Staff Picks

What We’re Reading

The latest in culturally aware literature and resources for teachers of all grades.

What We're Reading collage of book covers

Annie Shapiro and the Clothing Workers’ Strike, written by Marlene Targ Brill and illustrated by Jamel Akib, is the true story of a young woman’s determination to change the treatment of women in the workforce. In 1910, Annie walked out of the clothing company that employed her. Within a month, 40,000 other workers joined in the citywide strike. Annie’s actions contributed to the founding of Workers United.

elementary school


The Chalk Circle book cover

In The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays, Tara L. Masih assembles a resonant collection of writing by authors hailing from worlds as diverse as San Francisco’s Chinatown; Hamburg, Germany; and a hilltribe village in Thailand. These essays will enrich the reading lives of young adults grappling with intercultural issues of their own.

middle and high school




Dreamers book cover

DREAMers: Living in the Shadow of Hope, by Annie Brewer and Lynn Hoffman-Brouse, combines photography and biography to illuminate the experiences of young people whose lives are directly affected by the immigration debate. The book also debunks common immigration myths and offers a brief overview of the DREAM Act.

middle and high school


Fire in the Ashes book cover

Jonathan Kozol has been writing for decades about educational inequality in the United States. In Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America, he revisits the children, now adults, whose stories filled his earlier books. In this culminating work, Kozol touches on the loving instinct of all teachers who wonder what became of their students.

professional development




October Mourning book cover

In October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, Lesléa Newman shares her personal interpretations of Matthew Shepard’s murder and its aftermath through poetry. One of her hopes for writing October Mourning is to “honor [Shepard’s] legacy by erasing hate and replacing it with compassion, understanding, and love.” Indeed! Teacher’s and discussion guides available.

middle and high school





Patchwork Garden book cover

The Patchwork Garden / Pedacitos de huerto, a bilingual story book, tells the story of Tonia, a little girl who learns to love gardening from her abuela. Tonia becomes an advocate for transforming small patches of dirt in her community into garden spaces and inspires other children to get involved. The community benefits from using the fresh vegetables for healthy meals.

elementary school



Socially Responsible Literacy book cover

Socially Responsible Literacy: Teaching Adolescents for Purpose and Power engages the voices of both young people and literacy experts in an innovative discussion about the intersection of literacy and power. This professional development resource breaks down social justice education into the spirit, science and art of socially responsible pedagogy.

professional development





Brave New Teachers: Doing Social Justice Work in Neo-liberal Times by R. Patrick Solomon, Jordan Singer, Arlene Campbell and Andrew Allen with the assistance of John P. Portelli

College Ready: Preparing Black and Latina/o Youth for Higher Education: A Culturally Relevant Approach by Michelle G. Knight and Joanne E. Marciano

Innovative Voices in Education: Engaging Diverse Communities edited by Eileen Gale Kugler



Crossing Borders: Personal Essays by Sergio Troncoso

I’m Just Anneke and The Family Journey directed by Jonathan Skurnik

Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri

You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens edited by Sarah Cortez



My Big Sister / Mi hermana mayor by/por Samuel Caraballo, illustrated by/ilustraciones de Thelma Muraida

Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin

Show Way written and narrated by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott, music by Toshi Reagon

A map of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi with overlaid images of key state symbols and of people in community

Learning for Justice in the South

When it comes to investing in racial justice in education, we believe that the South is the best place to start. If you’re an educator, parent or caregiver, or community member living and working in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or Mississippi, we’ll mail you a free introductory package of our resources when you join our community and subscribe to our magazine.

Learn More