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Culturally Relevant Chapter Books for Kids

Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers and Kathryn from Book Date!

Diverse Reads for your students

I had the pleasure of attending a conference session led by Lindsey Nagorsky and Dr. Sharroky Hollie about Responsive Reads.  Culturally responsive reads are texts that are culturally relevant and teach kids about the world around them.  So it doesn't mean you only read texts with Latino characters to Latino students but you read these texts to all students to open their world.

So after some research, here are some of my favorites.  I've got a DonorsChoose grant out there hoping to get more of these texts in my reader's hands.  I've blogged about some of these books before but I've added some new ones for you...

My Chosen Chapter books

This is one of my all time favorites.  The kids really connect with Sophia.  A girl from McAllen, Texas who is growing up in her barrio and learning to navigate her way through a private high school.  They love that she is making her First Holy Communion like many of them.  They love that she makes Easter cascarones to break on her cousin's head.  I made a connection to the plastic tia because my grandmother used to cover all her furniture in plastic too!  My kids were sobbing at the end of this book.  I love when literature connects with the kids.  

This is tale about Maria.  She was a happy girl living in Puerto Rico.  When her father moves back to New York, she follows him to take care of him.  Now she has to learn Spanglish, a wholly unfamiliar language, go to school and take care of the house hold.  
Her whole life is changed.

Another one of my favorites written in verse.  
It's about Ha who lives in war torn Vietnam.  
Part of the novel is about life in Vietnam, another is about fleeing and the last is about the adjustment to living in America.  Based on the authors' real life.

This is tale about Summer and the summer 
she has to work with her grandparents 
on a midwest wheat farm.  
It's a great book to learn about the 
migrant experience. 

I haven't read this one yet but it's on my list especially considering the political climate and the conversation about refugees.
This is about Tara who has to flee Iraq 
and seek refuge in Britain. 

I was introduced to the work of 
Kwame Alexander at the writing conference for TCRWP at Columbia University.  
The Crossover is one of those books that really connects with kids, especially the boys.  It's about Josh and Jordan, twins, and 
how they grow apart as they grow older. 

I hope you enjoyed the book list.  If you don't have any culturally diverse books like these in your library, get these, it's a good start!


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