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NYshopgirl NYshopgirl is offline
 
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Where are the Black/Hispanic Book Characters?
Old 12-23-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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I teach 1st/2nd combo. My kids are mostly getting into chapter books now (Junie B, Cam Jansen, Stink, AZ Mysteries, etc...) I teach all black and Hispanic students. Where can I find book series with black/Hispanic characters? I have found a few here and there in books and in the American Girls series, but honestly there do not seem to be many main characters that are black or Hispanic. I would really like my students to see more book characters that look like them. Any ideas on where to look? Anyone know of any great series?


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Old 12-23-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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Have you looked at the series The Stories Julian Tells
http://www.amazon.com/The-Stories-Ju...1604761&sr=8-3

There several books that are lots of fun to read and written at about the right level. That is the only series I can think of right now.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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Also, the LIttle Bill series by Bill Cosby are easy readers. check out biographies, too. Many of the astronauts, scientists, doctors, etc. are of black and hispanic heritage. Don't forget the sports book people, too. I also use the library magazines for current people.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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I just posted in another thread similar to this, but I have been using Ezra Jack Keats for my class recently. Some of his books are easier - not chapter books. However, there are several Caldecott winners, and mainly African American characters.

The Julian books are good, and there are a lot of books with the Grace character, as well.
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Maya/Miguel
Old 12-23-2009, 07:12 PM
 
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Not sure if they are good as I only have one or two, but there are some books out there. It is based on I think the PBS series. Not sure if your first graders like Dora the Explorer, but there are a couple of Dora books also. I do a 1st/2nd also and have one who definately is till into Dora.


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Gary Soto
Old 12-23-2009, 07:18 PM
 
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http://www.garysoto.com/picture_books.html

For Hispanic characters
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book idea
Old 12-23-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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Also check out the American Girl chapter books. Some of their characters are black and Hispanic.
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Derrick Barnes
Old 12-24-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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Barnes has some possibilities that are very popular with my students.
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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You'll find lots in the Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature. You can search by age of reader and ethnicity/nationality of protagonist. When I searched for an African-American protagonist for readers, ages 5-8, it returned 139 award-winning books.
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Another thing I would teach my students is that books are wonderful--because YOU get to use your imagination to create the mental pictures of what the characters look like, the setting, etc.--so once they move beyond the texts with pictures where the illustrators put their own spin on things, they have the right to imagine the characters however they want. Most books don't describe characters by skin color unless their race factors into the story--so I would really work with helping kids visualize and they can imagine the characters to look however they want! A girl named "Sarah" can be Asian, black, Italian or a combination of the above!

I agree that there is not NEARLY enough literature that has diverse characters unless there is so sort of "message" they are trying to send. Why can't any given book have characters of all races without being preachy or geared toward teaching a lesson?


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Two series off the top of my head
Old 12-28-2009, 04:06 AM
 
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Ruby: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Rub.../9780545017602

Willlimena: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/How...6813223/?itm=7
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Scholastic has books
Old 12-28-2009, 04:30 PM
 
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Try the Just for you series from Scholastic.
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