What research do you do on the authors?

I review biographies on the authors to determine if the stories they tell either reflect their own lived experiences or reflect learning they have gained through dedicating significant time to those communities. 

Have you read all the books on this site?

I have read all the picture books on this site and most of the middle grade books. Of the middle grade books I have not yet read, I have read multiple professional reviews on each of the texts.

Why did you record videos of yourself teaching?

On this site, I include several videos that I made for teachers in my school district during the pandemic. I was an ELA Instructional Coach during the 2020-2021 school year and recorded over 150 videos. It's important to keep in mind that these videos were for a specific purpose and time period (the COVID-19 pandemic). I was responsible for finding diverse anti-racist/anti-bias texts, writing lessons that matched the reading strategies that were required in our District Curriculum and recording/editing the lessons. I was doing this work at a very fast pace, producing at least 6 recorded lessons per week. Although I'm proud of my work, had I had more time, the quality (and script) would have obviously been better. In addition, I recorded the videos while also training in Ethnic Studies and since then, my understanding of humanizing pedagogy has grown immensely.

How do you choose which communities to represent?

I'm purposely choosing to prioritize voices that have been historically de-prioritized. 

What age range do you suggest?

Although this resource supports elementary ages, I believe all these titles can be used at any grade level, including secondary. When the book is particularly impactful in a primary classroom (K-2), I note in the description, "Emergent Reader Strategies." I think reading Emergent Reader books to older kids is also a fantastic way to increase engagement and begin diving into research in a specific area. For example, the book, "Home Grown," is a true story that gets kids thinking about community service projects that they can research and support or inspire them to start their own.

What are mentor texts?

Mentor texts are books that teach many skills in social justice, reading, writing, science, math, social studies, art, etc. This website includes books I've used as mentor texts to teach the Social Justice Standards and K-5 Reading Standards.  

Book covers images are from publishers and in the public domain