Lee & Low Books
Lee & Low Books is the largest multicultural children's book publisher in the country. It is, therefore, no surprise that we benefit from a partnership with them. All of our education materials and curricula are anchored around literature and they have an extensive collection to choose from. We believe that literature will provide the "windows" and "mirrors" needed in classrooms to support identity development and cultural understanding; two of our main objectives.
As educators reflect on their increasingly global classrooms, there is a need for improved cultural understanding. Improved cultural understanding will serve as a bridge between cultures to help unify classrooms. It is equally important for educators to consider the bridges that need to be built within individual children. Cross Cultural Kids (CCKs) - children who are spending/have spent an extended period of time during their developmental years amidst two or more cultures - are often challenged with a fragmented self-identity. Sadly, this fragmented sense of self inhibits positive identity development, relationship building, and academic achievement. The right literature has the potential to lead these children through a process of self-discovery that can yield a more wholistic view of who they are.
This spring we will be reading Going Home, Coming Home, written by Truong Tran and illustrated by Ann Phong, at Shrevewood Elementary School as part of our Art & Storytelling Book Club. The main character in the story (Ami Chi) learns to find "home" in Vietnam, where her parents are from, and also in America, where she lives.
Students can relate to the experience of having many, sometimes seemingly contradictory, facets of their identity to contend with. Third Culture Kids (TCKs), a subset of CCKs feel most at home with others who have similar life experiences regardless of ethnic or cultural differences. For TCKs, the distinct nationality of literary characters will pale in comparison to their ability to see a reflection of themselves in the characters' experiences.
The Vietnamese culture and translation within Going Home, Coming Home will undoubtedly provide a unique, and even deeper connection for children who identify with Vietnamese roots. However, the overarching theme and message will extend itself to any child who struggles to answer: "What are you?" or "Where are you from?" This is just one of many titles that will support CCKs and our culturally complex classrooms.
For educators reflecting on their classroom libraries, take the time to review the many literary choices available for all grades at Lee & Low Books. There are a plethora of exciting titles to choose from. Now through April 25th you can also use the coupon code: CULTUREDKIDS for 15% off your purchase. The coupon code will only be valid for those addresses in the U.S. and will not be provided for their Bebop Books imprint and full collections.
When you have purchased and read your new books please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your review of the book and how you used it. We want to learn from and support you!