • Start early! By 6 months, babies are noticing differences; by age 3 children have begun to show signs of bias. 
  • Share your observations and feelings while reading the books and encourage children to share what they see, as well as their feelings and experiences. 
  • Ask questions, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Affirm that all genders have equal possibilities. 
  • Make observations, “Anybody can wear pink.”  
  • Answer difficult and sometimes embarrassing questions. “That’s a good question, I do not know” or “Let me think about that for a while” are fine initial responses.  
  • Recognize your own biases and offer tips on how your family or group might overcome bias. 

Drawing attention to human difference is not innately negative and is important for children to learn how to respond to the world around them. The key is to tell and show children that these differences are a positive aspect of being human and a reason to celebrate, not discriminate.  

Discussion and Reflection Questions:
(Use the questions that are appropriate for your child or age group)

  • Have you heard of feminism before?  
  • What is feminism?  
  • Are you a feminist? Why or why not?   
  • Can anyone be a feminist? 
  • What have you learned about feminism from the materials in this kit?   
  • Do you have a favorite feminist? What are they known for?  

Activities: 

  • Write a letter to [the author of this book] / [director of this movie/series] / [main character in this book/movie]. 
    Tell them what you liked and didn’t like about their work. Share with them what you learned from their work (if anything) and how it has impacted you.  
  • Write a letter or talk to someone you admire (can be a relative or a public figure) who you feel is a feminist. Share with them what you have read or seen and why it reminded you of this person.  
  • Draw or journal about your own feminist journey/story. 

Take Action Now! Dive Deeper! 

Girls Inc.

Girls Who Code

Black Girls Code

Malala Fund

Further Reading

A Mighty Girl

Immigration

Immigration is a complex topic that has long lasting and life altering consequences on millions of individuals worldwide. The United States of America is no stranger to this phenomenon. For this reason, it’s important for everyone in the country to be informed about immigration. People must be able to discern between the facts and the lies that are constantly touted through media outlets, especially social media. The amount of information on this topic is enormous, and forming your own opinions on immigration is now easier than ever. This kit aims to introduce the reader to immigration through various viewpoints and mostly real-life stories. Solano County Library aims to be a neutral agent and present information for and against immigration. In the end, we hope that the reader gains a basic understanding of immigration which will help them form their own opinions. We also encourage the reader to seek further information on this complex and important topic. 

What’s in the Kit: 

US Immigration Policy by A. R. Carser (Young Adult) 

  • This book covers the history of immigration and immigration law in the United States of America and examines the pros and cons of immigration policies and their impact on society. 

We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative by George J. Borjas 

  • This item offers a refreshingly level-headed exploration of the effects of immigration on migrant and non-migrant workers from the point of view of an economist. 

A Map is Only One Story: Twenty Writers on Immigration Family and the Meaning of Home edited by Nicole Chung & Mensah Demary 

  • This book is a selection from the archives of Catapult magazine that highlights the human side of immigration policies and polarized rhetoric. It’s composed of the personal stories of twenty writers that share their stories of existing between languages and cultures. 

Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream by Julissa Arce 

  • This book is a memoir about an undocumented immigrant that reaches the “American Dream.” This book depicts the story of thousands of individuals living as undocumented immigrants that work hard to reach their goals. 

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Young Adult) 

  • This wordless graphic novel depicts a man leaving his homeland and setting off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family. A powerful visual representation depicting the realities of migration. 

Book on CD – We are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai 

  • In this audiobook Malala Yousafzai starts with her own story of displacement to show what it means to lose your home, your community, and the only world youve ever known. She also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her various journeys to refugee camps and the cities where refugee girls and their families have settled. 

DVD – The River and the Wall 

  • This film follows five friends as they travel 1,200 miles along the U.S-Mexico border, from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. They set out to document the borderlands and explore the potential impacts of a wall on the natural environment, but as they get closer to the more populated areas, they come face-to-face with the human side of the immigration debate. 

Discussion Guide: 

Before reading or watching:
Please remember that this is a complex topic with people with strong opinions for and against immigration. Also remember that there are no right or wrong answers on this topic. This is a very perspective oriented topic. Be willing to listen and consider perspectives different than your own. 

