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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: Enriching Variety in an Era of Common Core State

Standards
Author(s): Fenice B. Boyd, Lauren L. Causey and Lee Galda
Source: The Reading Teacher, Vol. 68, No. 5, Teacher Empowerment (February 2015), pp.
378-387
Published by: International Literacy Association and Wiley
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/24575249
Accessed: 01-04-2019 13:41 UTC

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CULTURALLY diverse

LITERATURE
Enriching Variety in an Era of Common Cor
Standards

Fenice
Fen iceB.
B. Boyd
Boyd ■
■ Lauren
Lauren L.
L. Causey
Causey ■
■ Lee
Lee Galda
Galda

hy is
hy is it
it important
importantfor
forallall teachers—
teachers— especially
especially (italics
(italics added added young
for emphasis) for emphasis)
children. young
frompre-K
from pre-K through
through thethe university Because
Because Adichie
university had Adichie had with
only read books onlycharacters
read books with
level—to integrate
level—to integrate culturally
culturallydiverse
diverse
foreignforeign
to Nigeria,to Nigeria,
she she was
was convinced convinced that c
that characters
▼ literature
literature in
in their teaching?Why
their teaching? Whyindodoallall
her owninstories
her had
own to stories had to
be from places be than
other from places o
readers
readers need
needa arich
richand
andvaried diet
varied of of
diet books thather
books reflect
that reflect
home her
country, andhome country,
the context of the and the
stories hadcontext of
the many
the many different
differentethnic,
ethnic,cultural,
cultural, socioeconomic,
to be about
socioeconomic, andand towith
things be which
aboutshe
things with
could not which she co
person
linguistic groups
linguistic groups that
that make
make up
upmultiple
multiplevoices,
voices, indi- ally
ally indi
identify, identify,
because that was allbecause thatAfter
that she read. was all that s
vidual
vidual lives,
lives, social
social attributes,
attributes, and
andperspectives
perspectivesaround
around
discovering discovering
books books
with African withwritten
characters, African charact
the world? MacArthur Award-winning Nigerian nov
nov-
by authors byAfrican
from authors from
nations, African
fortunately nations, fortu
Adichie
elist Chimamanda
elist ChimamandaAdichie
Adichiepartially
partially answers
answers these
these
went went
through through
a "mental shift" ina her
"mental shift"
perceptions of in her
questions when
questions when she
she explains
explains "the
"thedanger
dangerof
ofthe
thesingle
single
literature. She literature. Shethat
states, "I realized states,
people"I realized
like me, that pe
story." In
story." In her
her 2009
2009lecture
lecture(www.ted.com/talks/lang/
(www.ted.com/talks/lang/
girls with skin girls with
the color skin the
of chocolate color
whose ofhair
kinky chocolate w
en/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_
en/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_ could
could not form not form
ponytails, ponytails,
could also could also exist
exist in literature."
story.html),
story.html), Adichie
Adichie tells
tells us that
us that she grew
she grew Thisup
up on on a This
a discovery discovery
was a new beginningwas a new lead
for Adichie, beginning
university campus
university campus in
in eastern
eastern Nigeria
Nigeriaand
andstarted
started read-
to writeing
ing herread her
about toshe
ideas write
could about
relate toideas she could
and had
ing British
British and
and American
American children's
children'sbooks
booksaround
around the
theShe
experienced. experienced.
also makes theShe also
point thatmakes the point t
just read
of 4.
age of 4. With
With pencils
pencilsand
andcrayons
crayonsininhand,
hand, Adichie
Adichie
ing ing
one book one
about anybook about
particular anyor
culture particular
group of culture
began writing
began writingher
her own
own stories
stories around
around the the age
agepeople
of ofalso
7,is 7,very
people is also
dangerous. No very dangerous.
group or individual No gro
where
where her
hercharacters
charactersreflected thethe
reflected exact traits
exact and
traits cul
has aand cul-
single hasand
story, a single
knowingstory, and
only one knowing
story leads to only on
tures of
tures of the
the characters
charactersthat
thatshe
shewas
was reading.
reading. the
SheShe tellsofthe
creation
tells creation
assumptions andof assumptions and stereo
stereotypes.
us that
us thather
hercharacters
characters "were
"were white
white and blue-eyed, Adichie's
Adichie's story
and blue-eyed, story
of the books ofasthe
she read books she re
a young
played in the
played in the snow,
snow, ate
ateapples,
apples,and
andtalked
talkeda alot
lot
child about
and howchild
about and howthe
they influenced they influenced
stories she wrote the stori
the weather."
the weather." Adichie
Adichielived
livedininNigeria
Nigeria and,
and, atat
resonates
the
the time,
time,with many
resonates
scholars'perceptions
with manyand scholars'percept
expe
had never
had never been
been outside
outsideof
ofher
herhome
home country.
country. There
riences
There withriences with story
story characters. characters.
Like Adichie, Like Adich
Au (2011)
was no snow in Nigeria, people ate mangoes, and they
never
never talked
talked about
about the weather
the weather because, as because,
she asserts,as she asserts, — ——
"there
there waswas
no need
noto." Her characters
need to." Her alsocharacters
drank a lot also
Fenicedrank a associate
B. Boyd is an lot Fenice B.literacy
professor of Boyd is an
education associate pr
at the
University
University at Buffalo,
at Buffalo,
The State University
The State
of New University
York, Buffalo, USA;
of New York, B
of
ofginger
gingerbeer because
beer that's
because
what the that's
characters
whatdrankthe
e-mailcharacters
-mailfboyd@buffalo.edu.
fboyd@buffaio.edu.drank
in
inthe
the
British
British
books shebooks
read, ".. she
.neverread,
mind that
"..I .never
had mind
Lauren
Lauren L. Causey
that
L. Causey
I had independent
is an independent
is an scholar, Minneapolis,scholar,
Minnesota, Minneapoli
no
noidea whatwhat
idea ginger beer was," she
ginger beersays.was,"
After briefly USA; e-mail
she says. After laurenlcausey@gmail.com.
briefly USA; e-mail iaurenlcausey@
summarizing
summarizing her experiences as a young reader
her experiences as a and
youngLeereader
Galda is Marguerite
and Henry
Lee Professor
Galda of Children's and Young
is Marguerite Henry Pro
Adult
Adult Literature,
Literature,
Emerita, University
Emerita, of Minnesota,
UniversityMinneapolis,
of Minnesota,
USA; Minne
writer,
writer, Adichie
Adichie
concludes concludes
by stating thatby
we'restating
all made e-mail
that
e-mail we're all made
gaida001@umn.edu.
galda001@umn.edu.
impressionable
impressionableand vulnerable
and by vulnerable
the stories weby
read,the stories we read,

The Reading Teacher Vol.68 Issue 5 pp. 378-387 D0l:10.1002/trtr.1326 ©2015 International Literacy Association

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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

also grew up with books that did not


also grew up with books that
reflect
reflect who she who
did
"Asawe
she is.
is. "As a student,
not
are <>^s Iwe
thoughtful
I do As
student,
are thoughtful
doinoselecting
J o
in selecting lit
literature
we add
not remember to the curriculum,it
thinking
not remember thinking it odd never
we also
odd must never
to
tocome
come
across a book
across
writtenabybook
an written by an
Asian American or with Asian American
be thoughtful
Asian American or with in considering
Asian students
American
characters
charactersor, for that matter,
or,withfor
any that matter, with any
and their communities character
but European American
but European American characters. I
assumed
assumedthat books were
thatsupposed
books
to were supposed to
represent
represent another world,another
not anything world, not anything
close
close to my own to my
experience, that Cullinan,
sinceown 2013). The point empha
experience, since
are not that Cullinan,
separate from race, ethnicity, 2013
was
was the
the case with all the case
books I had with all
sized here the itbooks
is significant; is important Iculture,
had and sized here
language; rather, they areis sign
ever
ever read" (pp.read" (pp.
16-17). Adichie's and to not just see self Adichie's
16-17). and others but to rec intertwined.
and to As not
stated by just
Boyd (2003),
see self
ognize oneself in others, toup
understand "Multicultural literature in the over
Au's
Au's experiences
experiences growing up as young growing as young ognize oneself in
readers
readers and
and writers convey writers
that students our commonconvey
humanity (Galda etthat
al., allstudents
English language arts curriculum...
our common
shape
shape their
their view of view
the world and of 2013).
of As Rosenblatt
the (1938/1995)
world arguedand
is a long
ofoverdue and positive change
2013). Asto Rosenb
themselves
themselves partly through the partly
books so many years ago, this
through the books understanding the study of literature
so many that offers teachers
years ag
they
they read.
read. Scholars such is fundamental
Scholars
and researchers and to achieving the goal of
researchers and students
such a more realistic reflection of
is fundamental
asas Rosenblatt
Rosenblatt (1938/1995) also attest (1938/1995) also
an equitable, peaceful society. And withattest an
society, history, equitable,
education, and schools peac
tothis
to this notion. careful selection careful
notion. selection of
of excellent excellent
books forbooks
in for
the United
in the States" (p. 461).
United States" (p. 461).
children and young adults, adults,
teachersteachers
and What we choose to include in our
Almost5050years
Almost years ago,
ago, poetpoet and critic
and critic children and young and What we choose to include in our
NancyLarrick
Nancy Larrick wrote
wrote titled titledteacher
an article
an article educators
teacher can prepare
educators students
can prepare curricula
students depends
curricula on theon
depends students we
the students we
"TheAll-White
"The Ail-White World
World of Children's f°r
of Children's creating
for creating and
and maintaining
maintaining a betterteach
a better andand
teach the curricula we needwe
the curricula to need to
Books,"in
Books," inwhich
which she
she argues
argues thatthat world.
all chil-
all chil Our point
world. is that is
Our point teaching—and enact.enact.
that teaching—and Certainly, as we are
Certainly, thoughtful
as we are thoughtful
dren need to see themselves and others especially teaching with literature—is
dren need to see themselves and others especially teaching with literature—is in selecting
in selecting choiceschoices about
about any any liter
liter
in the
in thebooks
books they
they read.
read. Larrick
Larrick political.
insisted
insisted The books
political. that wethat
The books offer
wechil ature ature
offer chil- we addwe
to add
the to
curriculum, we
the curriculum, we
that
thatififchildren
childrennever see themselves
never in
see themselves dren will affect
in dren them and
will affect theirand
them worlds.
their worlds. also be
also must must be thoughtful
thoughtful in considering
in considering
books,
books, theythey
receive receive the subtle
the subtle messages messages students and their communities,
students strivstriv
and their communities,
that
that they
they are
are not not important
important enough to Culturally
enough Diverse
to Culturally Diverse ing
ingnot
not to avoid
to avoid differences
differences of opinion of opinion
appear
appear in in books
books andbooks
and that thatarebooks
not Literature
are not Literature
forthem.
for them. Conversely,
Conversely, if children
if children seeWhat
see only only do
What
we do we by
mean mean by culturally
culturally diverse diverse
themselves
themselvesinin
the books
the they
books read,read,
they they they literature?
literature? As a As a social
social construct,
construct, diversity
diversity
come
cometo to
thethe
conclusion that those
conclusion whothose who
that is complex,
is complex, complicated,
complicated, multidimen
multidimen PçuZe wo*
PauSe ancS Ponder
are different
are different from
from them
them areworthy
are not sional,
not worthy and fluid.
sional, In terms
and fluid. of literature,
In terms of literature,
• When I select literature, what criteria am
of appearing in books. themes
of appearing in books.
This idea is central to the notion of
centered on race, ethnicity, ^
themes centered on race, ethnicity,
This idea is central to the notionculture,
of culture, and languages
and languages are commonly
are commonly I using? How am I including culturally
booksas as
books mirrors
mirrors and windows
and windows (Bishop, (Bishop, considered
considered importantimportant characteristics
characteristics of of literature
diverse K| in my classroom?
1990;
1990;Galda, 1998;
Galda, Glazier
1998; & Seo,&2005),
Glazier Seo, 2005), diversity.
diversity. Hermann-Wilmarth
Hermann-Wilmarth (2007) (2007)
• What do I need to know and learn about
aa metaphor
metaphor that many
that of those
many who write
of those who write
and other
and other
scholars
scholars
advocate
advocate
for expand
for expand
about books refer to in discussions about all of my students in order to select and
ing about
about books refer to in discussions the borders of culturally
ing the bordersdiverse
of culturally diverse ^
evaluate relevant and appropriate
theliterary
the literary
dietdiet of young
of young readers.readers.
A A literature
literature beyond
beyond race, race, ethnicity,
ethnicity, and and
more
more nuanced
nuanced take
take on that on that is
metaphor metaphor
languageistolanguage to as
aspects such aspects such as
physical high-quality,
physical |§| culturally diverse literature?
to think
to thinkofof a window
a window As oneAs and
at twilight.
at twilight. mental
one and disabilities,
mental socioeconomic
disabilities, socioeconomic
• What informed decisions about culturally
gazes
gazesout
outofof
the window,
the it is it
window, possible to status,
is possible to status,
language
language
variations,
variations,
dialect
dialect
dif dif diverse literature do I need to make
see another world. If one looks long and ferences, and religion. Various family
see another world. If one looks long and ferences, and religion. Various family in order |j.
to help my students meet
carefully
carefully enough,
enough, whenwhen thesinks
the sun sun sinks structures,
structures, suchsuch as foster
as foster families,
families, and and
the Common Core State Standards
andthe
and the
skysky darkens,
darkens, one willone
beginwill
to begin toand
sexual sexual andidentity
gender genderare identity
also cul are also cul- ljt
see for reading literature?
seeoneself
oneselfreflected in that in
reflected window
that window turally
turally diverse
diverse characteristics
characteristics included
included
onthe
on theworld
world (Galda,
(Galda, Sipe, Sipe,
Liang, Liang,
& &inin
literature. All of
literature. these
All characteristics
of these characteristics

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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

but
but rather
rathertoto
include them
include in classroom
them in Latina population
classroom of any
Latina race compris
population ofDue
anyto race compris-
the passage Due
of time, to the passage
teach
discussions
discussions of the of
literature
the we read.
literature we
ing read. ing 16.3%.percent
16.3%. Seventy-two Seventy-two
of the erspercent
now have aof the ers
significant now have a sign
amount
Smolkin
Smolkin and (2011)
and Young Young argue(2011)
that argue that
respondents respondents
identify as white. identify as children's
of quality white. andof young
quality
adult children'
"[w]e
"[w]e know
know it is difficult
it is difficult to move pastto move
Bookpast Bookstatistics
publishing publishing multicultural
have notstatistics have literature from which to
not multicultural literatu
long
long held
held personal
personal positionspositions
to representto changed
represent
much changed
in the past much
30 years,in thechoose
with past to 30develop
years, with
a rich andchoose
varied to develop
society fully, but for children's
society fully, but for children's sakes, we lesssakes,
than 5%we less than
of books 5%being
published collection for their classroom
of books published being collection and school for thei
must work to do so. In the
must work to do so. In the end,end, we must by we must
or about by or
parallel aboutThese
cultures. parallel
per libraries.
cultures. These per- libraries.
support
support our our preservice
preservice teachers'
teachers' prep prep-
centages onlycentages only
pertain to race. pertain
There are But,
to when There
race. we look at
aretheBut,
text exem
when we loo
aration
aration for for working
working with all
with all children by children
even fewerby even
books that fewer books that
depict charac plars depict
presentedcharac- plars
in Appendix B ofpresented
the in
bringing
bringing high-quality,
high-quality, diverse ters
diverse children's children's ters with
with exceptionalities disability, Commonlike
like exceptionalities Coredisability,
State Standards (CCSS;
Common Core S
books
books intointo
our classrooms and foster
our classrooms and foster-
LGBTQ LGBTQ
characters, variouscharacters,
religious National
various Governors Association
religious National Govern
ingthoughtful,
ing thoughtful, inclusive
inclusive discussions"
discussions" beliefs, and beliefs, and regional
regional cultures such as cultures
Center forsuch as Center
Best Practices [NGAfor Best Prac
(p.224).
(p. 224).TheThe implementation
implementation of cultur of cultur-
rural. rural. Children's
The Cooperative The Cooperative
Book Children's
Center] & Council Book
of ChiefCenter]
State & Counci
ally
ally diverse
diverse literature
literature in the classroom
in the classroom Center (CCBC) Center
reports on(CCBC) School
the state reports
of on Officers [CCSSO],
the state 2010), with
of School Officers [C
only
only occurs
occurs whenwhen teachers
teachers are willingare willing
to the to each
literature the year.
literature each year.
In 2013, CCBC respectIn
to2013,
a wide CCBC
variety respect to a wide v
of culturally
makechange
make change happen.
happen. received approximately 3,200 books.
received approximately 3,200 diverse
books. literature, the choices
diverse literature, are just
the choices are just
Of
Ofthose:
those: as limited as reported as limitedby the CCBC.
as reported In In
by the CCBC.
Availability
Availability of Culturally
of Culturally .• 93 93books
books had significant
had significant African or
fact, in Appendix B overall, more liter
African or fact, in Appendi
Diverse Literature
Dwerse Literature Afrkan American
African American content content ature from the cano
ature from the canon is recommended

