A Podcast About Jewish Kidlit (Mostly)

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Friday, January 31, 2020

#ReadYourWorld Jewish Diversity

Today I'm celebrating Multicultural Children's Book Day by reminding you that JEWISH BOOKS ARE DIVERSE BOOKS in more than one sense. On the one hand, the Jewish community must be fully welcomed under the Diversity umbrella within the kidlit world, and we've made strides towards that in recent days. On the other hand, diversity within the Jewish community needs to be celebrated in the literature, and progress is being achieved in this area also.

While much Jewish children's literature is still "Ashkenormative," representing the white, European Jewish experience, publishing is beginning to recognize and represent other ways of being Jewish. The photo above represents Jews of color, differently abled Jews, adopted Jews, and Jewish-Gentile cooperation, and this is just the handful of books I was able to grab quickly from my shelf rather than a curated selection. Finding a variety of Jewish representation is getting easier all the time!

Back in June 2017, I blogged about Diverse Jewish Books and compiled a long list of examples. To make it easier to continue updating the list, I've converted the blog post into a permanent  page at The Book of Life. You can find it by navigating to the "Bibliographies from The Book of Life Blog" link under BOOKS on the right hand side of my website, or find it at DIVERSE JEWISH BOOKS. Titles available through IndieBound include affiliate links; your purchases help The Book of Life Podcast.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. For the next month, you can visit the MCBD website to add relevant links to their Big Giant Linky. Please go share your diverse Jewish books! #ReadYourWorld


Michelle said...

Hey Heidi, I found your blog via a comment you left on another blog. I always love finding fellow bloggers that review Jewish books for children. We are a diverse group. I never felt different while living in NY and LA, but now I'm in the rural south and it is a horse of a different color. I will definitely take a look at your blog more often!

Mia Wenjen said...

Thanks for sharing these great Jewish books with Multicultural Children's Book Day and a timely reminder that Jewish books are diverse books too!