Book Suggestions That Help You Talk to Your Children about
Race and Multi-culturalism


By Julie Wohl, Director, PJ Library
And You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: V’ahavta L’reacha K’mocha

This has been quite a month! As the weather turns nicer, time outside can be just what we need to lift our spirits.

 And yet, in the past few days, as we turn on the news, scroll through social media, or even just look out our doors, we are filled with images of illness, racism and injustice.

You may be wondering how to talk about this with your children. It can be challenging for parents, grandparents and teachers when we do not have all the answers. We may stumble over our words; we may feel we do not have the right language. This is ok! But our children need us to be role models, to talk with them in age appropriate ways, and to help them see their neighbors of all races and ethnicities as friends. It is our job to make sure that our children embrace difference and reject racism.

Our goal at PJ Library remains the same as it always has- to help families raise thoughtful, caring and engaged Jewish children. This month PJ Library subscribers will receive books relating to kindness, mitzvot and making the world a better place.

In light of recent events, we will also be sharing materials on our Facebook page about talking to your child about racism, books to add to your bookshelf that will reflect multicultural diversity, and articles promoting open conversation, so that we can help our children see their neighbors of all races and ethnicities as partners and friends.

We share these resources as a way to support families as they work to help their children process what they see, to help promote justice, acceptance, love and Jewish values.

Because when we teach our children to be just, kind and loving, when we teach them V’ahavta L’reacha K’mocha: You shall love your neighbor as yourself, we really mean it. And collectively we are learning how to do it better. Because when we do, it will be our children who will truly change the world.

Books to Read with Your Children

PJ Library

How to talk to your children about Race: PJ Library knows that they are not the expert in all things.  As such, they have taken the opportunity to elevate the voices of people doing the work of teaching about race for children and supporting families in having important conversations. They are curating an ongoing list.

Book Suggestions from Jessica Fink, Librarian, Macks Center for Jewish Education

Here are some age-appropriate suggestions of books that can be found in the Macks Center for Jewish Education collection, including PJ Library favorites.

Preschool-K

Sammy Spider’s New Friend by Sylvia A. Rouss

Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup by Pamela Mayer

Grade 1-3

Emma’s Poem: The voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser

Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom Salaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams

A Moon for Moe and Mo by Jane Breskin Zalben

Grade 3-6

Drake: actor and rapper by Hannah Isbell

Skating with the Statue of Liberty by Susan Meyer

Dad, Jackie, and Me by Myron Uhlberg

The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman

All-of-a-kind Family Downtown by Sydney Taylor

Middle and High School

As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s amazing march toward freedom by Richard Michelson

The King of Muhlberry Street by Donna Jo Napoli

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Allies by Alan Gratz

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