The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. July’s theme was own voices, which refers to books written by authors from marginalized or underrepresented groups about their own experiences/from their own perspectives. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at email@example.com. Here are the books that were read for the project in July:
Shin-chi’s Canoe by Nicola Campbell
Summary: This book tells the story of two children’s experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too.
As they begin their journey in the back of a cattle truck, Shi-shi-etko tells her brother all the things he must remember: the trees, the mountains, the rivers, and the salmon. Shin-chi knows he will not see his family again until the sockeye salmon return in the summertime. When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko gives him a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from their father.
Reflective Question: Who were the first people on the land you live on?
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
Summary: If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.
Reflective Question: What is the story behind your name?
Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
Summary: With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism.
Reflective Question: How have you been battling racism in your friendships and classes? How can you do better to make places safer and more comfortable for your friends of different races?
When Aidan Became A Big Brother by Kyle Lukoff and Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
Summary: When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl’s room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of life that did not fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life. Then Mom and Dad announce that they’re going to have another baby, and Aidan wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning—from choosing the perfect name to creating a beautiful room to picking out the cutest onesie. But what does “making things right” actually mean? And what happens if he messes up? With a little help, Aidan comes to understand that mistakes can be fixed with honesty and communication, and that he already knows the most important thing about being a big brother: how to love with his whole self.
Reflective Question: How do Aidan’s feelings change from the beginning to the end of the story?
We Are Shining by Gwendolyn Brooks
Summary: A story of our shared humanity, Gwendolyn Brooks honors the beauty of our world and the many different people in it. Brooks speaks to all children of the world in this moving poem about acceptance, stressing that every child should have the opportunity for a shining future and offering hope for a better tomorrow.
Reflective Question: How did this poem make you feel?
Drawn Together by Minh Le
Summary: When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.
Reflective Question: How would you feel if you could not understand a family member because they speak a different language? What are some alternative ways to communicate?
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
Summary: Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.
Reflective Question: What activities do you dream about doing?
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
Summary: In dark times, it is a promise that you can make better tomorrows. This memoir looks at the myriad gifts migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It is a story about family. And it is a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own strengths wherever we roam.
Reflective Question: What do you think of when you hear the word dreamers?
Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk and Illustrated by Felicia Hoshino
Summary: Juna and her best friend, Hector, have many adventures together, and they love to collect things in empty kimchi jars. Then one day, Hector unexpectedly moves away without having a chance to say good-bye. Juna is heartbroken and left to wonder who will on go on adventures with her. Determined to find Hector, Juna turns to her special kimchi jar for help each night. She plunges into the depths of the ocean, swings on vines through the jungle, and flies through the night sky in search of her friend. What Juna finds is that adventure--and new friends--can be found in the most unexpected places.
Reflective Question: Who do you like to go on adventures with?
*All of the summaries for the books above were written by the publishers of each book.