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 October, the project highlighted books about peace skills and Hispanic culture. In November, the project will highlight books about Native American culture to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. 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 October:
Mama’s Nightingale:A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat, Illustrated by Leslie Staub
Summary: “After Saya’s mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother’s warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she is in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother’s tales and her father’s attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good.”
Reflective Question: If you have any friends or family who are immigrants, what are some ways you can support them? How can you be a friend and support immigrants in your community?
The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Triano, Illustrated by Susan Banta
Summary: “Spookley the Pumpkin was different. All the other pumpkins teased him, until Spookley proved that being different can save the day!”
Reflective Question: What is something that makes you unique? How might you use this uniqueness to help others?
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
Summary: “A is for Activist is an ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.”
Reflective Question: Can you think of a word that describes you for each letter of the alphabet?
Frida and her Animalitos by Monica Brown
Summary: “The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form. Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal.”
Reflective Question: What inspires you?
Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Summary: “Mona’s grandmother, her Sitti, lives in a small Palestinian village on the other side of the earth. Once, Mona went to visit her. They couldn’t speak each other’s language, so they made up their own. They learned about each other’s worlds, and they discovered each other’s secrets. Then it was time for Mona to go back home, back to the other side of the earth. But even though there were millions of miles and millions of people between them, they remained true neighbors forever.”
Reflective Question: How can you see people for who they are as individuals like how Mona sees her grandmother as separate from what she sees on the news? What can you do to fight for Palestinian justice?
The Little Old Lady Who was not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, Illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Summary: Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard...clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life!
Reflective Question: Can you think of a time you were scared? Was facing your fear as hard as you thought it was going to be?
Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Story by Margriet Ruurs, Illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr
Summary: “Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe.”
Reflective Question: Albert Einstein said that “Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.” What do you think this means?
Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
Summary: “Mr. Lester shares his own story as he explores what makes each of us special. Karen Barbour's dramatic, vibrant paintings speak to the heart of Lester's unique vision, truly a celebration of all of us.”
Reflective Question: What are some things that are important to your story?
*The summaries above were provided by the publisher of each book.