This summer, I attended #IREL20 facilitated by Tricia Ebarvia and Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul. During a breakout session, a fellow educator named Tamika introduced me to Bobbie Harro’s cycle of socialization (I am sorry not to have Tamika’s full name to give her proper credit.)
This work, and Tamika’s explanation, helped deepen my understanding of how we are socialized in white supremacy and ways to disrupt this cycle. One way educators can decenter whiteness is to help children understand race, racism, and anti-bias actions, as well as teach students to notice the power dynamics in text and the real world. As they read, students can consider who has power, who does not, and what is causing this unequal balance of power.
To begin this work, students need to learn to look at situations and ideas from multiple perspectives. They need to think about the different points of view and how the social framework allows some people to have power and others to have very little. To spark conversations about the balance of power and introduce students to the concept of multiple perspectives, I searched for texts that use point of view in unique ways. Some of the books on this list are new, and others are well-loved classics. Since book resources may be limited while so many of us teach online, I tried to include titles that educators may already have on their shelves.
Where Are You From? Yamile Saied Mendez
I love how this book pushes readers to consider the racist implications behind the question, “Where are you from?” As students listen to this text, they can think about how they might answer this question. They can also think why this question may exclude people and label them as “other.”
The Paper Kingdom, Helena Ku Rhee and Pascal Campion
This is the story of a loving family who cleans offices after workers go home. The Paper Kingdom highlights the hard work and creativity of this family, and the unnecessary messes others leave behind. An important book to help readers consider things from multiple perspectives.
Greta and the Giants: Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Stand to Save the World, Zoe Tucker and Zoe Persico
This fictional story tells of Greta’s fight to save the forest. Readers get a chance to think about multiple perspectives and look at the power dynamics in this story.
Truman, Jean Ready, and Lucy Ruth Cummins
This sweet story about a turtle who misses his owner is a perfect book to introduce the concept of point of view to emergent readers. The story is told from the turtle’s point of view and gives kids a chance to think about something from someone else’s perspective.
Alfie, Thyra Heder
At first, readers hear the story from the main character’s perspective and then the story is told from Alfie, the turtle’s, point of view. It is a text that can help readers learn not to assume other’s motivations.
Saturday, Oge Mora
When things go awry on their Saturday morning out, this mom and daughter remember what is most important in life.
When Aiden Became A Brother, Kyle Lukoff and Kaylani Juanita
Aiden self identifies as a boy instead of a girl. His family listens, realizes their prior mistake, and celebrates his identity. A book that reminds us all to listen and consider other’s perspectives.
The Summer My Father Was Ten, Pat Brisson and Andrea Shine
Franki Sibberson introduced me to this book many years ago, and it is still a favorite. In this story, the boy has to come to grips with the damage he is done to a neighbor’s garden and how the damage he caused impacted others.
Clancy the Courageous Cow, Lache Hume
If I could only pick ten children’s books to bring to a desert island, Clancy the Courageous Cow would be one of them. I’ve read this book to children countless times and they always find something new to notice. Through this storyline, students see how systematic racism and racist policies harm individuals.
Each Kindness, Jacqueline Woodson
This book has been in every one of my past #PD10for10 collections and it wouldn’t be right to leave it out of this one. Each Kindness is filled with conversation points about power and the impacts that can happen when we ignore multiple perspectives. And yes, it is coming to the desert island too.
A big THANK YOU to Mandy Robek and Cathy Mere for hosting #PB10for10 for ten years! Creating a #PB10for10 collection each August and seeing the ways other educations put texts together pushes me to consider new ways to organize texts for readers. And of course, I find lots of new books to read. If you have other titles that you think I should add to my collection, please put them in chat. I will add all suggestions to the TBR Pinterest Board – Multiple Points of View.