The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For January, the project highlighted books about new beginnings. In February, the project will be celebrating Black History Month by reading books about the achievements of Black Americans along with books written by Black authors. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email us at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in January:
A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. by David A. Adler
Summary: This book provides an overview of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and activism. The last page of the book provides important dates.
Reflective Question: If Dr. King were still alive today, what do you think he would be most proud of? What do you think he would be most disappointed in?
The Journey by Francesca Sanna
Summary: This book is about the current refugee crisis. A girl and her family are forced to flee their home country when a war breaks out. They embark on a dangerous journey to find a safe place to live.
Reflective Questions: Have you ever welcomed someone from another part of the world to your community? How can you learn more about this individual’s story, culture, and language? How can you make them feel safe and loved?
When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger
Summary: This book is about the Lenape seasons.
Reflective Questions: Which season is your favorite? What activities do you and your family do during that season? Why are those activities special to you?
Bee & Me by Alison Jay
Summary: This wordless picture book is about a young girl who becomes friends with a bee.
Reflective Questions: Why are bees important? How can you help save the bees?
Dear Juno by Soyung Pak
Summary: Juno and his grandmother write letters to each other in order to keep in touch. Juno’s grandmother lives in a different country and writes in a different language that Juno does not understand. They overcome this language barrier by drawing pictures in their letters.
Reflective Question: Do you have someone that you would like to send a letter to?
The Stars Will Still Shine by Cynthia Rylant
Summary: “Written in response to troubled times by one of the most celebrated children's book authors of all time, this comforting book is one that children and parents will want to return to when outside conflicts seem overwhelming.”
Reflective Question: What are you thankful for today?
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
Summary: Mira is a young girl who lives in a gray city. She likes to create and give pictures to people. One day, she meets a muralist, and they bring the community together to make their neighborhood colorful and beautiful.
Reflective Questions: Was it just the bright color of the art that brightened the neighborhood or was it something else? If you were part of Mira’s neighborhood, what would you add to it?
Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki
Summary: This story is about Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jews from the Nazis during World War II.
Reflective Questions: Has there ever been a time when you did not understand what someone in your life was doing? If so, how did it make you feel? Can you think of a time when you or someone in your life was brave?