Thestate
The state
of of literature
literature for young
for young read read- , , ,, , , and far less and
modern, contemporary,
far less modern, contemporary,
, ... , • 67 books • 67were
books wereby black
by black authors authors
diverse
... t . . If
literature selections.
« i look
i
ersinin
ers terms
terms of cultural
of cultural diversity
diversity today today J diverse literature selections. If we we look
and/or illustrators
has
has both
both pros
pros and and
cons. One concons. One con an °r 1 ustrators
• 34 books had American Indian
at the suggestions foratgrades
suggestions
4-5,10 f
isthat—although
is that—although gains
gains have have been * ^ books had American
been Indian
stories, 8 poems, and 13stories, 8 poems
informational
themes, topics, or characters
made—there
made—there arenot
are still still notbooks
enough enough books themes, topics, orare
texts characters textS for
presented as examples are present
being
being published
published that
that are are of
outside • 18 books
outside of # were
18by American
books wereIndian
by American
teachers Indian
to use in their teachers
classrooms to to use
authors and/or illustrators
thewhite,
the white, middle-class,
middle-class, heterosexual
heterosexual authors and/or illustrators
support support Standar
Standards implementation.
world.
world. ToTo educate
educate all children
all children appro • 61appro-
books had•significant
61 books had significant Asian/ Of those:
Asian/ Of those:
priately, teachers
priately, teachersneedneedmore
more books
books that
that Pacific
Pacific or Asian/Pacific
or Asian/Pacific American American . c . i u j • -c- ,»;•
r 1 *5 books had significant African
• 5 books had significant African
depict
depict
r diverse
;
diverse
lifestyles,
rr
lifestyles,
opportuni
American
opportuni-
content content
content
.American content
ties, beliefs,
ties,,,v
beliefs, choices, and and
choices, worldviews
worldviews • 88 were
books bywere byand/or
authors
• 88 books
. , i w Ll J • 3 authors are African
authors • 3 and/or
authors are„African
0 ... .American
American
in addition to books that focus on the
in addition to books that
illustrators focus
of Asian/Pacific on the illustrators o
heritage
status quo. Today, as in the past, the • 1 author is Guyanese
status quo. Today, • 57 books hadas inLatino/
significant the past, the . 57
number
number of books by and about of people books
Latina content by and about
• 2 books had significantpeople
American
inwhat
in what Virginia
Virginia called "par called "par- . „, , , T ■ ■ IndianIndian
Hamilton
Hamilton content
content
, • 48 books •were bywere
48 books Latino/Latina
by Latino/Latina
allel
allel cultures
cultures" does not does not
even begin to even authors • 1 author is American
begin to . • 1 author is Native Native American
„ , ,. , TT authors and/or and/or illustrators
illustrators
reflect
reflect the census
the census figures forfigures
the Unitedfor
the United • i book had significant Asian/Pacific
• 1 book had significant Asian/Pacific
States;ititgets
States; gets even
even worse
worse whenwhen
we we Although
Although the CCBCreport
the CCBC report causes Islander
causes content
Islander content
look at
look at global
globalliterature.
literature.Today,
Todayabout
about one
oneto
topause,
pause, the
the good news isisthat,
good news that,over
over
80% of teachers are still female, white
80% of teachers are still female, white time,time, we
we have
havebeen
beengiven
givena anumber
number ofof
(Goldring,
(Goldring, Gray, & Bitterman,
Gray, 2013),
& Bitterman, magnificent
2013), books bybooks
magnificent authorsby
andauthors
illus and illus- "TUp imnlpmpntn+inn
and
andmiddle-class.
middle-class.The 2010
The census
2010 data
census trators
data trators
who havewho have
created created
literature thatliterature that r "The implementation
reveals that 12.6% of the U.S. popu gives children who are not white and
reveals that 12.6% of the U.S. popu- gives children who are not white
of culturally and of CU
diverse
lation
lation identifies
identifies as black as black
or African or African middle-class
middle-class books
books that "offer them that "offer them J ™
American,
American, 0.9% American
0.9% Indian and
American Indian and affirmation,
affirmation, visibility,
visibility, and insight into literature
and in classrooms
insight into HtCTCltUTC IyI clclSS
Alaska
AlaskaNative,
Native,4.8% Asian,
4.8% 0.2%0.2%
Asian, Native
Native the world
the world in which inthey
which
live" they live" (Horning,
(Horning,
Hawaiian
Hawaiian andand
otherother
Pacific Pacific
Islander, Islander, Lindgren,
Lindgren, & Schliesman,& Schliesman, occurs
2014). For chil 2014). For when teachers
chil- OCCUTS WHCTI t6(ZCh
6.2% "some
6.2% "some other
otherrace,"
race,"and
and2.9%
2.9% dren who
dren are
whowhite, thesethese
are white, books offer
books offer
biracial,
biracial, with the the
with Hispanic or Latino/
Hispanic or Latino/ different
different perspectives
perspectives from
from their world. make
their world.itmake
happen."
it happen."

The Reading Teacher


Teacher Vol.68
Vol. 68Issue
Issue5 5February
February2015
2015

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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

most well-known are the Caldecott and


"When
'When choosing culturally diverse literature
the Newbery Awards, administered by

toteach
to teach students
students tothe
to meet meet
CCSS,the CCSS,
for the for
the American Library Association (ALA).
American Library Association (ALA).
While excellent books that reflect diver

instructional
instructional support,
support, it is imperative
it is imperative that
that sity can certainly
sity be found
can certainly among
be found among the the
, 7 t ■ r r • 7 // ranks of the Newbery and
ranks of theCaldecott winwin
Newbery and Caldecott
teachers
teacners consult
consult multiple
multipleand
andvaried
variedsources!'
sources. ners
ners and honor books, there and
are manyhonor boo
other
other books
books
that express
that diversity
express while
diversity while
also
also being
being
outstanding
outstanding
in literary in
quality.
literary quality
• 1 author is Asian/Pacific Island
• 1 author is Asian/Pacific Island In Table 1, we present
In Table 1, we present a list of authors Awards othera than
listtheof authors
Newbery and Awards
American
American and illustrators
and illustratorsof culturally
of culturally diverse
diverse litCaldecott lit-
have been Caldecott
expressly created to have b
••1 1 book
book had significant
had significant Latino/ erature
Latino/ (Galda, Sipe, Liang,
erature & Cullinan,
(Galda, praiseLiang,
Sipe, books for &
their depiction of non
Cullinan, praise books f
Latina
Latina content content 2013). The
2013). list
The list isexhaustive;
is not not exhaustive;
it is itgroups.
white cultural is white cultural grou
Including books
••2 2 authors
authors intended tointended
are Latino/Latina
are Latino/Latina be a starting point
to beand a
a from the following
starting pointaward categories
and a fromis the fol
resource
resource for for
teachers seeking to
teachers enhance
seeking keyto
to enhance key
any classroom to any
and school classroom and
library
The
The positive
positive side
side of this of this
snapshot is snapshot
the is the
text exemplars of Appendix B of thecollection:of Appendix B of the collection
text exemplars
that the text exemplars in Appendix B CCSS (NGA Center & CCSSO, 2010).
that the text exemplars in Appendix B CCSS (NGA •Center
The Coretta& CCSSO,
Scott 2010).
King Award and # The C
recommend culturally diverse authors' Galda et al. (2013) argue that literature
recommend culturally diverse authors' Galda et al. (2013) argue
Honor that
recognizes literature
authors and illus Ronor re
work for fourth- and fifth-grade students. for readers should be culturally rich and
work for fourth- and fifth-grade students. for readers should tratorsbe culturally
whose rich
work portrays and trators w
well the
And
And although the evidence
although thesuggests that ofsuggests
evidence excellent literary
thatquality. While there literary
of excellent experiencesquality. While there experi
of African Americans.
weneed
we need many
many moremore culturally
culturally diverse diverse are qualities
are qualities that
that mark mark excellent
excellent litera litera- „ „ „ , , . ,.
J J • The Pura Belpre Award • The Purais
Belprégiven
Award is given
stories,poems,
stories, poems,
andand informational
informational selec selec- ture,we
ture, when when we also consider
also consider readers, thereaders, the . , , , * . , . T .*
tothe
books that celebrate the Latino
, . ' . to books that celebrate Latino
tionsfrom
tions from which
which to choose
to choose among the among theofnotion
notion what is of whatquality
a "good" is a "good"
book quality book ,, , . .
b b n J cultural experience; the
cultural Americas
experience; the Américas
exemplars, the ones that we present
exemplars, the ones that we present in in varies according to a reader's needs and varies according to a reader
Book Award recognizes books for
our example here and as reported by the experiences. Our cultural values and
our example here and as reported by the experiences. Our cultural values and t°°r portTayaToffatinAmerica"
their portrayal of Latin America,
CCBC are
CCBC are of
of the
the highest
highestquality.
quality.The
Thecon-
con practices
practicesalso
also complicate
complicate thethe notion
notion of Caribbean/
of the or LatinosorinLatinos
the Caribbean, the in the
verse is
verse is that
that many
many more
more diverse
diverse examples
examplesthethequality
qualityandand features
features of of a good
a good bookbook
United States
United States.
to be
need to be included
included in
inAppendix
AppendixB.B.(Stevenson, 2006). Keeping
(Stevenson, 2006).inKeeping
mind that
in mind that • The Tomas Rivera Mexican
Therefore, when
Therefore, when choosing
choosingcultur-
cultur opinions opinions
about quality
aboutcanquality
vary, there
can vary, there American Children's Book Award
ally diverse
ally diverse literature
literature to teach to teach
students
. , . honors good books about
students
are respectedare respected
texts texts
(Galda et al., 2013;(Galda et al, 2013; 'V
honorsthe
good bookslives
about the lives
tomeet
to meetthethe CCSS,
CCSS, for instructional
for instructional Kiefer
Kiefer & Tyson,
& Tyson, 2013)
2013) that that represent
represent r„ .
of Mexican Americans.
... . , 1 r of Mexican Americans.
support, it is imperative that teachers
support, it is imperative
authoritative perspectives on universal that teachers aut
• The American Indian Youth
consult multiple
consult multiple and varied resources. aspects of excellent books. and varied resour
Literature
Literature
Award is given for the Award
Awards and Resources. Criteria for best writing and illustrations by
Selecting
Selecting
Culturally Diverse Culturally Diverse Award
and about American Indians.
Literature
Literature excellence span different genres
excellence span (e.g.,
different and
genres (e.g.,about American Indians.
Teachersmight
Teachers mightask,
ask,"How
"How should
should fantasy
I select
I select and science
fantasy fiction,fiction,
and science poetry, con • The
poetry, Asian
con- Pacific
• The American
Asian Award
Pacific American Award
culturallydiverse
culturally diverse literature
literature forstu
for my mytemporary
stu- temporary realisticnonfic
realistic fiction, for Literature was created for
fiction, nonfic- for Literature was created for
should II begin?"
dents? Where should begin?" We tion
We offer
offer and
tion biography,
and folklore,
biography, historical
folklore, historical
several
several suggestions: (a) study
suggestions: (a) the fiction)
workthe
study of work andofformats (e.g., and
fiction) picture books,
formats (e.g., picture books, //^ *x • r ii
authors and illustrators to determine
authors and illustrators to determine the the
readers, readers,
early chapter early
books, chapter "Criteria for excellence
novels) in books, novels) in criteria JOr CXCCllCnCC
quality
qualityof
ofculturally
culturallyrich books,
rich which literature
including
books, including for young people
which literature exists. people exists. GTintl Hiffprpri f QPTIYPG.
for young
style,
style, topics,
topics, themes,
themes, and perspectives;
and perspectives; Determining
Determining excellence in variousexcellence
genres span
in different genres
various genres r JJ o
(b)
(b)draw
drawfrom
fromaward categories
award of non isof
categories thenon-
topic of
is most comprehensive
the topic of most text
comprehensive text- andin
formats in
whitecultural
white cultural groups
groups as well as well as
as various various
books booksliterature
on children's on children's
(Kiefer &literature (Kiefer &
and formats
^
resources; and (c) learn to determine theTyson, 2013; Galda et al, 2013). Further,
literature
resources; and (c) learn to determine the Tyson, 2013; Galda et al., 2013). for young
Further, literature for young
authenticity of
authenticity of authors'
authors' work.
work.We
Weexplain
explain there
there are many
are many awards
awards that that nominate
nominate

in the following sections.


in the following sections. books
books as ofexamples
as examples excellence. The people."
of excellence. The people."

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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

Table
Table 11 Authors
Authorsand
andIllustrators of of
Illustrators Culturally Diverse
Culturally Literature
Diverse outstanding
Literature books books
outstanding in this cultural
in this cultural
Authors
Authors Illustrators
Illustrators group.
group.
• The Arab American Book Award is
African American
African American African
African American
American presented for books for
presented that preserve
books that preserve
Maya Angelou
Maya AngelouFrederick
Frederick McKissack
McKissack Ashley
Ashley Bryan
Bryan Kadir
Kadir Nelson and advance
Nelson the understanding,
and advance the understanding,
Tanya
TanyaBolden
BoldenPatricia McKissack
Patricia R. Gregory
McKissack Christie Brian
R. Gregory Pinkney
Christie Brian Pinkney knowledge
knowledge, and resources
and resources of the of the
Gwendolyn
Gwendolyn BrooksBrooks
Walter Dean
Walter
Myers Bryan
Dean Collier
Myers Jerry
Bryan
PinkneyCollier Jerry Pinkney . , . . ,
Lucille
Lucille CliftonClifton
Marilyn NelsonMarilyn Nelson
Floyd Cooper Arab American
Floyd Cooper Sean Quails Arab A
Sean Quails community and
Christopher
Christopher Paul Curtis
Paul Curtis VaundaNelson
Vaunda Micheaux Micheaux Nelson
Donald Crews Donald
James is given Crews
Ransome James
to one children's Ransome
and one
Tanita
Tanlta S. Davis
S. Angela
Davis Davis Pinkney Leo
Angela Dillon Synthia
Davis Pinkney Saint James
Leo Dillon young Synthia Saint James y
adult title annually.
Sharon Draper Connie Porter Tom Feelings Charles R. Smith
Ernest
Ernest J. J. Gaines
Gaines Lesa Cline-Ransome
Lesa Cline-Ransome Lewis Javaka• The
E.B. Steptoe
E.B.Lewis Javaka Schneider
Steptoe * Family
1 he Book Award
Schneider Fami
Sundee T.
Sundee T. Frazier
FrazierJewell
JewellParker
ParkerRhodes
Rhodes Christopher
Christopher Myers is given to
Myers is a book
given to that
a bookembodies an an
that embodies
Nikki
Nikki Giovanni
Giovanni Faith Ringgold artistic expressionartistic
Faith Ringgold of the disability
expression of the disability
Eloise
EloiseGreenfield
Greenfield Margaree
Margaree
King Smith
King Smith
Nikki Grimes Mildred D. Taylor experience for children and
Virginia
Virginia Hamilton
Hamilton Carole
Carole Boston Boston Weatherford adolescent audiences.
Weatherford adolescent audiences.

Angela
Angela Johnson
Johnson Rita Williams-Garcia • ^he Batchelder
Rita Williams-Garcia Award
• The Batchelderis for
Award books
is for books
Julius Lester Jacqueline Woodson
originally
originally published in published
counties i
Latino/Latina Latino/Latina
outside of the United States and
Alma Flor Ada Meg Medina George Ancona Susan Guevara
Francisco
Francisco X. Alarcon
X. Alarcön Nicholasa
Nicholasa Möhr Mohr
Robert Casilla Robert
Rafael translatedLopez
Lopez Casilla Rafael to English.
rans a e 0 ng1S •
Julia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez Patricia
Patricia Mora
Mora Joe
JoeCepeda
CepedaYuyiYuyiMorales • The Stonewall
Morales • The Stonewall BookBook Award
Award
George Ancona Nancy Osa Raul Colon
George Ancona Nancy Osa Raul Colon SaraPalaciosSara Palacios Barbara Gittin
Barbara Gittings Literature Award
Anilü
Anilu Bernardo Pam Munoz Ryan David Diaz Enrique 0. Sanchez
Carmen
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
T. Bernier-Grand Gary Soto Gary SotoDuncan
Lulu Delacre Lulu Tonatiuh honors books about LGBT
Delacre Duncan Tonatiuh honors books abou identity.
Diane
DianeGonzales
GonzalesBertrand Ana Veciana-Suarez
Bertrand Enrique Flores-Galbes
Ana Veciana-Suarez Eric VelasquezEric Velasquez ,
Enrique Flores-Galbes
SandraCisneros
Sandra Cisneros Lenore
Lenore LookLook Carmen
Carmen Lomas
Lomas Garza Garza Award-winning books have
Award-winning books been
have been
CarmenAgra
Carmen AgraDeedyDeedy Adeline
Adeline YenYen
MahMah considered by experts consideredand judged
by experts and for
judged for
Margarita
Margarita Engle
Engle Ken Ken Mochizuki cultural authenticity
Mochizuki
Julia Ortiz Cofer An Na
and accuracy,
cultural authenticity and accuracy,

Ina Cumpiano Lensey Namioka among other determinants


determinants of
of quality.
quality.
Francisco
Francisco Jimenez Jimenez But assessing the quality of children's
But assessing the quality of children's
Victor
Victor Martinez
Martinez
and
and young
young
adult literature
adult literature
as teachers as t
Guadalupe
Guadalupe GarciaGarcia
McCall McCall who know their own students is cru
Asian and Pacific Island American Asian and Pacific Island American
Asian and Pacific Island American Asian and Pacific Island Americancial.
dal All
A11of of
the the excellence
excellence in the in the world
world
Debjani Chatterjee Thanhha Lei Yan Nascimbene will not matter if the readers are not
Sook Nyul Choi Grace Lin Allen Say
Ying
Ying ChangChang Compestine
Compestine Linda Linda Sue Park Edtaken
Sue Park Ed Young Young taken
into account, into account
and in classrooms,
Demi
Demi Yoshiko
Yoshiko Uchida it is the astute, observant
Uchida teacher
it is the astute, whowho
observant teacher
Chen
Chen Jiang
Jiang HongHong Janet
JanetWong Wong links
links excellence
excellence
and young
and young
readers. This
readers. Th
Ji-Li Jiang Lisa Yee
Cynthia Kadahota Wong Herbert Yee takes
takes judicious
judicious
use of
use
others'
of others'
exper exper
Marie
Marie Lee Lee Laurence
Laurence Yep Yep tise and one's owntiseknowledge andand
and one's own knowledge
Ed Young resources. Certainly, consult
Ed Young award
resources. Certainly, consultlists,
award lists,
Native
NativeAmerican
AmericanNative American
Native but also build abut
American cohort
also buildof critical
a cohort friends
of critical friends

