For 20 years, the Teaching Tolerance staff has reviewed the latest in culturally aware literature and anti-bias resources, recommending the best picks for educators. Here are a few of the materials our staff chose over the last two decades that we think are enduring classics.
The civil rights movement was well documented through photography. One of the great visual chroniclers of the era, Charles Moore, started his career with the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser newspaper at the end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The reissued 1991 collection Powerful Days: The Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore paints an unforgettable portrait of the movement’s first decade.
middle & high school
— Maureen Costello, Director
Rethinking Early Childhood Education, edited by Ann Pelo, is an anthology of inspiring stories about teaching social justice with young children.
“Big names, short chapters, great insights.”
— Michelle Garcia, Professional Development Manager
Abuela, by Arthur Dorros, is a beautiful children’s book about a little girl, her grandmother and their colorful and imaginative trip through New York City. The story is told in English spiced with Spanish phrases.
My Name is Yoon, by Helen Recorvits, is the perfect book with which to welcome a child from a different country into your classroom. Yoon has just arrived from South Korea and isn’t sure she likes school in America. Readers go to school with her for the first week as she learns to write her name in English and make new friends.
“Touching — it speaks to the immigrant experience.”
— Thom Ronk, Curriculum Design Manager
Everyday Anti-Racism: Getting Real About Race in School, edited by Mica Pollock, is a feast for anti-bias educators, with 50 original essays by leading educators, such as Sonia Nieto, Pedro A. Noguera and Beverly Daniel Tatum. They describe concrete ways to address race in schools.
Widening the Circle: The Power of Inclusive Classrooms, by Mara Sapon-Shevin, is a passionate and radical argument for schools in which all children, including those labeled as “disabled” and “special needs,” are welcomed on equal terms.
The bulk of Mendel Grossman’s photographs of daily life in Poland’s Lodz Ghetto during the Holocaust survived hidden in a wall, only to be destroyed during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. My Secret Camera tells a story of tension, uncertainty and hope.
middle & high school
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching
edited by Alana Murray and Deborah Menkart
Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit
Middle & High School
Rising Voices: Writings of Young Native Americans
compiled by Arlene Hirschfelder and Beverly Singer
Being Muslim: A Groundwork Guide by Haroon Siddiqui
The American Experience: Simple Justice (a documentary based on the book
about Brown v. Board of Education by Richard Kluger)
Freedom: A History of Us by Joy Hakim
Remembering Manzanar: Life in a Japanese Relocation Camp
by Michael L. Cooper
My Chair by Betsy James
Say Something by Peggy Moss
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
Two Mrs. Gibsons by Toyomi Igus
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman