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

[Nonfiction Wednesday] On Allies and Solidarity Among People Of Color

"Witness the lives of a bold group of friends. If one is in need, another defends."

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

IntersectionAllies (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, Carolyn Choi Illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith
Published by: Dottir Press (2019) ISBN: 1948340089 (ISBN13: 9781948340083) Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

I teach the intersectionality framework to my doctoral students in the university. Hence, I am glad to see that there is a version for young people that has been created to make them understand how “all of the different parts of a person combine to affect their life experiences and personal identity.”

I could appreciate how it must have been challenging to distill such an abstract idea to something that young people can relate to.

While the authors are definitely experts in their own right when it comes to diversity, feminism, social justice – this appears to be their first children’s book publication. It would have been great if they collaborated with children’s book authors who have found tools to navigate complex issues while also engaging the attention of young readers – without necessarily resorting to rhyming text.

I loved how the Foreword and the Afterword emphasized the theme of “making room for all” – it could have been the running theme in the narrative text as well – although I can see why the authors decided to focus more on introducing the group of diverse friends individually.

One thing that makes children’s books work is the repetition and rhythm (that again do not have to be seen through rhyme), thus there could have been a pivot back to the main message of making room for all, which is definitely a concept that young people are able to grasp. That being said, this is a book that I will unreservedly recommend – as there is no picturebook as yet that boldly takes on the challenge of introducing such a complex framework to young children. Here’s to making room for all.

#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Update: 49 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).

0 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] On Allies and Solidarity Among People Of Color

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: