5 Must-Read Books For Children On Inclusion By Indian Authors
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – We may learn so much through books, and they can also widen our horizons and introduce us to new ideas. They have a method of evoking empathy in readers by allowing them to empathize with characters that may be unlike themselves or with other characters in the novel. One of the finest ways to approach such weighty and complicated themes is through children’s books that celebrate variety. Representation is important. People will always wonder things like “do I belong here?” until society truly reflects everyone. Thankfully, there are now an increasing number of multicultural children’s books that address issues of race, religion, inclusion, tolerance, and empathy.
How I Taught My Grandmother to Read? By Sudha Murthy
Sudha Murty, being an author, teacher and a social worker comes across many people with different ways of thinking and unique mindsets. This book consists of short stories where Sudha Murty recounts her real-life incidences. What do you do when your grandmother asks you to teach her the alphabet? ‘How I Taught My Grandmother to Read’ has all the experiences, life values, and learnings which a person should have at any age. Through this book the author tells the readers that learning has no age bar, there is always a start at any age, and that nothing is impossible. Funny, spirited, and inspiring, the story teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of doing what you believe is right and having the courage to realize your dreams. Author Murthy writes in the simplest of languages, yet each word tugs at your conscience. A very delicate and beautifully written book, it is apt for 8 years and above.
Puhor and Niyor’s Mural of Family Stories by Pritisha Borthakur
‘Puhor and Niyor’s Mural of Family Stories’, written by a journalist and mother, Pritisha Borthakur, is a book that aims to inspire curiosity, raise awareness, instill compassion, entertain, and show a unique glimpse of the diverse kinds of families found in any community. The book begins with an introduction to Puhor and Niyor, two brothers making a mural, telling the stories of different families. These twins demonstrate there are all sorts of families – children with two moms, two dads, a single mother; a multiracial family unit; foster and adopted children; pet parent and more – none more important than another, and all of them are beautiful in their own unique way.. In the end, the small community, made up of various kinds of unique families, teach each other about different types of people every day, and to not judge others based on their race, gender, sexual identity, disability, or anything else. While it is recommended for ages 5-11, it also appeals to older readers.
The Unboy Boy by Richa Jha
‘The Unboy Boy’ is a gentle story of Gagan who is at ease being what he is. And he has enough tricks up his sleeve to show the world that there are no boy boys or un-boy boys. Just boys. And just girls. Every child has a right to embrace who they are, no matter where they may lie on the spectrum of gender. Richa Jha’s tale deconstructs this idea of gendered expectations and emphasizes the right of every child to be who they are, and to be loved in their entirety. No more, no less. Unusual and heart-warming, this book is a must read for any young child who is trying to find their feet in a complicated and prejudiced world and needs to learn how to love and accept themselves no matter what anyone else may say.
Why Are You Afraid to Hold My Hand? by Sheila Dhir
Most people are confused about how to react to those with disabilities. Their questions, misconceptions, doubts, and fears are answered here – simply and straight from the heart – by a child with cerebral palsy. The child responds in verse – simple and straight from the heart. Sheila Dhir’s childlike line drawings are just as simple and powerful as the short verses. As a differently abled child’s dialogue with society, the book offers a sensitive and sensible way of helping children understand disability and the strengths of those who are differently abled. Apt for 6 years and above.
Different Differ Enter by Jyoti Gupta
‘Different Differ Enter ‘is an activity book for children that thoughtfully addresses everyday skin color consciousness and bias in a way that’s easy to understand. Children’s rich observations and questions about the color, caste, and race elicit accurate yet straightforward responses. Jyoti Gupta’s art-and-craft-based book takes you on a playful and creative discovery to find answers that work for you and your family–while creatively introducing facts of history and 15-plus new words. It’s a beautifully-illustrated, educational tool that sets the context for hard conversations about self-awareness, color, and identity. Subjects in the book include the biology of skin (e.g. melanin); culturally-related aspects (e.g. food); colorism’s social impact (e.g. bullying) and solutions (e.g. bystander intervention).