After reading or watching:
Start constructive conversations with other people on this topic. Read news and reports from sources with different opinions on immigration than your own and take time to consider what they say and propose. Be open to changing your own opinions based on what you learn and be willing to challenge the status quo. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions: 

  • Why do people immigrate to other countries? 
  • Do you think there is a relation between immigration and crime? 
  • Should illegal immigrants be deported? 
  • How can we fight smuggling and trafficking of Human Beings? 
  • When is immigration helpful to a country and when is harmful? 
  • What nationalities are most immigrants who come to your country? 
  • What would happen if we erased all country borders and let people live wherever they wanted? 
  • Does your country have strict immigration laws? Should the laws be less strict or stricter? 
  • How do immigrants help a country’s economy? 
  • Are today’s immigrants different from 100 years ago? 

Take Action Now! Dive Deeper!

Websites

Further Reading/Viewing

Refugee: A Memoir by Emmanuel Mbolela

  • Tells the real-life story of Emmanuel Mbolela through his six-year quest for a new home. Emmanuel left the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2002 after being persecuted for his political activism.

Finding Refuge: Real-Life Immigration Stories from Young People by Victorya Rouse

  • This book is a collection of real-world experiences of teen refugees from around the world.

Immigration and Migration by Rayna Bailey

  • This book discusses the many reasons people choose or are forced to immigrate or migrate to other countries, such as to escape poverty and seek employment opportunities, as refugees from war, or for political asylum.

Illegal Immigration by Karen Latchana Kenney

  • This book presents the issues at stake in the debate over illegal immigrants, discussing legislation, the history of immigration, arguments made for and against tighter border control, and suggested solutions.

Human Migration by Opposing Viewpoints, edited by Barbara Krasner

  • This book provides opposing views on the human migration phenomenon. It presents points for and against migration, letting the reader decide the position they will take on this issue.

The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande

  • This book recounts the author’s tumultuous early years of her childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries, the U.S. and Mexico. This memoir shows the effects of migration in a child’s life.

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

  • This is book is structured around forty questions asked to undocumented children facing deportation. The book humanizes young immigrants’ experiences in their hope to reach the United States of America.

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri

  • This book talks about what it is to be a refugee and the harsh realities they must deal with.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

  • This story is about a Korean family that moves from Korea to Japan and has to deal with the labels of being outsiders. A fictional story about immigration in a different part of the world that shows the reader that migrants face similar challenges regardless of their adopted country.

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

  • This story is about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States and all the things she goes through, such as being labeled “Middle Eastern”.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

  • This book is about two girls, one in the United States of America and the other one in the Dominican Republic, but united by one father. This story shows the difficulties of having a parent away.

DVD

Colossus

  • Follows the story of a teenager who tries to survive on his own in the United States after his family was deported to their native Honduras. This item depicts the consequences of immigration policies breaking apart families.

Immigration

(For Kids)

Immigration is the act of leaving ones countries and moving to another country for various reasons such as economic opportunities, religious freedom, war, etc. Immigration has been happening around the globe for thousands of years, and the United States has a long history of groups immigrating. Immigration is often a controversial topic with people having strong opinions. This kit aims to introduce the topic to younger readers primarily through the stories and experiences of immigrant children. The kit provides an overview of the topic and hopes to encourage discussion and further learning.  

Materials in this kit are geared for children kindergarten through 6th grade and chosen to spark discussions. 

What’s in the Kit:  

Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Méndez (Picture book, 5+) 

  • A great conversation starter for readers to ponder and discuss their own identities. 

I is For Immigrants by Selina Alko (Picture book nonfiction, 5+) 

  • What do African dance, samosas, and Japanese gardens have in common? Learn about the rich heritage and traditions immigrants have shared with the United States. 

I Pledge Allegiance by Pat Mora (Picture book, 5+) 

  • Learn about citizenship, as Libby and her aunt Lobo, both learn the Pledge of Allegiance–Libby for school, and Lobo to become a U.S. citizen. 

Ellis Island by Elizabeth Carney (Easy reader nonfiction, 6+) 

  • Explore the history of Ellis Island and learn about its time as a famous U.S. immigration station. 

Areli is a Dreamer: A True Story by Areli Morales, a Daca Recipient (Picture book nonfiction, 6+) 

  • A girl whose DACA application was approved shares her immigration journey and how she is now living her American dream. 

Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat (Picture book, 6+) 

  • Sayas mother is sent to an immigration detention center. To ease the distance between them, Mama sends Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore. 

