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4 Ways to Add Diversity to Your Home Library

Want to open up your young reader's world? Follow these tips to find diverse, age-appropriate titles to add to your child's bookshelves.
on January 30, 2017
 

How many culturally diverse titles can be found in your home library? A great way to expand your child's understanding of the world is to add more books that celebrate diversity. As one of the co-hosts of Multicultural Children's Book Day (which took place on Jan. 27), I am proud to contribute to an event that helps raise awareness for the importance and benefits of multicultural literature and gets more culturally diverse books into classrooms and libraries, and into the hands of our children.

Here are four ideas for how you can add more multicultural books to your family's bookshelves:

 

1. Learn About Your Family Heritage

Gather books about countries that are representative of your heritage. It's important for your kids to see themselves in books. Where did your ancestors live? Find books about those places or traditions that your family celebrated. Every Christmas Eve, my family pulls out our copy of Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto from the shelf. After reading the story, we begin our annual all-day project of making pork tamales to enjoy and celebrate our own heritage.

2. Read Your World

Challenge your family to add a book about every continent to your home library all year. Each month pick a book that represents a different region. You might enjoy Tree of Cranes by Allen Say for Asia, Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter for South America, or Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams for Africa. Explore fiction as well as non-fiction titles. For more multicultural book recommendations, search using the hashtag #ReadYourWorld on social media.

To spice up your cultural experience, check out from the library one ethnic cookbook each month. As a family, chose a recipe and prepare a new dish to enjoy with your evening meal. This read-and-feed experience will definitely broaden your horizons!

3. Celebrate Award Winners

Each year, awards are given to notable multicultural titles. Add a Pura Belpré Award-winning book to your library. This award is given to Latin writers and illustrators who highlight and celebrate the Latino culture. Or, pick up a Coretta Scott King Award winner. This award is given to outstanding African American books written and illustrated by African Americans. Adding exceptional titles to your bookshelf provides another layer of great reading material and enhances choices for your children.

4. Learn About Friends and Neighbors

What cultures are represented by your friends and neighbors? Help your children learn more about the people in their lives through books. Need a recommendation? Ask the people around you to recommend their favorite books about their cultures and traditions. You are sure to find some new favorite read-alouds.

Add a little diversity to your shelves today and enjoy exploring the many people who make up our world. Have you tried any of these ideas? Share how you encourage diverse reading on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.

Featured Photo Credit © FlairImages/Thinkstock

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In the Raise a Reader blog, get advice, tips, and resources from our expert contributors on helping your child read at every age and stage. Each week, find book recommendations, literacy activities, and more to spark your reader's interests.

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