This is a special contribution from urban elementary school literacy specialist and author, Kathryn Starke.
The New York Times recently printed a story discussing the lack of Latino characters in children’s literature. As an urban elementary school literacy specialist as well as an author, the article resonated with me for several different reasons. Having taught in diverse, inner city schools for a decade, I have had the opportunity to teach students from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds. One thing I used in my classroom to build a sense of community was an array of multicultural literature representing the heritage of each student. Making connections to text increases understanding in reading; listening to stories about characters that look or act like ourselves is an effective comprehension tool.
My students of Latin descent had an affinity to the book Amy’s Travels, an example of Latina children’s literature based on the true story of my dear friend Amy. In this multicultural picture book, Amy teaches the culture, diversity, and geography of our world through her eyes and childhood memories. Complete with lesson plans and a comprehensive book guide, Amy’s Travels has been released in its second edition and used in schools worldwide. No matter where you live in the world, you learn about the seven continents; this global awareness resource has even been recommended by the California State Department of Education. Readers of all ages are intrigued by travel and adventure, which has drawn a large audience to Amy’s Travels. While I love sharing this story with everyone, I am especially delighted to share a children’s book, in which a Latina girl is the main character. Visit www.creativemindspublications.com to see what others are saying about Amy’s Travels.
Kathryn Starke is an urban elementary school literacy specialist and children’s author. Having taught in inner city schools with children from a variety of backgrounds, Kathryn likes to create multicultural children’s literature that her students can make connections to. She wrote Amy’s Travels, a multicultural children’s book based on a true story, that features a young Latina girl as the main character. Amy’s Travels has been released in its second edition and is a recommended multicultural children’s book in California.
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To purchase your copy of Amy’s Travels, visit Amazon.com.