Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Different Like Me

Different Like Me by Marc Thomas is about an eight year old boy named Quinn who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Throughout the text he talks about the accomplishments, struggles, and characteristics of his autistic heroes.
This text introduces children from the age of eight to twelve years old to well-known inspirational figures from the world of science, art, math, literature, philosophy and comedy. Historical figures such as Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Lewis Carroll, Andy Warhol, and a few others have contributed to society in many ways yet they have had to overcome different forms of oppression. Quinn has a few things in common with each person mentioned, but mostly they are similar because they have had a hard time fitting in, not only their peers, but in society as well.
This book is valuable to my classroom because it proves that diversity has impacted various groups of people in several different ways. This book represents element number three, Exploring Issues of Social Injustice. Although Quinn hadn’t dealt with racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, or religious intolerance, he faced another prejudice because of his handicap and so did every person mentioned throughout the story. This text allows students to learn about the struggles that these particular figures have overcome.
I would use this book as a way to help students with low self-esteem and those who have a hard time fitting in with everyone else. As for the students who don’t have any issues, they can learn from this book as well because it proves that no one is better than anyone else. Everyone is capable of anything they set their mind too, just ask Albert Einstein.
You can purchase this book by clicking on the link below.

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