Submitted by Cheryl Sloan & Margaret Woodruff

CULTURAL DIVERSITY AWARENESS IN CHILDREN

From the headlines to the bookshelves, the issue of racial and cultural diversity has captured our nation’s attention. We offer here a list of titles available in our children’s collection that address issues of racial and cultural identity. Children as young as 2 to 3 years of age start to notice racial differences in people. Their interest and questions are attempts to understand their observations. The Charlotte Library has a wide range of culturally diverse books for readers of all ages to help start conversations with children and with adults.

Pre-school to early elementary

Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw: Two pen pals, Elliot and Kailash, write about their very similar, yet culturally different lives in America and India.

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan: Using the language of color, readers are introduced to the beauty and traditions of Muslim culture in Iran.

At the Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin: Traveling eastward from the Greenwich meridian we get a glimpse into the lives of children in 24 locations.

Chapter books

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina: A delightfully illustrated book about Juana and her dog, Lucas, and her life in modern-day Bogota, Columbia.

I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin: A military dictator has taken over Celeste’s home country of Chile. She learns the term “subversives” when her doctor-parents are forced into hiding.

What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein: Twelve-year-old Nandu helps his father raise elephants in the lush green jungle of Nepal—a great introduction to the religion, customs and culture of the region.

Young adult

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples: Set in Pakistan, Shabanu is member of a nomadic tribe of camel herders. All in the name of duty and centuries of tradition, she is one year away from an arranged marriage. But the directions of her life will take a sudden turn, and she will have to make decisions that bring shame to her family.

The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson: As the daughter of a slain Middle East king, Laila is forced to flee her homeland and create a new life in Washington D.C. Was her father a brutal dictator? And how far will her mother go to regain her position of power?

Thunder Over Kandahar by Sharon McKay: Fleeing from an attack on their school in Afghanistan, two teens are alone in Taliban-infested mountains. This book pulls no punches as to the horror endured by people in this part of our world.

UPCOMING AT THE CHARLOTTE LIBRARY 

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m. Cooking Book Club Soup for Syria. Cookbook author, photographer and food writer Barbara Abdeni Massaad (Man’oushe: Inside the Lebanese Street Corner Bakery)—together with nearly 80 acclaimed chefs—put together a humanitarian cookbook project; profits will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR to provide urgently needed food relief for Syrian refugees. Support these relief efforts and share a bowl of delicious soup with your neighbors. Pick a recipe from Soup for Syria (on display at the library) and bring a batch to share; salad, bread and dessert provided. This program takes places at the Charlotte Senior Center. Registration required.

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 3:15 p.m. Afterschool Activity: Birds in Winter. What do birds do all day? Where do they hang out on frosty days? Come to the library and find out as we search for our feathered friends in the winter landscape and make some (bird) yummy treats for them to eat. For grades 2 and up. Registration required. Please call or email the library to sign up: 425-3864 or youth.charlottelibraryvt@gmail.com.

Thursdays, Feb. 2 through Feb. 23, 3:15–4:15 p.m. Coding Club. The coding adventure continues. Discover what you can create and animate through the power of code! No experience needed; for grades 3 and up. Registration required. Please call or email the library to sign up: 425-3864 or youth.charlottelibraryvt@gmail.com.

Fridays, Feb. 3 through Feb. 24, 10:30 a.m. Friday Free for All. We’re exploring the natural world, from snowflakes to sugar crystals. Join us each Friday for a new adventure with stories, experiments and (of course!) snacks. For children ages 3 to 5 who are comfortable in a story time setting. Please call or email the library to sign up: 425-3864 or youth.charlottelibraryvt@gmail.com.

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m. TEDx Charlotte Library “The Beauty of Human Skin in Every Color.” Join us for a conversation about ethnic identity, taking inspiration from Angelica Dass and her portrait project, Humanae. Following the showing of the TED talk, Jonathan Silverman facilitates a conversation about “humanity’s true colors.”

Thursday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. Net Zero Year Round. Vermont has a goal of getting to 90 percent renewable energy use by 2050. Unrealistic? Not at all. We now have a range of tools to make our homes “net zero,” which means the building creates as much energy as it uses. Bill Kallock of the Charlotte Energy Committee shares information on how new construction can be built to net-zero and how old housing stock can be transformed from inefficient and leaky to practically fossil fuel-free.

Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. Fleeing Dictatorship Book Discussion. The month’s selection, The Prince of los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco, describes his “childhood and adolescence…experienced between two imaginary worlds: his parents’ nostalgic world of 1950s Cuba and his imagined America, the country he saw on reruns of “The Brady Bunch” and “Leave it to Beaver”—an ‘exotic’ life he yearned for as much as he yearned to see ‘la patria.’” Copies available to check out at the circulation desk.

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m. Rokeby Legacy in Our Times. Jane Williamson, director of the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, highlights the Robinson family’s role in the Underground Railroad and how that history is remembered today. Refreshments and conversation to follow the presentation.

Monday, Feb. 27, 10 a.m. Mystery Book Group: Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains. “Dear Mrs. Gilver, My husband is going to kill me, and I would rather he didn’t…” Read the book and join us to discuss. NOTE: Meeting one week later because of President’s Day holiday.

LIBRARY HOURS:

Monday & Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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