The importance of diverse children’s books cannot be overstated. Many readers and educators know that when they were growing up, children’s books were about one group of people — young, white, Christian people. And while I loved reading, I don’t remember reading one book about a young Jewish girl, much less anyone of color. That is gradually changing. And there are some great recent releases of children’s books for classroom teachers and librarians and parents to consider adding to their collections.
“Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson” is a very powerful book. Not only is the story of Katherine Johnson’s life inspiring, but the story she tells is filled with emotion and facts and history, and the way she combines them all into this middle grade book is superb.
“Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court” is a marvelous autobiography by one of the greatest basketball players who ever graced the court. Watching him play was a privilege for any true sports fan because he appeared to be graceful and athletic, ultra-competitive, always under control — and in control — and a true champion. He and his teams won an almost unbelievable percentage of their games at every level — high school, college, professional.