While at a children’s book conference, I fell in love with many books. I brought these two home because they teach about tolerance and racism.
The Other Side
Written by Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
A writer told me to read this book because it’s about racism, but there’s no mention of the word in the manuscript. A friendship develops across a racial divide. Clover, a black girl, lives beside a fence that segregates her town. Her mother tells her never to climb over to the other side because it isn’t safe.
On the other side, is a little white girl, Annie. Her mother also has told her not to climb over the fence.
The two girls see each other and introduce themselves one day. They don’t climb over the fence; they sit on it instead.
The last words leave hope that someone is going to tear down the fence one day. The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous. I saw a presentation by E. B. Lewis, and he pointed out that the girls appear on separate pages at first and are separated by the seams. After they introduce themselves, they are always on the same page. Beautiful.
So Many Houses
Written by Hester Thompson Bass
Illustrated by Alik Arzoumanian
This is an easy-to-read book, meaning it’s for children who are just learning to read. So Many Houses is a book of few words and packs a big message. Each of us lives in a different home. We’re all different, and that’s okay.