Todos IgualesUn Corrido de Lemon Grove = All equal: A Ballad of Lemon Grove by Christie Hale (Picture book nonfiction, 8+, bilingual) 

  • The true story of the 1931 Lemon Grove Incident, in which Mexican families in southern California won the first Mexican American school desegregation case in US history. 

Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros (Chapter book, 9+) 

  • A boy deals with moms deportation in this harsh, but hopeful story. 

Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Chapter book, 9+) 

  • An eye-opening story of how ten-year-old Mia, a child of Asian immigrants living in Southern California tackles poverty, discrimination, and bullying. 

DVD – Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (5+) 

  • This beautiful award-winning book is a celebration of making your home with the things you always carry: your resilience, your dreams, your hopes, and history. 

Talking about Immigration – Conversation Tips:  

  • Start early! Children begin noticing cultural differences and language at a young age.  
  • Share your observations and feelings while reading the books and encourage children to share what they see, as well as their feelings and experiences.   
  • Ask questions, for example, “Why does Miguel eat tortillas for lunch?” and “When/why did our family first come to the United States?” 
  • And make observations, “Lana’s family celebrates Lunar New Year.” 
  • Answer difficult and sometimes embarrassing questions. “That’s a good question, I do not know” or “Let me think about that for a while” are fine initial responses.  
  • Recognize your own biases and offer tips on how your family or group might overcome bias. 

Drawing attention to human difference is not innately negative and is important for children to learn how to respond to the world around them. The key is to tell and show children that these differences are a positive aspect of being human and a reason to celebrate, not discriminate. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions:
(Use the questions that are appropriate for your child or age group) 

  • Do you know anyone your age who is from another country?   
  • How are they like you?  How are they different than you? 
  • Why do people immigrate to other countries?  
  • What nationalities are most immigrants who come to the United States? 
  •  When is immigration helpful to a country and when is it harmful?  
  • Do immigrants help a country’s economy?  
  • What would happen if we erased all country borders and let people live wherever they wanted?  
  • Are today’s immigrants different from 100 years ago?   

Take Action Now! Dive Deeper!

Websites

Colorín Colorado Classroom Connections

Protecting Immigrant Families (The PIF Campaign)

Resources for Immigrant Communities – Solano County

Further Reading/Viewing

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal (Picturebook, 5+)

  • One little girl’s name tells the vibrant story of where she came from–and who she may one day be.

The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil (Picturebook, 5+)

  • Kanzi’s most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.

Watch Me: A Story of Immigration and Inspiration by Doyin Richards (Picturebook, 5+)

  • Weaves a dramatic Joe, a boy from Sierra Leone has big dreams and the will to fulfill them despite many obstacles. 

A Journey Toward Hope by Victor J. Hinojosa (Picturebook, 6+)

  • The story of four unaccompanied minors fleeing the systemic violence of several Central American countries.

From the Tops of the Trees by Kao Kalia Yang (Memoir, 6+)

  • A former Hmong refugee recounts her childhood experience in a Thai refugee camp.

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh (Picturebook nonfiction, 7+)

  • A touching account of one family’s quest for equality in America.

Hear My Voice: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States compiled by Project Amplify (Picturebook nonfiction, 8+)

  • Children’s actual words (from publicly available court documents) are assembled to tell a story of detainment, in both English and Spanish.

My Shoes and I: Crossing Three Borders: Mis zapatos y yo: Cuando tres fronteras by René Colato Laínez (Picturebook, bilingual 8+)

  • As a boy and his Papâa travel from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with Mamâa, wonderful new shoes help to distract from the long and difficult journey.

Kids Speak Out About Immigration by Christine Schwab (Nonfiction, 8+)

  • Learn about some incredible kids who had the courage to speak out about the rights of immigrants. 

We Belong by Cookie Hiponia Everman (Chapter book, 9+)

  • Weaves a dramatic immigrant story together with Pilipino mythology

The Samosa Rebellion by Shanthi Sekaran (Chapter book, 9+)

  • A middle schooler stands up for his community after his fellow citizens embrace the xenophobic rhetoric of their president.

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas (Chapter book, 10+)

  • A humorous account of growing up and fitting in while being Iranian during the Iran Revolution and hostage crisis of the late 1970s.

