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

Running the Road to ABC

Running the Road to ABC By Denize Lauture Illustrated by Reynold Ruffins

This is a short book intended for young students. It vividly and beautifully describes the long and ardous journey of six Haitian children on their way to school. The writing in this story is very rich and poetic. These children must wake up extremely early and travel a great distance in order to attend school. Yet all this does not phase the children because they are so eager and excited to learn. I enjoyed the language and writing in this book. The illustrations are extremely vibrant and each picture frame appears as an individual, beautiful oil painting. I also really like this book because it describes children who are so eager and willing to learn that they endure countless obstacles each day.

This book could be part of a social justice unit but it could also be integrated into a social studies unit. The students could examine the school and education systems in other cultures and explore the sometimes stark differences. The students could look at the conditions and environments of other schools. This book falls into the domains of social justice education because its major themes are education and Haiti. The book is also a great segue into a discussion about the value, role, and accessibility of education in different countries. I would use this book to examine those issues and I would try to incorporate the student's personal school experiences. We could look at their routes to school and discuss what motivates them to come to school everyday.

For more information and to purchase the book go to:

Miyuki Daniels, Stephanie Pastrano, Maire McCormack

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