Sherman
Sherman Alexie
Alexie Shonto
Shonto Begay
Begay who know you and your
who know students
you and your students
Joseph
Joseph Bruchac Christopher
Bruchac Canyon
Christopher Canyon and can ! k for
Michael
Michael Dorris
Dorris Murv Jacob Murv and
Jacob can serve as extra
y eyes to look for
Louise
Louise Erdrich
Erdrich George
George Littlechild
Littlechildstereotyped images, appropriations, or or
stereotyped images, appropriations,
Cynthia
Cynthia Leitich Smith LeoYerxa
Leitich Smith Leo Yerxa inaccuracies. Just inaccuracies.
as everyJust excellent bookbook
as every excellent
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve ma not; further an may
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
Gayle RossGayleRoss
agenda for
not further diversity,
an agenda for diversity,
,
every every
culturally diverse book may not be
Arab
ArabAmerican
American
excellent. As authors in Fox and Short's
Randa
RandaAbdel-Fattah
Abdel-FattahNaomi
Naomi
Shihab
Shihab
Nye Nye (2003) edited volume demonstrate, since
Ibtisam
IbtisamBarakat
BarakatMariane
Marjane
Satrapi
Satrapi
HenaKhan ■■—j-" viewpoints on cultural
Hena Khan authenticity
viewpoints areare
on cultural authenticity
not consistent even within the same

The Reading Teacher Vol.68 issue5


issues February 2015

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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

"Classroom and
"ClCLSSTOOTH understanding ofof
UTld understanding cultural authentic
cultural to young readers: "It is important, too,
authentic- to young readers: "It is importa
ity"(p.(p.
ity" 5);5); ambiguous
ambiguous though
though that
that may may
to have theto have details
cultural the cultural
be right, details be righ
school libraries
School libraries seem,seem,
a reader's sense
a reader's sense of candor
of candor may may although
although just
just what is right what
is not alwaysis right is
bejust
be just as valid
as valid as a
as a gold orgold
silver or
seal silver
easy seal easy to (p.
to determine" determine"
420). (p. 420).
should reflect
should reflectmultiple
multiple stamped on the cover of a book. With
stamped on the cover of a book. We know that every book contains an
With We know that every book
respect
respect to to accuracy,
accuracy, Isaacssum
Isaacs (2007) (2007) sum- and
ideology ideology and about
assumptions assumptions
how the about ho
ideologiesthat
ideologies that parallel
parallel marizes the need for, and sometimes the world operates. Classroom
marizes the need for, and sometimes the world operates. Classroom and school
,. j difficulty of, assessing truth versus
difficulty mis-
of, assessing libraries
truth should
versus mis reflect
libraries should multiple ideolo
reflect multiple ideolo
diverse student
UlVerSe SlUCieril information before before
information presenting books
presenting booksgies, since our classrooms are populated
gies, since our classrooms are populated

populations!
populations
Table
Table22Resources
Resourcesto Locate
to Locate
Culturally
Culturally
DiverseDiverse
Literature
Literature
Recommended Texts

culturalgroups,
cultural groups, there
there is a is a great
great deal
deal of of Rudine
Bishop, Bishop,Sims,
Rudine Sims,
Free Free Within
Within Ourselves:
Ourselves: Vie Development
The Development of of AfricanAmerican
African American Children's
Children's Literature
Literature
roomfor
room forargument.
argument. Nevertheless,
Nevertheless, there Wanda,
there Brooks, Brooks, &
Wanda,
Jonda& McNair,
Jonda McNair, Embracing,
Embracing, Evaluating,
Evaluating, andand ExaminingAfrican
Examining African American
American Children's
Children'sandand
Young Adult Literature
are three
three broad
broad categories
categories to
to which
whichwe
weYoung Adult Literature
Fox, Dana, & Kathy Short, Stories Matter: The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children's Literature
canlook
can lookfor
for guidance
guidance on to
on how how to Fox>
deter- deterDana' & Kathy ShorL Stories Matter: The Complexity of Cultural Authenticity in Children's Literature
Harris, Violet, Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K-8
mine aa quality
mine quality book:
book: Harris, Violet, Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K-8
, Using Multiethnic Literature in the K-8 Classroom
• Visual and
and verbal
verbal sensitivity
sensitivity
Seale, Doris, & Beverly Slapin, A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children and Young
•• Authenticity
Authenticity and and accuracy
accuracy Adults
Adults

•• Ideology
Ideology Webber, Carlisle, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Webber, Carlisle, Transgender
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgenderand Questioning
and Questioning TeenA Guide
Teen Literature: Literature:
to A Guide to
Reading
Reading Interests
Interests

There
There are are
variedvaried and
and quality quality
resources resources Culturally-Specific Book
Culturally-Specific Awards
Book Awards
that
thatmay
maybe be
beneficial
beneficial
to teachers
to teachers
while while •• Coretta
CorettaScottScott King
King Award andAward and Honor (ALA)
Honor (ALA)
making
making literature
literature selections.
selections. In Table 2,• Pura
In Table 2, BelpréBelpre
* Pura Award (ALA)
Award (ALA)
,, , t • Americas Book Award (Consortium of Latin
• Américas Book Award
we offer some of these resources to assist
American
(Consortium Studies
of Latin American Studies Programs)
Programs)
we offer some of these resources to assist # jQm^s
• Tomas RjveraAmerican
Rivera Mexican Mexjcan American
Children's Children's
Book Award (Texas StateBook Award
Univ.-San Marcos)(Texas State Univ.-San Marcos)
in
in developing
developing a culturally inclusive
a culturally col
inclusive col- • • American
American IndianIndian YouthAward
Youth Literature Literature Award
(American Indian (American
Library Association) Indian Library Association)
lection
lection ofof
literature. We now
literature. We turn
nowto our
turn to our •• Asian
Asian Pacific
Pacific American
American Award (American
Award for Literature for Literature (American
Pacific American Librarians Pacific
Association)American Librarians Association
•• Arab
ArabAmerican
American
Book Award
Book (Arab
AwardAmerican
(ArabNational
American
Museum)
National Museum)
discussion
discussionofofauthenticity.
authenticity.
•• Carter
CarterG. Woodson
G. Woodson
Book Awards
Book (National
AwardsCouncil
(National
for theCouncil
Social Studies)
for the Social Studies)
•• Stonewall
StonewallBookBook
Awards
Awards
(ALA) (ALA)
Authenticity.
Authenticity.Visual
Visual
stereotyping
stereotyping
and and Additional Book Awards
tokenism
tokenismcan
canbebe
spotted
spotted
in books
in books
and and
• Schneider Family Book Award (ALA)
should be the basis for their removal
• Mildred L. Batchelder Award (ALA)
from
from any any collection.
collection. Similarly, a Similarly,
book's a book's Additional Resources
Additional Resources
language
language should
should also
also be
be aa feature
feature toto # International Children's
• International Children's Digital Library
Digital Library (en.childrensiibrary.org):
(en.childrenslibrary.org): Anresource
An Internet Internet resource of bilingual
of bilingual
address.
address.The
Theline between
line between a dialect and and picture
a dialect books
picture books and picture
and picture books
books in languages
in languages other thanother
English.than English.