DVD

Ellis Island and the Immigration Process (10+)

  • Learn all about immigration and the historical significance of Ellis Island to the immigration process. 

Native (Indigenous) Americans: Reclaiming Rights

The purpose of this kit is to recognize the current situation for Native American people in the United States and the historical context that led to this point. There has been a lack of accurate information about and representation of the native community which has led to harmful stereotypes and myths about indigenous people. Native American people had their land taken and were required to relocate to reservations that the US government designated for them. Children were removed from their families and sent to boarding schools. Tribes and nations were murdered for land or resources and today, per the US Census Bureau, less than 1% of the population of the United States is Native American. With recent media events like the protesting of the Dakota Access Pipeline and working to remove racist mascots from sports teams, people in the US are starting to understand the impact of this historical marginalization. Land acknowledgements, recognition and thanks that current buildings are on historically native land, are starting to be shared by institutions and the narrative around Native Americans is beginning to change.  

What’s in the Kit: 

An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz 

  • This nonfiction read is the first U.S. history book that places Native Americans at the center of the narrative, using primary source documents and other historical sources. 

Indians in Unexpected Places by Philip Deloria 

  • Focusing on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this book demonstrates how inaccurate stereotypes are and helps people recontextualize what they think they know about Native Americans. 

Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigly (Young Adult) 

  • The title referring to a slur used against Native Americans, the main character Apple is bounced between two worlds: her Native American culture and her white culture. 

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (Young Adult) 

  • In this teen fiction book, a teen living on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation makes his first white friend and as they bond over music, he tries to hide the realities of his family’s poverty. 

Surviving the City by Tasha Spillett (Young Adult) 

  • This graphic novel tells the story of two indigenous best friends growing up in the city, trying to honor their culture and stay safe in an urban environment. 

Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans by Alison Owings 

  • This collection of stories spans the U.S., gathering first person narratives of the modern Native American experience. 

The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez 

  • From a historian who teaches at UC Davis, this book explores the common practice of enslaving Native Americans that may have been a huge contributor to the significant decrease of indigenous people across the U.S. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions: 

  • What do you know about Native American people? What did you learn in school? 
  • Who owns the land where you live? 
  • What does “colonialism” mean? 
  • What does “decolonization” mean? 
  • What would it be like to not be able to speak your own language or stay in your own home? 
  • Do you think creating “reservations” was a fair way to work with Native American people? 

Take Action Now! Dive Deeper!

Native (Indigenous) Americans: Reclaiming Rights 

(For Kids)

The materials in this kit are designed to start conversations with children about Native (Indigenous) Americans movement to empower their communities and have ownership of their stories, histories, lands, and cultures. We hope this kit shatters stereotypes and amplifies the lived experiences of Native (Indigenous) Americans through the eyes 
of children.   

Materials in this kit are geared for children kindergarten through 6th grade and chosen to spark discussions. 

What’s in the Kit: 

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom (Picture book, 5+) 

  • This picture book explains, through a native lens, the need to safeguard water from pollution. 

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorrell (Picture book, 5+) 

  •  Celebrates the bonds of a Cherokee family and the bravery of history-making women pilots. 

Stolen Words by Melanie Florence (Picture book, 6+) 

  • This picture book explored the intergenerational impact of residential schools that “stole” the languages of the Native children required to attend them. 

The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz (Picture book nonfiction, 7+) 

  • This rhythmic nonfiction book mirrors the oral tradition style of Native American nations and tells the story of their experience throughout U.S. history. 

Fall in Line, Holden by Daniel Vandever (Picture book, 8+) 

  • This picture book explores the experience of a young boy at a residential school, in the school’s expectation and in his own wild imagination. 

I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis (Picture book, 9+) 

  • Based on a true story, a young girl is sent away to a residential school where even her own name is not allowed, but rather she is expected to use a number assigned to her. 

Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManus (Chapter book, 8+) 

  • Regina and her family’s live change when the federal government signs a bill into law stating that their tribe no longer exists. 

Borders by Thomas King (Graphic Novel, 9+) 

  • The road trip of a boy and his mother is thwarted at the border when they identify their citizenship as Blackfoot. 

Book on CD – We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Tracy Sorrell (Picture book nonfiction, 3+) 

  • This picture book celebrates Native traditions while highlighting stereotypes about Indigenous people. Also bilingual, English and Cherokee. 

