#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Award-Winning Books Early Readers Features Genre Lifespan of a Reader Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] 9 Steps On How To Raise A Child Who Is AntiRacist

By Ibram X. Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky.

Myra here.

We are delighted to dedicate our Wednesdays to featuring nonfiction titles, as per usual. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading theme throughout the year, when we can.

This year, we hope to feature books that fit any of the following criteria:

  1. Postcolonial literature and/or [pre/post] revolutionary stories
  2. Stories by indigenous / first-nation peoples / people of colour
  3. Narratives of survival and healing, exile and migration, displacement and dispossession
  4. Books written or illustrated by people who have been colonized, oppressed, marginalized

AntiRacist Baby (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by Ibram X. Kendi Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
Published by: Kokila (2020) Literary Award: Goodreads Choice Award for Picture Books (2020) ISBN: 0593110412 (ISBN13: 9780593110416) Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

Told in crystal-clear and concise language, this book provides nine definitive steps on how to raise a child who is not racist, because according to the author “there is no neutrality” and how we raise our children will determine whether we are on the path to transforming our society to one that is more equitable, loving, just.

The very first step provided here is to acknowledge that one cannot be color-blind. While the generations that came before us claim that they do not see color, it effectively diminishes the every day experience of people of color who have to contend with the reality and the aftermath of institutional racism and all its insidious effects.

While the steps seem fairly straightforward, they are hardly simple, as it forces readers – parents most of all – to confront their own veiled assumptions about race and unacknowledged prejudices and bring it out into the open, which can be quite threatening.

Yet the language also normalizes this difficulty as inevitable and manageable. Articulating the unvoiced is the first step to wresting power back, making the abstract seem smaller and navigable, and ultimately within our control. I especially enjoyed reading the note to parents and caregivers towards the end providing more spaces for thoughtful reflections as conversations about race with children become less a taboo but a necessary step to raising more enlightened citizens with a greater appreciation and respect for the diverse world that they are a part of.

#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Update: 46 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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