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 September, the project highlighted books about peace skills and Hispanic culture. We will continue to read children’s books about these topics through October. In November, the project will highlight books about Native American culture to celebrate Native American Heritage Month as well as books about voting and elections. 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 September:
Elephant & Piggie: Should I Share My Ice Cream? By Mo Willems
Summary: Gerald buys ice cream one day and wonders if he should share it with his best friend Piggie. He goes back and forth on whether he should share his ice cream until he decides to share with Piggie. But, by the time Gerald comes to this decision, the ice cream has melted. He is very sad. Piggie shows up with ice cream and shares it with Gerald to make him feel better.
Reflective Question: How does sharing with your friends make you feel?
Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour, Illustrated by Daniel Egneus
Summary: This story is about a young girl name Lubna who has fled her country with her family due to war. She arrives at a refugee camp that she calls the World of Tents. Lubna is frightened but she finds comfort in the pebble she found during her journey to the camp. A shy boy named Amir arrives at the camp and Lubna becomes friends with him. One day, Lubna’s father reveals that they found a new home and will be leaving the camp soon. Amir is sad about Lubna leaving. Before she leaves, Lubna gives Pebble to Amir in hopes that it will comfort him too.
Reflective Question: Why did Lubna give Pebble to Amir? Do you think it was the right thing to do?
We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates, Illustrated by Joe Mathieu
Summary: In this book, characters from Sesame Street teach kids that even though we may look different on the outside, we are all the same deep down.
Reflective Question: What are some things that are the same and different that you love about anyone?
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Rafael López
Summary: “There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.”
Reflective Question: Have you ever walked into a room where no one was quite like you? How did this make you feel?
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Summary: This book tells stories from Cesar Chavez’s childhood and how Chavez became an activist.
Reflective Question: Why were Cesar’s method so effective?
Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Anne Vittur Kennedy
Summary: “Miss Fox is tired of hearing her young students quarrel. So, she announces Peace Week—no more squabbling for one whole week! The children chime in with their own rules: no fighting, don't say mean things, and help others. Throughout the week each of the little animals gets a chance to practice this new behavior. When Polecat teases Bunny for wearing a bright yellow sweater, instead of poking fun back at Polecat, Bunny admires his sweater. Soon, to their surprise, the animals are finding that it's easy to help others, take turns, and say nice things, even when someone is grumpy to them. Wouldn't it be nice, Squirrel says, if every week could be Peace Week?”
Reflective Question: What does peace week look like to you? What are some things you would do during peace week that you normally would not do?
I Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada, Illustrated by Elivia Savadier
Summary: "Saturdays and Sundays are very special days for the child in this story. On Saturdays, she visits Grandma and Grandpa, who come from a European-American background, and on Sundays -- los domingos -- she visits Abuelito y Abuelita, who are Mexican-American. While the two sets of grandparents are different in many ways, they also have a great deal in common -- in particular, their love for their granddaughter."
Reflective Question: Why do you think the little girl did different things with her grandparents?
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
Summary: This book is about the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life and the many times she dissented during her time on the Supreme Court.
Reflective Question: What is something you said no to because you knew it was wrong?
Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood, Illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Summary: "Ada Ríos grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option...until a music teacher named Favio Chávez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada—and her town—forever changed. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation."
Reflective Question: How can music bring people together?