stereotypical speech
stereotypical speech may
may not
not be
be easily • AmericanIndians
easily• American Indians in
inChildren's
Children'sLiterature (americanindiansinchildrensliterature.net):
Literature A blog
(americanindiansinchildrensliterature.net): A blog
j u u . . i i by Debbie Reese (Nambe Pueblo). ReeseReese
by Debbie provides
(Nambe a wealth
Pueblo). Reeseofprovides
resources for
a wealth selecting
of resources for children's
selecting children's
drawn,
drawn, but but
this should certainly be
this should certainlyliterature
be |iterature aboyt
about American Indians that Ame^
is culturally|ndigns m jsandand
authentic, accurate, free
free from bias.from bjas
considered.
considered. • Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural
• Kaleidoscope:Booklist forBooklist
A Multicultural Grades for K-8.
GradesNCTE.
K-8. NCTE.
There are a multitude
multitude of
of differ
differ- • Adichie,• Adichie,
Chimamanda. "The Danger
Chimamanda. of a of
"The Danger Single Story."
a Single TED
Story." TEDTalk,
Talk,October 2009.[Video
October 2009. [Video filmed
filmed in in
July 2009],
ing opinions
ing opinionsabout
about what
what makes
makes a book fuly
a book 2009],
, • Teaching Tolerance (www.tolerance.org):
culturallyauthentic.
authentic. However,
A project
• Teaching Tolerance of the A
(www.tolerance.org): Southern Poverty
project of the Law Center,
Southern Poverty Law Center,Teaching
Teaching
culturally However, Fox Fox
and and
Tolerance offers lesson
Tolerance plans,
offers lessonbibliographies, and other
plans, bibliographies, curriculum
and other curriculummaterials forteaching
materials for teaching respect
respect
Short (2003)
Short (2003)argue
argue that
that "the
"the reader's
reader's for and appreciation of diversity.
for and appreciation It also offers
of diversity. resources
It also offers for parents,
resources teens,
for parents, teens,and
and children. Usethe
children. Use the
sense website's
searchsearch feature
to to locatespecific
specific types
typesofof materials.
sense of
of truth
truthininhow
howa aspecific
specificcultural
culturalwebsite's feature locate materials.
, , . • Paper Tigers (www.papertigers.org):
• Paper Sponsored
Tigers (www.papertigers.org): by Pacific
Sponsored Rim
by Pacific Voices,
Rim this
Voices, thiswebsite
website provides
provides
experience has been represented within
experience has been represented within excellent information on books
excellent information on from and about
books from the the
and about Pacific Rim
Pacific Rimand
and South Asia.Check
South Asia. Checkoutout
the the
bookbook
aa book,
book,particularly
particularly when
when thethe reader
reader is
is reviews, essential readingreading
reviews, essential list, interviews with
list, interviews book
with bookcreators, andmore.
creators, and more.
an insider
an insiderto
tothe
theculture
culture portrayed
portrayed in •in • Reading
Reading Out (www.readingout.org):
Out (www.readingout.org): A searchable
A searchable online
online databasefor
database for LGBTQ
LGBTQ young
youngreaders
readersand
and
their allies.
that book,
that book,isisprobably
probably
thethe most
most common ^e'r a"'es'
common

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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

outside [her] neighborhood," the books


"Whilethe
"While the CCSS
CCSS include
include an appendix
an appendix
' ' that reflected her
to to
outside
that reality aid
reflected her notdid
reality
[her]
exist,
neighb
not exist,
so she created them herself (MF 2449,
text exemplars,
text exemplars,thethe examples
examples are limited
are limited 80 she created them h
Folder
Folder 1). 1).
Likewise,
Likewise,
Mr. Cason's
Mr. stu
Cason's stu

as related
as relatedtoto modern
modern andand contemporary
contemporary dents are in the sam
readers who seldom see their home
dents are in the same demographic of

culturally
culturally diverse
diverse literature."
literature. lives reflected backback
lives reflected totothem through
them through
literature. In My Man Blue, the ideals
that undergird the story are trust,
by
by young
young people whowho
people are different and
are different point
point of
and of view,
view, RL.2.6,
RL.2.6, and author's
and author's craft kinship,
craft kinship, and collective
and collective responsibil
responsibil
who
who"know
"know differently"
differently"in the and
in sense structure,
of andof
the sense RL.2.7, Mr. Cason uses
structure, RL.2.7, Mr. Casonity, useswhich
ity, are
which are all encompassed
all encompassed in the in the
Gonzales
Gonzales and colleagues'
and (2005)(2005)
colleagues' writ-
My My
writ
Man Man Blue.
Blue. Instory,
In the the story, which
which is is African
African proverbproverb "It
"It takes takes atovillage to
a village
ings
ingsabout
about the "many
the "manywaysways
of being" about
of about
being" a nontraditional
a nontraditional family
family and isand
toldis tolda child."
raise raise a Because
child." Because
of how of how promi
promi
that
thatshape
shape individuals. In sum,
individuals. no matter
In sum, through
no matter
through poetry,
poetry, an African
an African AmericanAmerican
nently nently these
these ideals areideals are featured
featured in the in the
what
whataspect
aspectof of
diversity a teacher
diversity might
a teacher boy develops
boy develops
might a relationship
a relationship with a with book and because of how the book
a father book and because of how the book
father
want
wanttoto introduce
introduce to students through
to students figure
figure
through in urban
in an an urban neighborhood.
neighborhood. Whenacts as aacts
When rareas
"mirror"
a rare to his students'
"mirror" to his students'
literature,
literature,quality
qualitycriteria for for
criteria Damon,
LGBT, Damon,
LGBT, the
themain character,
main meets
character, Blue,urban
meets lives, Mr.
Blue, urban Cason
lives, Mr.isCason
confident
is confident
disability,
disability, religion, region,
religion, socioeco-
region, aa person
personin
socioeco inhis
hisneighborhood,
neighborhood, he he is wary
is wary thatMan
that My MyBlue
Manmeets
Blue meets the criterion
the criterion of of
nomic status, and so forth are
nomic status, and so forth are the same. the same.
at first.
at first. Damon Damon feelsBlue
feels like likeis Blue
goingis being
going culturally
being culturally authentic.
authentic.
In
In the
thenext
nextsection, we present
section, a to encroach
we present encroach
a ononhis
hisrelationship
relationship with with
his his Another
Another indication
indication of quality
of quality is theis the
hypothetical
hypothetical scenario of My
scenario ofMan
MyBlue
Manmother, who's
Bluewho's
mother, raising
raising Damon
Damon by herself. author's
author's
by herself. craft.doing
craft. After After doing a Google
a Google
by
by Nikki
NikkiGrimes
Grimes as as
an an
example of Being
example Being second
of graders,the
second graders, the chil- search,
chil Mr.Cason
search, Mr. Cason learned
learned that that authori
authori
choices
choicesMr.
Mr.Cason, a second-grade
Cason, dren's
a second-grade knowledge
dren's knowledge ofof character's
character's point
point ties ties in many
in many circlescircles have Grimes'
have lauded lauded Grime
teacher,
teacher, made
madein selecting an excellent,
in selecting of of view
view
an excellent,waswas emerging.
emerging. Mr.Mr. Cason
Cason knewknew poetry
poetry for decades.
for decades. In the
In the year of year
its of its
culturally
culturally rich
richbook thatthat
book is authentic, it was
it was
is authentic, critical
critical to purposely
to purposely selectselect a text publication,
a textpublication, My Man MyBlueMan
was Blue
desig was desig
accurate,
accurate,and free
and of stereotypes
free to where
of stereotypes help some
towhere
helpchildren
some could relatecould
children to nated
relate to asnated
a Newsweek Best Children's
as a Newsweek Best Children's
with
withinstruction around
instruction two reading
around the characters and others could learn Book of the Year and a Bank Street
the characters and others could learn Book of the Year and a Bank Street
two reading
literature
literature Standards.
Standards. about nontraditional family struc-
about nontraditional family College
struc Children's Book ofBook
College Children's the of
Year. It It
the Year.
tures;
tures; all
allchildren
childrenwould
wouldlearn about
learn about received
receivedthe
the Marion
Marion Vannett
Vannett Ridgway
Ridgway
EvaluatingNikki
Evaluating Nikki Grimes'
Grimes' author's craft
author's and
craft andstructure.
structure. ForFor
examexam- Award,
Award, and
and it alsoit alsothe
made made
list the list
All/
My ManManBlue Blue pie, as Mr. Cason ple, as examined My Man
Mr. Cason examined ings ings
My Man forforBooklist Editor's
Booklist Editor's ChoiceChoice
and and
Mr.Cason
Mr. Casonis is a second-grade
a second-grade teacherBlue
teacher to determine
Blue its relevance
to determine and
its relevance the the
and Riverbank Review Children's
Riverbank Review Books
Children's Books
who works
who worksatat
anan urban
urban elementary appropriateness
elementary forhis
appropriateness for hissecond
secondgraders,of Distinction.
graders, The numerous
of Distinction. awards
The numerous awards
school
school in in
thethe
northeastern U.S. The
northeastern
U.S. Theheheused
used authenticity
authenticity and and that Grimes
the author's
the author's has received,
that Grimes such as ansuch as an
has received,
school'sstudent
school's student population
population comescomes craft asmarkers
craft as markersof of quality.
quality. Grimes
Grimes Award
Award for for Excellence
Excellence in for
in Poetry Poetry for
fromneighboring
from neighboring communities
communities and and wove
wove 1414poems
poemstogether
together toto tell
tell a story
a story Children
Children (National
(National CouncilCouncil of Teachers
of Teachers
is approximately
is approximately85%85% black,
black, includinclud-about
about inner-city
inner-city life—a
life—a storystory
whichwhich of English)
of English) inthe
in 2006, 2006, the University
University
ing refugees
ing refugees from
from Somalia;
Somalia; 8% Latino/
8% Latino/ waswas rooted
rooted in her
in her childhood
childhood of Minnesota's
experi-
experi 2003 Kerlan
of Minnesota's Award,Award,
2003 Kerlan
Latina;
Latina;3%
3%white; andand
white; 5% 5%
Asian/Pacific
Asian/Pacific ences
ences withwith a "black
a "black guardian
guardian angel
angel in a Coretta
ina Coretta ScottAuthor
Scott King King Author
Award Award
Islander.
Islander. a leather jacket" (MFa 3404,
leather Folder 5). 3404,
jacket" (MF in 2002,
Folder and
5). four
in 2002,Coretta Scott Scott
and four Coretta KingKing
Whilethe
While the CCSS
CCSS include
include an appendix
an appendix As an American
As an African African growing
American Honor Awards,
growing
up in up inalso boostAwards,
Honor Mr. Cason's
also boost
(2010)
(2010) to to text
text exemplars,
exemplars, as we explained
as we explained theof
the boroughs boroughs
New Yorkof New
City, York
being City, being
confidence that heconfidence
was choosing that
a he was ch
earlier,
earlier, the the examples
examples are
are limited shuffled
as limited from home from
as shuffled to home home
as she to home as shesuperbly
high-quality, high-quality, superbly
written piece of wri
related
related to to modern
modern and contemporary
and contemporary was inwas in her formative
her formative did literature
years,
years, Grimes Grimesfor hisliterature
did students. for his students.
culturally
culturally diverse
diverse literature. Mr. Cason Mr.not
literature. see herself
Cason not or herherself
see home environ
or her home In environ- In addition
addition to these to qual
markers of these marke
wants
wants to to teach
teach his second
his second graders
graders to ments
to reflected in the books she
ments reflected in read.
the books
ity,she
Mr. read. ity, Mr. how
Cason recognized Cason recognized h
Jerome
meettwo
meet two of reading
of the the reading literature
literature CCSS.
CCSS. While While reading
she valued she valued
otherreading other liter-
liter Lagarrigue's hazy Lagarrigue's hazy
paintings gently paintings
depict
To
Toteach the the
teach children about characters'
children about characters'
ature andature and
"learning "learning
about aboutDamon
the world the and Blue within
world Damon their
andnatural
Blue within thei