Talking about Native (Indigenous) Americans Truths – Conversation Tips: 

  • Start early! Children begin noticing cultural differences and language at a young age.  
  • Share your observations and feelings while reading the books and encourage children to share what they see, as well as their feelings and experiences. 
  • Ask questions, for example, “How would you feel if you were forced to move from your home or school?” 
  • And make observations, “Some people had their families and traditions taken from them.” 
  • Answer difficult and sometimes embarrassing questions. “That’s a good question, I do not know” or “Let me think about that for a while” are fine initial responses.  
  • Recognize your own biases and offer tips on how your family or group might overcome bias. 

Drawing attention to human difference is not innately negative and is important for children to learn how to respond to the world around them. The key is to tell and show children that these differences are a positive aspect of being human and a reason to celebrate, not discriminate. 

Discussion and Reflection Questions:
(Use the questions that are appropriate for your child or age group) 

  • What do you know about Native American people?  
  • What have you learned in school?  
  • Who owns the land where you live?   
  • What does “colonialism” mean?  
  • What does “decolonization” mean?  
  • What would it be like to not be able to speak your own language or stay in your own home?   
  • Do you think creating “reservations” and boarding schools was a fair way to work with Native American people?

Stop AAPI* Hate
*Asian American Pacific Islander

Hate crimes targeting Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are on the rise across the U.S., increasing nearly 150% in metropolitan areas over the past year. The hate crimes and bias incidents against the AAPI community include physical assault, verbal harassment, job discrimination, and business-place violence, with 44% of reported incidents occurring in California. Unfortunately, xenophobia against Asian & Pacific Islanders is not a new phenomenon and the results of facing racism or bias can have long-term adverse physical and mental health effects.

Asian Americans represent almost 40 different nationalities and ethnicities and there is a significant amount of diversity between and among these groups. While there is no singular AAPI experience, this kit aims to provide insight into some of the challenges, racism, and stereotypes Asian Americans have faced and continue to face today.

What’s in the Kit:

Stop AAPI Hate brochure

Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong (East Asian-Korea, nonfiction)

  • This book combines memoir and essay, and delves into the conflicting feelings that occur when American optimism contradicts your personal reality and when you believe the lies you’re told about your own racial identity as an Asian-American. It provides a non-fictional perspective on race relations between white Americans and Asian-Americans, between minorities of color (particularly Black and Asian), and between one’s personal identity and the outward expectations of one’s racial identity.

The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee (Pan Asian, nonfiction)

  • This book shows the history of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have shaped Asian American life. It depicts the Asian American struggle between being “despised minorities” and “model minorities”, revealing all the ways that racism has persisted in their lives and in the life of the country.

We Hereby Refuse by Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura (East Asian-Japan, internment, nonfiction, graphic novel)

  • This graphic novel depicts the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans into American concentration camps during World War II and focuses on three individuals who refused to be imprisoned without a fight. The stories focus on a part of American history that is often glossed over, the ramifications of which can still be felt today.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (South Asian-India, fiction)

  • This novel explores the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and the ties between different generations of an Indian family. As his parents begin their transformation into Americans even as they pine for home, their son stumbles along the first-generation path- strewn with conflicting loyalties, parental expectations, and the trials of defining oneself.

This is Paradise by Kristiana Kahakauwila (Pacific Islander-Hawaii, short stories)

  • This collection of short stories explores the deep tensions in Hawaii between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self. This book dives into the Pacific Islander experience of having white tourists/foreigners define what their land is and the clash between traditional and modern Hawaii.

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura (Young Adult, East Asian-Japan, Japanese internment, modern repercussions)

  • When CJ’s mother decides to sell their family’s beloved flower shop to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII, CJ fights back. This story touches on the struggles of single Asian mothers, white saviors, the weaponizing of the model minority myth, and the lasting ramifications of the Japanese concentration camps.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay (Young Adult, SE Asian-Philippines, bi-racial, guilt)

  • Biracial Jay (Filipino and American) as he returns to the Philippines he left as a child to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs. In the Philippines, he reconnects with the Filipino culture he’s been ignoring in America, while reckoning with his lighter skin tone, his privilege as a US citizen, and the changes to the country he thought he knew.

