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.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Sound of Colors

The Sound of Colors

The Sound of Colors, A Journey of the Imagination By Jimmy Liao
The story follows the narrator, a woman who has lost her sight, through her journey around the city. She navigates the subway and the city she knows, with language and description that tap into her imagination, as well as her inner most thoughts and feelings. As readers, we not only read the colorful language, but also are able to take into account the vibrant and imaginative illustrations accompanying her.
Personal Response
This book bridged a new topic for me, and it did so in a colorful, creative, imaginative, and yet real way. The character that we follow has depth, she has her own fears, her own wants, her own thoughts, and yet what is most impressive is her imagination. The illustrations are beautiful and a link to her creativity and description of her experiences.
Classroom Connection
We’ve discussed that while not every book is perfect, there can be many beneficial aspects in some, while being sure to look at every angle. One thing that really stood out to me in this book was the descriptive language and imagination. Using this book as a tool to having students tap into their own imagination and use of description is key. However additionally at play is the main characters use of her imagination and memory in lieu of sight. The woman was not born blind, instead she slowly lost her site. To start, I think that looking at the characters experiences, as a way of developing respect for others, is important. The position of the narrator may not be that of the students and taking on a new perspective promotes understanding and empathy. I feel as though this character is identified as a real person, with a real personality. Additionally, I think it brings about a good question for students to explore about what they know about particular disabilities and differences, and in the instance of a someone who is blind, how does the city account for their needs?  This can link into, what I feel, is an under developed emphasis and education of individuals who are differently abled and their history, culture, and experiences. 

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