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

Princess Grace

Princess Grace by: Mary Hoffman

Princess Grace by Mary Hoffman: Book Cover

Princess Grace is the story of little girl named Grace who wants to be chosen as one of the princesses for the schools upcoming parade. Grace asks her grandmother to sew her an outfit for the parade and her grandmother asks her a thought provoking question... What kind of princess would you like to be? Grace and her friends were only thinking about the European images of princesses that they were accustomed to seeing in the media and her grandmother introduced the idea of different princesses like princess Amina of Nigeria, princess Pin-Yang of China and other princesses who were scientists, artists, and sports women. Read this amazing story to find out what kind of princess Grace will decide to be...

Princess Grace is a princess story that I enjoy reading to my six year old daughter. It represents a diverse image of what a princess can and does look like and it presents little girls with other standards of beauty other that the main Eurocentric view that floods our society. This story is great to add to any library because it challenges students perception of what beauty is and it also encourages children to decide for themselves what beauty is. 

Interaction with Social Justice Education: 
Self-love and acceptance:
In this book children learn about princesses of different cultures as well as the importance of accepting yourself for who you are and not conforming to mainstream ideologies. 

Respect for others:
This story portrays the lack of knowledge and respect that the Grace and her friends had been taught about princesses and what a princess looks and acts like. Through the wisdom and knowledge of Grace's grandmother, Grace and her friends learn about princesses of different cultures and gain respect for these new princesses that they learn about.

Exploring issues of social justice:
Grace and her grandmother explore the concept that princesses come in all shapes, sizes, cultures, and many many different cultures other than the mainstream image of a princess that she had been exposed to in the past.

Uses in the classroom:
In the classroom I would read this story with my students and have them choose a prince or princess from a culture of their choice and create a portrait of their prince or princess along with a short bio about him or her. 
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