“People talk about books acting as both a mirror and window (thanks mainly to Rudine Sims Bishop), playing an important roll in reflecting a child’s experience and also allowing access to different/other experiences. And I think that’s key. When we read books we inhabit their world, experience the thoughts and emotions of their characters. That kind of empathy is crucial, I think, in allowing all readers to experience difference while also recognizing the familiar. Children need to read all sorts of stories, reflecting different cultures, experiences, perspectives, in order to open up their view of the world, and of themselves within the world. I know these are platitudes, but as an avid reader myself, I know how being sucked into a book can open me up and carry me away. I am sure this has helped me to be more open-minded, and to appreciate learning more about people whose lives are different from my own.” -(Laura Atkins)
“There is so much that happens in the world and to others that we personally will never experience ourselves. Reading affords the opportunity for empathy and identification.I think students mistakenly see outward differences and assume those differences mean we have little in common. Young people are influenced by others’ perceptions, often with little or no personal experience to counter what they see or are told. Literature can counter those perceptions, and this is especially important when they don’t have any personal experiences with others who are a different racially or culturally.” -(LaTonya M. Baldwin)
“Thank you Ms. Bowllan for allowing me to post along side of such talent as you have had here. I am glad you are visible about this topic. Each of us have a piece of this puzzle. Once we combine all our efforts, we’ll get results. When they hear us speak, one of us after the other, they can’t deny we are humans just being.
Thank you for your invitation and acceptance.” (Jo Ann Hernandez BronzeWord Latino Authors)