Title: Hidden Figures
Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
Illustrator: Laura Freeman
Publisher and Year: HarperCollins Publishers 2018
Number of pages: 30
Tags: Culture, Diversity, Math, Non-fiction, Science, K-5, Joe Marras
Descriptive Annotation: This is a true story about four black women: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden. These four women were some of the first black women to become engineers, and make strides in space and airplane technology. No background knowledge is needed for this because there is no actual math or science in this story, just a lot of mention of it because of how complicated the math they were doing is.
Classroom Application: This story has many classroom applications including history, math, and science. It could be used to tell the story of these four intelligent women or show real world applications of math and science. Also could be used to show african american scientists and mathematicians to show that they are indeed out there.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book represents african american culture and some of their struggles to gain equality in the workplace and in the world. Since this story takes place during the 1950’s, it can help show the fight for equality in America, and also can show the discrimination they felt by being segregated from white people, “They could not eat in the same restaurants. They could not drink from the same water fountains. They could not use the same restrooms.” This shows the segregation in America at the time, and helps to show how important it was for these women to do what they did. These women did amazing work and helped bring men to the moon and back down to earth, and advancing airplanes to prevent more crashes, among many other things, “No one knows how many lives her work may have helped save.” Talking about Katherine Johnson and her work, and no one can truly tally just many lives she saved, and no one probably even mentions it.
Title: My Pal, Victor
Author: Diane Gonzales Bertrand
Illustrator: Robert L. Sweetland
Publisher and Year: Raventree Press 2010
Number of Pages: 31
Tags/Theme: Adventure, diversity, friendship, K-1, Joe Marras
Descriptive Annotation: This book is about two friends, Dominic and Victor. Dominic tells the reader about all of the great things about Victor: he tells great stories, has great jokes, and likes Dominic for who he is. They are the best of friends. At the end of the story they show that Victor is in a wheelchair.
Classroom Application: This story can be used to show that everyone should be accepted by all students no matter if they are black, white, green, yellow, or in a wheelchair. Dominic and Victor are best of friends and Victor cheers on Dominic at his baseball games even though he is in a wheelchair and can’t play.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: Looking at the cover and reading the title it seems like this book is going to be about two friends, one American and one Mexican, but Victor is in a wheelchair and they are still best friends and do normal things that any two friends would do, “My pal, Victor tells great jokes.” They tell jokes and laugh until their stomachs hurt just like any friends do. “My pal, Victor throws a toy for his dog to catch.” Victor plays with his dog like a lot of other people that aren’t in wheelchairs do. This book shows that even though he is in a wheelchair he can still do all of the fun things any other friend does and he is really funny!
Title: As Good as Anybody
Author: Richard Michelson
Illustrator: Raul Colon
Publisher and Year: Alfred A. Knopf 2008
Number of Pages: 34
Tags/Theme: Culture, Diversity, Emotion, Non-fiction, K-5, Joe Marras
Descriptive Annotation: This story starts out with a young Martin Luther King Jr. and him living with segregation and how it’s not fair to all people to treat people like this. Then he grows up and becomes a Pastor like his father and starts lobbying for civil rights. Then it goes to Abraham Joshua Heschel in Poland and how he had to deal with segregation for being Jewish. Then he grew up and came to America and along with Martin Luther King Jr. marched for freedom.
Classroom Application: This story could be used to introduce Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, and also teach about Abraham Joshua Heschel. This story also can be used to teach that if you want something to change for the better that you should do something about it like these two men did.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: This book could be used to generate discussion on the civil rights movement and its leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.. It could also be used to discuss the discrimination against jews in Europe. It sends a good message throughout, at the beginning Martin’s father tells him, “You’re looking down when you should be looking up.” He’s telling him to keep his chin up and be proud of who you are because you are someone, and everyone is someone. Another good quote from this is, “Walk like a prince, not like a peasant.” It brings the same message of keep your head up and be proud of who you are. Abraham’s father told him that and Abraham made sure to walk with his head up.