DVD – Minari (East Asian-Korea, immigrant, drama)

  • Minari follows a Korean American family that moves from California to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. As the family faces challenges ranging from dealing with their sly and outspoken grandmother, finding enough water for their farm, and contrasting opinions within the family whether to remain in Arkansas or return to California, the movie shows the resilience and struggles of a single family trying their best in a new place.

DVD – The Big Sick (South Asian-Pakistan, Muslim, interracial couple, romantic comedy)

  • Based on the true story of the film’s writers (and real-life couple), Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, this modern culture clash shows how Pakistan-born Kumail and his American girlfriend, Emily, must overcome expectations of his family and their 1,400-year-old traditions. As his parents relentlessly set him up with potential brides for an arranged marriage, Kumail navigates treacherous waters in the worlds of both inter-racial dating and stand-up comedy.

Discussion Guide:

Before you read or watch:
Before we get started, please take a deep breath and remember to keep an open mind. This is a learning experience, and we are grateful that you decided to tackle the often uncomfortable conversations, feelings and thoughts that can occur when discussing complex topics such as the Stop Asian Hate movement, anti-Asian stereotypes and racism, and the Asian American experience. Please be willing to listen and consider perspectives different to your own.

After you read or watch:
After reading a few or all of the selected material, prepare an area where an open dialogue can be had. These discussion questions were handpicked to start conversations and inspire everyone to think critically on themes and topics discussed in the readings. You can also use these questions for self-reflection and contemplation. This is a challenge to think bigger, expand on what you learned and connect that to real world events and ideas.

Discussion and Reflection Questions:

  1. What was your perception of the AAPI experience before reading/watching the materials? How has it changed or stayed the same?
  2. How has government power been used to discriminate against Asian-Pacific Americans? Can these wrongs be rectified? How?
  3. What are some instances of oppression or racism (spanning big events to smaller micro-aggressions) that AAPI people face that you were not aware of before?
  4. What stereotypes about people of another race do you remember hearing and believing as a child? What may have contributed to those stereotypes? Were you ever encouraged to question them?
  5. What does it mean to be American?

What are some ways you can support your AAPI friends/colleagues/community as they face a rise in violence towards them?

Take Action Now! Dive Deeper!

Websites

Further Reading/Viewing

America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan (SE Asian-Philippines, migrant worker, memoir)

  • First published in 1943, this classic memoir by well-known Filipino poet Carlos Bulosan describes his boyhood in the Philippines, his voyage to America, and his years of hardship and despair as an itinerant laborer following the harvest trail in the rural West.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Half East Asian-Korea and White, memoir)

  • In this memoir, Zauner shares her experience growing up as one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Oregon; of treasured months bonding with her mother in Seoul over heaping plates of food; and of loss as her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant. It was her mother’s diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung (E Asian-Korea, adoptee)

  • Nicole Chung grew up believing that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in placing her up for adoption so she could have a better life; that forever feeling slightly out of place was simply her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as she grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive white family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth.

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf (South Asian-Syria, Muslim, fiction)

  • Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy is growing up in a devout, tightly knit Muslim family in 1970s Indiana, at the crossroads of bad polyester and Islamic dress codes and biking the Indianapolis streets while exploring the fault-lines between “Muslim” and “American.” When Khadra returns to Indiana as an adult after many years away, she feels at once lost and back on familiar ground. The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf charts the spiritual and social landscape of Muslims in middle America, from five daily prayers to the Indy 500 car race.

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo (East Asian-China, nonfiction, National Book Award long list)

  • 1982: Anti–Asian American sentiment simmers, especially in Detroit where people believe Japanese car companies are putting U.S. autoworkers out of their jobs.  When autoworker Ronald Ebens and his stepson, Michael Nitz receive a lenient sentence after beating a Chinese American man, Vincent Chin, to death in a bar fight, the protests that followed led to a federal civil rights trial—the first involving a crime against an Asian American—and galvanized what came to be known as the Asian American movement.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (East Asian-Chinese, historical fiction, Chinese immigration barriers at Angel Island)

  • This book follows the lives of two sisters as they go from living a sparkling, lush, and glamorous life in Shanghai to being sold as wives to American suitors, traveling to America, and encountering racism as they begin their new lives. This book was chosen as it highlights the strict laws put in place by the American government over how many and which Chinese people were allowed to enter the country—rules that were many times stricter than those applied to other ethnicities.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (SE Asian-Vietnam, autofiction)

  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read exposing the family’s history of trauma from Vietnam to the US. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity.

