Create a Diverse Summer Reading List for Your Child

School is out for the summer which means extra time for you and your family to spend with one another. It also means extra time and opportunities for your child to say “I’m bored!” or “What can I do NOW, mom?” If it’s not already happening, brace yourself.

If you’re like me, you want your child to get lost in the pages of books this summer. The question is, what should your child read? I suggest creating a diverse summer reading list for your child.

What is Diversity?

Merriam-Webster offers two definitions for the word diversity:

  1. the condition of having or being composed of differing elements :  variety; especially :  the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization,
  2. an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities :  an instance of being diverse

Why do we need diversity?

People want to know what the solution is to our nation’s current racial issues and racial climate. I say, education. Each of us needs to be educated about others and the differences we have. Begin as early as possible. Once the awareness of differences is recognized, we then can admit we are actually quite similar. We are all, in fact, human beings. Realizing this will give way to a greater level of acceptance of others.

I recently heard someone say, “the lack of diversity is like a song with no harmony.” Such a song would have an uninspiring and unmoving monotonous sound. It definitely would not be a song of choice when wanting to express ourselves through dance. Can you imagine going to a wedding reception where the couple chose only a long list of monotonous songs to be played? Talk about a boring party!

Diversity can be found in not only in music or people, but also in literature. Literature is a great way to experience diversity and a fun way for children to be exposed to others and their ways of life.

How to Begin Creating Your Child’s Diverse Summer Reading List

  • Think of countries you and your child would be interested in discovering
  • Choose to read about a particular ethnic group and discover their culture and traditions
  • Consider reading about a particular religion or faith of which you do not know much about

7 Diverse Books to Get Your List Started

Each book on the list below includes characters from diverse ethnicities. As a whole, the list is representative of our world-full of many cultures, traditions and shades of skin.

  1. When I Close My Eyes by Ty Allan Jackson
  2. Whatever Wanda by Christy Ziglar
  3. Curiously Coiled by Fila Antwine
  4. Beautiful, Beautiful Me  by Ashley Sirah Hinton
  5. Sofia Martinez by Jacqueline Jules
  6. Here I Am by Patti Kim
  7. A Love Letter From God by P.K. Hallinan
  8. Juneteenth by Floyd Cooper

As your child completes a book on his or her Summer reading list, think of a fun activity to further educate them on a subject.

Example Activities

  • Find a recipe that is common in the culture
  • Listen and dance to music that is inspired by a particular group of people
  • Research popular games that are inspired by a specific region in the world and create the game
  • Have your child write a letter to a character in the book

Teri Watters is a married stay-at-home mom who regularly blogs at MommyWifeLife.com. She believes in keeping family at the center and is enjoying her new role as a homeschooling momma. Her ideal perfect day ends with her feet up, a big bowl of stove-popped popcorn and a tall glass of ice water with lemon.

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