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5 Books for Little Pluralism Champions

On September 30th, the Global Centre for Pluralism held our first ever children’s book reading. Bilingual storyteller, Miriem Mezdour, read five illustrated books that bring respect for diversity to life for a younger audience of pluralism champions.

What are your favourite pluralism books for kids? Let us know on Twitter @GlobalPluralism

 

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1. We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio

“I know I can’t change the way I look. But maybe, just maybe … people can change the way they see.”

Auggie does plenty of ordinary things, he feels ordinary – he just doesn’t look ordinary. Auggie and his trusty sidekick, Daisy, play ball, eat ice cream and use their imaginations to soar through space. They know it’s not just Auggie who is different. Everyone is different and everyone is a wonder – if only they would see it.  

 

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2. Stolen Words by Melanie Florence 

"They took our words and locked them away, punished us until we forgot them, until we sounded like them.”

When a little girl asks, “How do you say grandfather in Cree?” the larger narrative of Indigenous history in Canada unfolds, revealing the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system and the pain of losing one’s culture and language.  

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3. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

“CJ saw the perfect rainbow arcing over their soup kitchen. He wondered how his Nana always found beautiful where he never even thought to look.”

CJ and his Nana ride the bus home every Sunday after church. Nana opens CJ’s eyes to the beauty in the world around him – the spirit of the bustling city, the music in everyday life and the magic of his diverse neighbours. It’s also a story about appreciating the uniqueness in each person rather than judging people in superficial ways.  

 

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4. Dépareillés by Marie-Francine Hébert

« Finalement, tout le monde porte des bas dépareilles. »

Rose and Blanche are best friends. They love to sing, dance and play disguise. Sometimes when they play together Blanche loses her socks! One day, she can’t find a pair that match and she puts on two different coloured socks. When the kids at school see her socks, the group confronts how they will handle difference.  

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5. From Far Away by Robert Munsch & Saoussan Askar

« “The place we used to live was very nice. But then a war started.” When Saoussan immigrated with her family from war-torn Lebanon, she was only seven years old. This book tells the story of how she had to adjust to her new home in Canada. She describes the frustration of not understanding the teacher when she started school, not knowing how to ask to go to the bathroom, and being terrified of a Hallowe'en skeleton. This is the perfect book to help kids empathize with newcomers. Based on a true story.   

 

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Special mention:

The Name Jar by Yansook Choi

“We’ll put more names in. You can pick whatever you like – or pick them all, and you’ll have the longest name in history!”

Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious for other kids to like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared.  

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