Young Adult

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha (East Asian-Korea, immigrant, graphic novel, memoir)

  • For as long as she can remember, it’s been Robin and her mom against the world– so when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama, unexpectedly becomes a permanent relocation—following her mother’s announcement that she’s getting married—Robin is devastated. The graphic memoir follows Robin as she’s dropped into a new school where she doesn’t understand the language, navigates her new stepfamily, and finally discovers art.

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (South Asian-Indian, Muslim, terrorism)

  • American-born Maya Aziz is torn between worlds–being the proper Indian daughter and going to a nearby college while dating a Muslim boy her parents choose or following her dreams and going to film school in New York City (and maybe dating a boy she’s liked forever). But there is also the real world, where, in the aftermath of a horrific act of terrorism, her life is turned upside and she faces Islamophobia, fear, and hatred from former friends and strangers alike.

We are Not Free by Traci Chee (East Asian- Japan, Japanese internment, historical fiction)

  • We Are Not Free, is the collective account of a tight-knit group of fourteen young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, who have grown up together in San Francisco’s Japantown and whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II. In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.

DVDs

The Farewell (East Asian-China, bilingual, comedy)

  • A Chinese American woman’s family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch — the only person that doesn’t know she only has a few weeks to live.

The Haumāna (Pacific Islander-Hawaii)

  • In this movie, Jonny Kealoha (Tui Asau) is surprised to be appointed as the successor to a boy’s hula class when his former hula teacher passes away. Through leading the boys in an important performance, he rediscovers the culture he had previously abandoned.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Words for Change

Words for Change are intended to introduce equity, diversity, and inclusivity concepts in a way that allows for self-directed learning and conversation. Every quarter, we will feature a new word and definition for our library users to explore. Please read on to find additional information, reading lists for all ages, and self-reflection or discussion questions.

Ally  

Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. 

An ally is typically a member of a dominant group who works to shows solidarity beside members of a group being discriminated against or treated unjustly. Allies also commit to reducing their own complicity of oppressed groups and strengthen their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.  

It is important for allies to recognize that they do not have the life experience of the members of the group they are supporting, and so can never truly speak on behalf of this group. Rather, they use their privilege to be powerful voices alongside (not instead of) oppressed ones. https://www.blackburncenter.org/post/2019/04/17/how-you-can-be-an-ally  

Many potential allies fear making mistakes and therefore do not act at all. However, going along with the status quo is condoning the oppressive systems already in place. As we have all participated in these systems, mistakes are expected as part of the unlearning process. Allies must own this fact and commit to showing support anyway.  https://guidetoallyship.com/#what-is-an-ally  

There are a number of ways that you can be an ally. While it may seem like it requires heroic acts, being an ally largely means stepping up in small ways that can make a big difference. These everyday ally actions do require you to understand the issues facing marginalized groups, and to be willing to be uncomfortable in order to make a difference. One way to engage in ally behavior is by challenging stereotypes. For example, if you are at your son’s baseball game and hear a man sitting yelling at the team to “stop throwing like a bunch of girls,” think about what you can do. Just asking this man, “What do you mean by ‘throwing like a bunch of girls’?” may be enough to get him to stop shouting out those demeaning stereotypes at the players. https://www.blackburncenter.org/post/2019/04/17/how-you-can-be-an-ally  

Dive Deeper into the Word ‘ALLY’

“I See Me” Children’s Booklists

LGBTQIA+ Diverse Children's Booklist

LGBTQIA+ Diverse Children’s Booklist

Books that show children being themselves.

Parenting Resource Guide

Racially Diverse Children's Booklist

Racially Diverse Children’s Booklist

Books that show children being themselves.

Parenting Resource Guide

Ability Diverse Children's Booklist

Ability Diverse Children’s Booklist

Books that show children being themselves.

Parenting Resource Guide

Solano Stories, explore the history of Solano County with Solano County Library!

The mission of Solano Stories is to connect our library users with the heritage of their community. With the assistance of local historical groups and museums, the Solano County Library is able to accurately highlight historical events from cities all over our county. Local history is often overlooked in traditional schooling, and we would like to fill that gap of knowledge with our short videos that are accessible to everyone.

Solano Stories - Japanese Communities in Vacaville

Solano Stories: The Vacaville Pruners Strike

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