Educate and Act

Racism, violence, and hate have no place in our world.  Black lives do matter. And silence is not an option.

Take the opportunity to learn more and get a better understanding of the institutionalized and systematic racism in our country.  Here are a few books listed below to check out.

Books:

  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Biased by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt
  • Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino
  • Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In A Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
  • Waking Up White by Debby Irving
  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  • Brutal Imagination by Cornelius Eady
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  • A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature by Jacqueline Goldsby
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

We can also support those organizations who are working to end social injustice. Click on their names to learn more about several organizations working hard on this front. Consider supporting them both financially and with your voice.  Many other organizations exist as I just listed a few here and not in any order.

Organizations:

You can do many things such as sign petitions, text and call legislators, donate to these organizations, educate yourself, donate supplies, protest in person or virtually, and more.  And vote.

“The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist.”
Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

 

Star Wars Day

George Lucas created this magical franchise with the first film back in 1977 and it operates now as a huge enterprise!

While most people think of the movies when they think about Star Wars, many novels have been written about all the creative characters and stories. Enjoy a few minutes and read one of the many Star Wars books or comics out there!

Happy reading!

May the 4th be with you!

National Grammar Day

Happy National Grammar Day! Yes, this is really National Grammar Day!

This particular holiday is only 12 years old.  Martha Brockenbrough created National Grammar Day in 2008. She is the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.  The English language has over a million words. Our language has some set rules and also has some debatable rules in it as well.  We have a holiday to celebrate this sometimes crazy grammar.

How do we celebrate this holiday?  It is quite easy.  Use proper grammar today! 😉  Or be crazy and purchase a style guide or grammar resource today!

Enjoy your words and Happy National Grammar Day!

Wishtree

I just finished reading Wishtree written by Katherine Applegate. Fantastic book! I’m not surprised as I loved The One and Only Ivan also authored by Katherine Applegate.

In this novel, the author uses nature to tackle prejudice through the most beautiful use of words.

Red is the neighborhood oak tree that people place their wishes onto via a tie and cloth once a year. Red and his animal buddies have seen a lot over the years. In fact, Red has 216 rings on him.

I love the voice the author gives Red and his buddies to help out a new family to the area and grant a wish.  As I read this book, I felt the oak tree’s feelings and wanted to give him a wish that I could grant.

“But sometimes things happen that aren’t so good. When they occur, I’ve learned that there’s not much you can do except stand tall and reach deep.”
― Katherine Applegate, Wishtree

After finishing the book, I stared at my own oak tree for some time wondering about his thoughts, memories, and wishes.

Highly recommend picking up this quick, but really beautiful read!

Charles Dickens

Happy birthday to Charles Dickens! This great novelist was born today in 1812.

He brought us with some of the most memorable fictional characters of all times and known as one of the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era.

My personal favorite Dickens classics is A Tale of Two Cities. I remember vividly reading this book in high school (many years ago) and struck by his use of the language and words. In particular, I love his opening! The images, the pace, the words just ring magic.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

To celebrate his birthday, pick up one his classics and enjoy it! Maybe enjoy it with a cup a tea!

 

Summer Reading Programs

As the summer approaches for children, you can find a few resources to keep your children reading in addition to your local libraries.

First, Barnes and Noble offers a summer reading program every year where the children track at least 8 books on a form. Then, in August, they can come into the store and pick a book off of their list for free! Click here for the form.

Also, Scholastic is having a “Read-A-Palooza” Summer Reading Challenge. Over the summer, kids log their minutes that they have read online. They unlock digital rewards, book excerpts, and other summer content. In addition, once participating kids reach 25, then 50 and then 100 million minutes collectively read in the Summer Reading Challenge, Scholastic will donate a minimum of 200,000 books to kids in need across the United States! Click here for information on this program.

Make sure your littles read over the summer to continue their education from the previous school avoiding that summer slump.  And let your kids explore, grow, travel, and have fun reading some cool books over the warm summer!

Happy reading!