This discussion is relevant to the Twin Cities community, but also to recent coverage in The New York Times and elsewhere about ensuring publishers make further efforts to embrace stories that reflect a variety of cultural perspectives and diverse characters. Ask a parent or trusted adult who keeps a GoodReads account to browse kids’ books that reflect our diverse world.
“There are books with Hmong?” This question broke my heart a little. The boy was shocked when I had casually mentioned a book with a Hmong character. He had made it to third grade without realizing that there were books related to his home culture and that they were available in his school library. You should have seen his whole face light up when I led him to those books.
It was my first year as the library media specialist at Northern Hills and we had a handful of books with Hmong characters, but his question made me realize that those books weren’t visible enough. I began to display the books and booktalk them with classes and students and made sure that they were easy to find. I also started looking for more books to add to the collection. We have a significant Hmong population in our community and the…
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