Which books show my boys the diverse world they live in best?

Which books show my boys the diverse world they live in best?

14th January 2021By nanhoodadminNo Comments

Growing up with every ‘ism’

I was brought up hearing my father speak ill of Black people, homosexuals and denigrating women. Whether in the factory, on TV or at home it was the same. My mother kept quiet. 

One day my  big brother came home with a Black Jamaican mate.  Afterwards my mother spoke of Black people not being all the things my Dad had said. My Dad kept quiet. 

That was just the beginning of my unravelling the racism and prejudice I had been brought up with. My father was rigid. He held ill informed views of women, people of a different skin colour, dialect, ethnic origin, sexuality and faith. 

I want life to be different for my grandsons. It has been for my daughter. She wants the same for them. 

Understanding the current world better

She and her boys live in an area rich with cultural diversity. Their school teachers come from a wealth of different communities. The exchange of ideas and learning is deep. But the wider world the boys will gradually come to see is not like their school or the street they live on. 

If the boys see programmes with men dominating and succeeding while women adore and giggle we talk about it. It does  not just pass with a snigger or gasp. Afterwards the programmes are deleted. 

We avoid books on traditional Princesses and Princes preferring to target stories where both genders, classes and all races are able to discover, show talents, laugh and have impact on the world. 

Choosing inclusive books

They have books with characters who are clearly diverse. We want stories which enable them to think and talk about what they see and hear, at school and on the street. 

So I intend this to be an evolving blog with books we have found helpful, adding new additions as I find them.  They will reflect the world the boys currently see, which explain the matter of difference, of racism or of gender inequality as well.  Share your ideas of good books with me on Twitter  @livingnanhood or on Instagram @livingnanhood. 

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