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Inclusive Schools Week Books

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Inclusive Schools Week celebrates the progress of schools to provide supportive education to a diverse student population. Inclusion in schools protects those students with disabilities, gender differences, socio-economic challenges, and cultural diversity.  Inclusive Schools Week also provides the opportunity for educators, students, and families to address what needs to be done to improve the school’s ability to effectively educate all children equally.

This year, the Inclusive Schools Week theme is “The Time for Inclusion is Now!” 

In honor of Inclusive Schools Week, elementary school librarians across our Go Public community sent in recommendations on their favorite books about inclusivity, diversity, and empathy.

Traditional public school librarians hold master’s degrees in Library Sciences, and they encourage reading, innovation, and critical thinking. They play a critical role in educating all children. 

Each librarian that shared their recommendations will receive a copy of the book Livi and Grace by Jennifer Lynch, and Librarian Nikki Polk from Judson ISD won the drawing to receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card to use for her school library!

We are excited to share these amazing school librarians’ recommended books on inclusivity!

Where Are You From?
By Yamile Saied Mendez
A young girl asks her grandfather where is she from, and he explains her heritage.
Copperfield Elementary School, Judson ISD
The Day You Begin
By Jaqueline Woodson
In a touching story about connection, students of all backgrounds are encouraged to open up and share with each other. When they do, they find some things that they have in common.
Hopkins Elementary School, Judson ISD
Angelina’s beautiful story about how it feels to be different resonates with the inner child in all of us. Angelina finds her strength to speak up and tell her story with pride. She shows us all that our differences are something to celebrate proudly.
Lackland Elementary School, Lackland ISD
New Kid
By Jerry Craft
An honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where there isn’t much diversity.  Jordan Banks’ parents enroll him in a prestigious private school where Jordan is one of the few kids of color. He has to learn how to be a part of his new school and still be who he is in his own neighborhood.
Central Elementary School, Angleton ISD
Duck for Turkey Day
By Jacqueline Jules
Illustrated by Kathryn Mitter
Tuyet struggles with the fact that her family eats duck and not turkey as part of their Thanksgiving meal, but she learns from her family members and the conversations shared around the table that her family celebrates what they are thankful for: home, family, and America. Tuyet ends up with a fresh perspective on the meaning of Thanksgiving, and while she learns there may be differences in family traditions, there is the common bond of being thankful for family and friends.
Wortham Oaks Elementary School, Judson ISD
If You Come to Earth
By Sophie Blackall
In this beautifully illustrated book, a boy writes a letter to an extraterrestrial about what Earth and its people look like, and asks, in a postscript, what an alien looks like.  The tone and subject matter are gentle but direct. It is a good springboard for having children introduce themselves and write to a visitor.
Five Palms Elementary School, South San Antonio ISD
By R.J. Palacio
August is a normal kid with a physical abnormality that most children are not accustomed to seeing.  The book teaches children the importance of treating EVERYONE with the same respect that they would want for themselves. No one likes to feel left out and this book brings hope and peace to a classroom, school, and individual person.
Bush Elementary School, Alief ISD
Hair Love
By Matthew A. Cherry
Zuri’s curly hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way, and Zuri knows it’s beautiful. Daddy steps in to help style for a special occasion, but he has a lot to learn! This book is both tender and empowering, celebrating natural hair and daddy-daughter relationships.
Miller’s Point Elementary, Judson ISD
I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness
By Kerascoet
This wordless picture book speaks to those who have been “the new kid”.   It challenges those of us who witness bullying and want to make a difference. The smallest act of kindness can inspire the lives of many!
Kubacak Elementary School, Santa Fe ISD

I Am Enough

By Grade Byers

This story features illustrations of kids of all ethnicities and abilities interacting positively: playing, comforting, encouraging, etc. The text and illustrations combine to promote inclusion and diversity of all children. It promotes empathy and compassion by reminding us that we all have strengths and weaknesses and we should support each other’s efforts.

Southside Elementary School, Angleton ISD

Saving Winslow
By Sharon Creech
Louie’s dad brings home a sickly newborn mini-donkey.  Louie and his parents gather supplies, formulate a plan, and work hard to save him. Each little victory garners more hope and proves that love can change things for the better.  Creech seems to whisper through these characters that love and acceptance of people that are angry and hard to love can actually become the best friends you have ever had.
Franklin Elementary School, San Antonio ISD
The Invisible Boy
By Trudy Ludwig
Brian feels invisible.  A new student name Justin joins the class, and everyone makes fun of his lunch, except Brian.  They become friends and Brian doesn’t feel so invisible anymore.  This book shows that one simple act of kindness can turn someone’s day around. In the beginning of the story, when Brian is feeling invisible, he is in black and white. Towards the end of the book, he is illustrated in color, signifying that he is becoming more confident and noticed.
RJ Wollam Elementary School, Santa Fe ISD
My Brother Charlie
By Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete
A sister tells us about her little brother who has autism and even though there are some things that he can’t do-there are a lot of things that he can do!
Beacon Hill Academy, San Antonio ISD
By Jeff Newman
Having lost a dog of her own, Jenn takes in a stray dog only to make the heartbreaking discovery that the owner is looking for her newfound friend. Jenn’s own experience allows her to make the tough decision to return Roscoe to his rightful owner.
Woodlawn Academy, San Antonio ISD
Not Quite Snow White
By Ashley Franklin
A beautifully written book that reminds us that we are just enough for anything we want to do despite everything that makes us different.
Woodlawn Hills Elementary School,  San Antonio ISD
I Am Human
By  Susan Verde
As humans, we are full of emotion. From happiness to sadness, we are still human. We make mistakes and may hurt others’ feelings, but we learn from these mistakes. We learn empathy and we learn to treat one another. This book teaches students that we may sometimes feel a certain way, but that is all a part of being human.
Smith Elementary and Washington Elementary Schools, San Antonio ISD
Felix Ever After
By Kacen Callender
This story about a trans person of color is beautifully written to show the depth of complexity it is to live in a body that does not reflect your spirit. Felix is flawed but open to learning.  His raw emotions are relatable to every high schooler thinking about what comes next. It is a glorious story of identity, resilience, and love.
Advanced Learning Academy, San Antonio ISD

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