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 November, the project highlighted books about Native American culture to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. In December, holiday books will be read for the project. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in November:
Today On Election Day by Catherine Stier, Illustrated by David Leonard
Summary: “The school gym is a polling place and Bailey, Ren, David, Meg, Aiden, and Isabella know all about Election Day and voting! Bailey helped her Aunt Julia run for a seat on the city council. Aiden goes with his grandpa to vote. David’s brother Jake will be voting for the first time. Meg talks about how years ago, some citizens were not permitted to vote. A perfect picture book for future voters of America, Today on Election Day will simultaneously entertain and educate.”
Reflective Question: What are some qualities you look for in candidates?
Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle
Summary: “Martha Tom, a young Choctaw girl, knows better than to cross Bok Chitto, but one day--in search of blackberries--she disobeys her mother and finds herself on the other side. A tall slave discovers Martha Tom. A friendship begins between Martha Tom and the slave's family, most particularly his young son, Little Mo. Soon afterwards, Little Mo's mother finds out that she is going to be sold. The situation seems hopeless, except that Martha Tom teaches Little Mo's family how to walk on water to their freedom.”
Reflective Question: Have you ever noticed how some people do not seem to be noticed?
Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown
Summary: “Ana loves stories. She often makes them up to help her little brother fall asleep. But in her small village there are only a few books and she has read them all. One morning, Ana wakes up to the clip-clop of hooves, and there before her, is the most wonderful sight: a traveling library resting on the backs of two burros—all the books a little girl could dream of, with enough stories to encourage her to create one of her own.”
Reflective Question: Can you think of a time when you had to wait for something to happen? What did you do while you waited?
The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz, Illustrated by Sharol Graves
Summary: “Told in the rhythms of traditional oral narrative, this powerful telling of the history of the Native/Indigenous peoples of North America recounts their story from Creation to the invasion and usurpation of Native lands. As more and more people arrived, The People saw that the new men did not respect the land. The People witnessed the destruction of their Nations and the enslavement of their people. The People fought hard, but eventually agreed to stop fighting and signed treaties. Many things changed and became more difficult, but The People continued to farm and create crafts. They remembered and told their children, “You are Shawnee. You are Lakota. You are Pima. You are Acoma. You are all these Nations of the People.” The People held onto their beliefs and customs and found solidarity with other oppressed people. And despite struggles against greed, destruction of their lands, and oppression, The People persisted.”
Reflective Question: How did the People’s message make you feel?
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
Summary: "Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption."
Reflective Question: What are some ways you use water?
The Great Peace March by Holly Near
Summary: “A song inspired by an actual peace march, this work celebrates peace and the courage to make it real.”
Reflective Questions: Do you think we can have peace in the world? Do you have any friends that are different from you? Do you think different is beautiful?
Shirley Chisholm is a Verb by Veronica Chambers
Summary: “A timely picture book biography about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress, who sought the Democratic nomination to be the president of the United States. Shirley Chisholm famously said, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." This dynamic biography illuminates how Chisholm was a doer, an active and vocal participant in our nation's democracy, and a force to be reckoned with. Now young readers will learn about her early years, her time in Congress, her presidential bid and how her actions left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire, uplift, and instruct.”
Reflective Question: What verbs will you choose?
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp
Summary: “For as long as anyone can remember, Mohawk parents have taught their children to start each day by giving thanks to Mother Earth. Also known as the Thanksgiving Address, this good morning message is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift. The whole universe — from the highest stars to the tiniest blade of grass — is addressed as one great family.”
Reflective Questions: Who are the indigenous people who lived on the land you currently live on? What do you know about their culture and traditions?
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
Summary: "Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you are never too little to make a difference."
Reflective Question: How did segregation laws impact Audrey’s life?
*The summaries above were provided by the publishers of each book.