Books Celebrate Black History Month

Books Celebrate Black History Month

For many of us, memories of childhood often include the joy of a story: sharing a book with Mom or Dad, visiting the school or neighborhood library, and learning to read on our own. 

Now imagine that many of those books in your experience don’t contain characters that you identify with or who represent who you are.  Readers, young readers especially, want to be able to see themselves in the books they are reading, and sometimes finding such stories isn’t always easy.

Dayton Christian Chief Operations Officer Lydia Gaddis doesn’t want that to be the case for our students.  As a dedicated bibliophile, she decided to share her own book collection with the students of Dayton Christian by displaying them in the glass cabinets in the B-C connector hallways on the first floor. 

The collection is beautiful and spans multiple reading levels – and all feature stories about Black Americans from history or fictional main characters.

“It is important for all students to see themselves in books and to read books with characters that look like them,” Gaddis said. “That representation inspires a self-confidence that can help foster a love of reading.”

In addition, representing various ethnicities in the books we read and share is a positive step for all our students.

“Seeing the visual differences among us in books helps make it normative,” Gaddis said. “It reminds us of the beauty in all of God’s creation and it encourages us to celebrate these differences.” 

If you’re interested in adding to your book collection, check out a few of Gaddis’ favorites: 

  • God’s Very Good Idea tells the true story of God’s delightfully different family. We are different from each other and similar to each other in many ways – and we are all valuable.  From the beginning, God had a very good idea of making us this way and God’s Very Good Idea tells that story.
  • When God Made You celebrates the individuality of each person and affirms that each one of us is loved by God and should be valued for his or her unique gifts, traits, and characteristics. 
  • Ada Twist, Scientist, features a very curious second grader who loves to ask the question “Why?” and perform experiments to understand the world around her.  A number one New York Times and USA Today Bestseller, Ada Twist, Scientist is a celebration of STEM, girl power, and the power of curiosity. (In addition, Ada Twist, Scientist is now a cartoon on Netflix.)
  • I Like Myself.  With brightly-colored illustrations and rhymes reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, I like Myself is one young girl’s expression of bold, positive self-esteem.
  • Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes.  A Coretta Scott King Honor Award recipient, Poetry for Young People: Langston Hugues includes 26 of Hughes’ famous and best-loved poems and beautiful illustrations.

*The books included in this display are in addition to the numerous volumes contained in the DCS library and classroom collections.