The Reading Teacher


Teacher Vol.68
Vol.68 Issue
Issue 55 February »015
February;2015

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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

setting. He identifies the poem "Damon


setting. He identifies the 'Teachers
poem "Damon "TeacherS
should go theShould
titles 00 beVOfl
&& Blue"
Blue" as an
as an example, example,
whichwhich reads:
reads: ° beyond
J
"Damon & Blue / Just us two / Cruising
up
up the avenue.
the
and content
"Damon & Blue / Just us two
/ You strut,
avenue. / You
suggested
you glide /
strut,
in Appendix BCOTLtent
/ Cruising
you glide /
But mark our stride / Can't beat us when
But mark our strideof/the CCSS tobeat
Can't enrich us
the learning
when of the CC
we're
we're /byside
/ side side." by side."
"Damon & Blue" "Damon & Blue" r
appears
appears by itself by
on theitself on
left-hand page possibilities for
the left-hand pageall students
pOSSWiHtieS JOr 3.11
upon
upona a backdrop
backdropof sea-green acrylic acrylic
of sea-green
painted
painted paper. The The
paper. opposing page shows
opposing page shows
Damon dressed in a yellow jacket, cran of the is Conclusions
Damon dressed in a yellow thejacket, cran- portrayal
book is an authentic the book an authentic portrayal of the Con
ing his neck to look at his father figure,
ing his neck to look at hislives of manyfigure,
father children who grow up
lives of in many children
Selecting who high-quality,
and evaluating grow up in Meetin
tall and stocky with cool shades on. The
homes with
tall andstocky with cool shades on. The homes with nono father; he recognizes that culturally
father; diverse literature for that
he recognizes stu cultura
two hold hands while they stride down this is a fact of several children in his
two hold hands while they stride down this is a factdents of several children
is essential, but it is notin an
his dents is
the sidewalk past storefronts, and the
he sidewalk past storefronts, classroom.andThe characters exemplify realThe
the classroom. exactcharacters
science. We have exemplify
discussed the real exact
thick yellow stripe painted in the middle
family structures and relationships that
thick yellow stripe painted in the middle family structures importanceand relationships
of high-quality, diverse that
lit imp0r
of the street divides the spread in half.
young readers do not often encounter.
of the street divides the^spread in half. young erature
readers do in classrooms,
not often noting some of
encounter. eratur
Illustrations of the neighborhood are In sum, Grimes tells the story of
Illustrations of the neighborhood are In sum, Grimes the current tells the
scholarly story
literature of the cur
on this
portrayed as a bold, urban landscape Damon and Blue in a free-verse col
portrayed as a bold, urban landscape Damon and
topic, and Blue
suggested inofaselect
ways free_verse
with
With a subdued
a subduedmood, brushed
mood, through
brushed through
lection of poems. lprh'nri nf nnpms Thpsp rharartprs
These characters
with
•intense,
. , •bright
v,. colors,
, . •symbolizing
lection ot poems, inesecnaracters ingliterature.
ing and evaluating diverse and evaluati
with intense, bright are colors, symbolizing
realistically
, , • .. Pushing past the single Pushing
portrayed and offer are realistically portrayed an
story past and
the "single the
story" and the
dreams
dreams andand
aspirations.
aspirations. readers the
readers the opportunity
opportunity to witness
to witness „ nof }A ( , ubooks"
} „
"all-white world children's
Mr. Cason likes the fact that the book
Mr. Cason likes the fact that the bookananemerging
emergingfriendship
friendship between two . all"whl e world of chfen s b°oks
between two is crucial to shaping a broad collection
features a relationship, which isn't often
African American males; Damon,
features a relationship, which isn't often African Lerican males; Damon, of
fT*1
books that reflect the multiple ways
seen in children's literature, and it adds
seen in children's literature,
to the book's relevance. The second
and
whoit isadds who
a boy is
without a aboy without
father, and a father, and °! ^ ^ ^ ^
that students can experience the world
to the book's relevance. The secondBlue, Blue,who who lost
lost hishis
own own
son son to the to
to the ^ Sf?entS ^ the W°/
find themselves, and others, in the
opening of the book reveals the first
opening of the book reveals the first streets. Blue deliberately cultivates ^ 6mSe^oters,inte
streets. Blue deliberately cultivates
time that Damon met Blue. His mother, books they read. We have also argued
time that Damon met Blue. His mother, a friendship
a friendship with
with Damon
Damon to fill
to fill a a ° S Y \ l have_a'so argued
a young woman in a summer dress that our understanding of diversity
a young woman in a summer dress VOid, void, and likewise,
and likewise, Blue
Blue fills fillsina ^at
a void void
ourinunderstanding of diversity
and should be expanded to include the
and sandals,
sandals, keeps
keeps aa steady
steady hand
hand on
on Damon's life. Lagarrigue's
Damon's paintingspaintings
life. Lagarrigue's should be expanded to include the
Damon's shoulder while Damon stews voices of different ethnic, cultural,
enhance
Damon's shoulder while Damon stews enhance Grimes' Grimes'
story line,story
depict-line,
voicesdepict
of different ethnic, cultural,
inside. socioeconomic, and linguistic groups
inside. Damon
Damon narrates,
narrates, "My
"My flash
flash- ing aing
restricted, uncompromising
a restricted, socioeconomic, and linguistic groups
uncompromising
as well as additional nonmainstream
ing
ing eyes
eyes warn
warn 'Do
'Do not
not trespass
trespass here,'
here,' / urban
/ urban landscape,
landscape, making
making this
this cul- as cul
wel1 as addltlonal nonmainstream
'Cause in this
this family
familyI'mI'mthe
theonly
onlyman."
man." groups. We believe that a deliber
'Cause in turally diverse
turally text atext
diverse compelling and groups.
a compelling and We believe that a deliber
ate and sustained effort to enrich
Testosterone levelsrecede
Testosterone levels recedeas as the
the two
two getget convincing
convincing story story arc.
arc. Given hisGiven hisand
care- ate care
sustained effort to enrich
to know each other, but Grimes does classroom and school libraries with
ful research and analysis, Mr. Cason
to know each other, but Grimes does ful research and analysis, Mr. Cason classroom and school libraries with
not culturally diverse literature is vital.
not gloss over the
gloss over thegenuine
genuinefeelings
feelingsofof decided
decided that
that My ManMy BlueMan
was aBlue
high-was a high
culturally diverse literature is vital.
her characters. Mr. Cason believes that Equally importantly,
her characters. Mr. Cason believes that quality text and an appropriate one Equally importantly,
quality text and an appropriate one the inclu the inclu
that would facilitate
that facilitate discussion
discussionand sion of culturally
andsion of culturally diverse literature
diverse literature in in

learning amonghis
learning among hisstudents.
students. AppendixAppendix
He He B of the BCCSS
of the
textCCSS text exemplars
exemplars
is extremely limited (Boyd, 2012/2013). In
"ArjpliV)pYnfp
"A deliberate and and
decided to use decided to use this
this culturally culturally
diverse diverselimited (Boyd, 2012/2013). In
is extremely
text to give
text to givehis
hissecond
second graders
graders a piece
a piece our example,
our example, Mr.selected
Mr. Cason Cason selected
a cul a cul
of literature they could relate to and turally diverse text that enabled students
sustained
sustained effort to
effort to of literature theycould relate to and turally diverse text that enabled students
to meet theLike
Standards. Like Mr.
J J enjoy in orderenjoy
to meet reading
in order litera-
to meet to meet
reading the Standards.
litera Mr. Cason, it Cason, it
enrich
enrich libraries
libraries with
with ture Standardsture Standards RL.2.6 and RL.2.7. In
RL.2.6 is up to
and RL.2.7. In is up to all teachers to all
go teachers to go the
well beyond well beyond the
Table
Table 3,3,wewe offer
offer examples
examples of culturally
of culturally titles
titles and and suggested
content content suggested
in Appendixin Appendix
culturally
culturally diverse
diverse diverse to use with reading B of the CCSS to enrich the teaching the
diverse literature to use with reading
literature B of the CCSS to enrich
andteaching and
literature Standards 6 and 7 from kin
literature Standards 6 and 7 from kin- learning possibilities
learning for all students,
possibilities as
for all students, as
literature
Literature is vital."
IS Vital. dergarten through seventh
dergarten throughgrade. suggested
seventh grade. bysuggested
the Standards.
by the Standards.

www.readirig.org
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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

Table
Table3 3Culturally
CulturallyDiverse Literature
Diverse for Reading
Literature LiteratureLiterature
for Reading Standards 6 Standards
and 7 6 and 7
Common Core State Standards

Reading Standards for Literature K-7


and Structure
Craft and Structure

RL.K.6: With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
• Appropriate picture books illustrated by James A. Ransome, E.B. Lewis, Bryan Collier, Floyd Cooper, Donald Crews, Ashley Bryan, Jerry Pinkney, Javaka
Steptoe, Alan Say, Ed Young, Joe Cepeda, Susan Guevara, and Eric Velasquez
RL.2.6: Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
• My Man Blue by Nikki Grimes

RL.3.6: Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
• The Other Side or Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson
RL.4.6: Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
• Morning Girl by Michael Dorris (This standard can be addressed by any number of picture books or novels, taking care to select them based on point of view.)

RL.5.6: Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.
• Guests by Michael Dorris
• Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi

RL.6.6: Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
• One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
• The Friendship
Fhendship or
or Mississippi
Mississippi Bridge by Mildred
Mildred D.
D. Taylor
Taylor

RL.7.6: Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.
Roll of
• Roll of Thunder,
Thunder, Hear
HearMy
MyCry
Cryby
byMildred
MildredD.D.Taylor
Taylor
• Keesha's House by Helen Frost
• Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

Common Core State Standards

Reading
Reading Standards
Standards for
forLiterature
LiteratureK-7
K-7
Integration
Integration of
of Knowledge
Knowledgeand
andIdeas
Ideas
RL.K.7:
RL.K.7: With
With prompting
promptingand
andsupport,
support,describe
describethe
the
relationship
relationship
between
between
illustrations
illustrations
andand
the the
story
story
in which
in which
theythey
appear
appear
(e.g.,(e.g.,
whatwhat
moment
moment
in a story
in a story
an an
illustration
illustration depicts).
depicts).
• Appropriate
Appropriate picture
picturebooks
booksillustrated
illustratedby
byJames
JamesA.A.
Ransome,
Ransome,
E.B.
E.B.
Lewis,
Lewis,
Bryan
Bryan
Collier,
Collier,
Floyd
Floyd
Cooper,
Cooper,
Donald
Donald
Crews,
Crews,
Ashley
Ashley
Bryan,
Bryan,
Jerry
Jerry
Pinkney,
Pinkney,
Javaka
Javaka
Steptoe,
Steptoe, Alan
Alan Say,
Say, Ed
EdYoung,
Young,Joe
JoeCepeda,
Cepeda,Susan
SusanGuevara,
Guevara,and
and
Eric
Eric
Velasquez
Velasquez
RL.1.7:
RL.1.7: Use
Use illustrations
illustrationsand
anddetails
detailsinina astory
story
toto
describe
describe
itsits
characters,
characters,
setting,
setting,
or events.
or events.
• Grandfather's
Grandfather's Journey
Journeyby
byAllen
AllenSay
Say

RL.2.7: Use information


RL.2.7: Use informationgained
gainedfrom
fromthe
theillustrations
illustrations and
and words
words in in a print
a print or digital
or digital texttext to demonstrate
to demonstrate understanding
understanding of itsof its characters,
characters, setting,
setting, or plot.
or plot,
• The Bat
Bat Boy
Boy and
and His
HisViolin
Violinby
byGavin
GavinCurtis
Curtis

RL.3.7:
RL.3.7: Explain
Explain how
how specific
specificaspects
aspectsofofa atext's
text'sillustrations
illustrations
contribute
contribute
to to
what
what
is conveyed
is conveyed
by the
by the
words
words
in a in
story
a story
(e.g.,(e.g.,
createcreate
mood,mood,
emphasize
emphasize
aspects
aspects
of a of a
character
character or
or setting).
setting).
Uttie Night
• Little Night by
byYuyi
YuyiMorales
Morales
• Hot Day
Day on
on Abbott
Abbott Avenue
Avenueby
byKaren
KarenEnglish
English

RL.4.7:
RL.4.7: Make
Make connections
connectionsbetween
betweenthe
thetext
textofofa story
a story
oror
drama
drama
and
and
a visual
a visual
or or
oraloral
presentation
presentation
of the
of the
text,text,
identifying
identifying
where
where
each each
version
version
reflects
reflects
specific
specific
descriptions
descriptions and
and directions
directionsin
inthe
thetext.
text.
• March
March On!
On! The
The Day
DayMy
MyBrother
BrotherMartin
MartinChanged
Changedthe
the
World
World
byby
Christine
Christine
King
King
Farris
Farris
andand
the the
Carnegie
Carnegie
Medal-winning
Medal-winning
videovideo
of the
ofsame
the same
title produced
title produced
by by
Paul Gagne
Gagne and
and Melissa
MelissaReilly,
Reilly,Weston
WestonWoods.
Woods.(Note:
(Note:
For
For
Standard
Standard
7 in
7 in
grades
grades
5 and
5 and
up,up,
use use
the the
ALA's
ALA's
media
media
award
award
lists lists
to determine
to determine
outstanding
outstanding
mediamedia
presentation
presentation of
of outstanding
outstandingdiverse
diverseliterature.)
literature.)

RL.6.7:
RL.6.7: Compare
Compare and
andcontrast
contrastthe
theexperience
experienceofof
reading
reading
a story,
a story,
drama,
drama,
or or
poem
poem
to listening
to listening
to or
to viewing
or viewing
an audio,
an audio,
video,
video,
or live
or version
live version
of theoftext,
the text,
including
including
contrasting
contrasting what
what they
they"see"
"see"and
and"hear"
"hear"when
whenreading
reading
the
the
text
text
to to
what
what
they
they
perceive
perceive
when
when
they
they
listen
listen
or watch.
or watch.
• The
The Watsons
Watsons Go
Go to
to Birmingham—1963
Birmingham—1963by
byChristopher
Christopher Paul Curtis
Paul Curtis
• The Watsons
Watsons Go
Go to
to Birmingham—1963
Birmingham—1963movie,
movie,directed
directed
byby
Kenny
KennyLeon
Leon
RL.7.7:
RL.7.7: Compare
Compare and
and contrast
contrasta awritten
writtenstory,
story,drama,
drama,oror
poem
poem
to to
itsits
audio,
audio,
filmed,
filmed,
staged,
staged,
or multimedia
or multimedia
version,
version,
analyzing
analyzing
the effects
the effects
of techniques
of techniques
uniqueunique
to to
each medium
medium (e.g.,
(e.g., lighting,
lighting,sound,
sound,color,
color,ororcamera
camera
focus
focus
and
and
angles
angles
in in
a film).
a film).
• Warriors
Warriors Don't
Don't Cry
Cryby
byMelba
MelbaPatillo
PatilloBeals
Beals
o Eyes
Eyes on
on The
The Prize
Prize (documentary)
(documentary)
o Crisis
Crisis at
at Central
Central High
High(docudrama)
(docudrama)
° Hazel Bryan
o Bryan and
and Elizabeth
Elizabeth Eckford
Eckford (photograph)
(photograph)
• I Have
Have aa Dream
Dream Speech
Speechby
byMartin
MartinLuther
LutherKing
KingJr.
Jr.
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs)
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs)

The Reading
Heading Teacher'
Teacher Vol.68
Vol.68 Issue
Issue55 February 2015

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CULTURALLY DIVERSE LITERATURE: ENRICHING VARIETY IN AN ERA OF COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

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