Podcast

Lifelines: Books That Bridge the Divide

Lifelines: Books that Bridge the Divide

 

 

“In this podcast, we share conversations with librarians, educators, and readers about the children’s books that can be bridges across our cultural divides…the books that can open minds and the books that can be the lifeline a child needs to remember they’re not alone.”

— Ann Braden and Saadia Faruqi

Meet the Hosts: 

Saadia Faruqi 

Ann Braden

 

Saadia Faruqi

Saadia is a Pakistani-American author, an interfaith activist, cultural sensitivity trainer, and a mother of two.

 

Ann Braden

Ann is a middle grade author, a community organizer, a former middle school teacher and a mother of two

 


Together we believe:

  • That there is diversity all around us, and we all benefit when we open our minds to see it.
  • That everyone has the right to feel seen and heard.
  • That the voices of minority groups – racial, religious and socioeconomical – must be amplified at all costs
  • That we need all voices at the table.
  • That books with diverse characters and settings can teach readers a lot of about the world as well as about themselves.
  • That books have the power to be a bridge across the cultural divide.
  • That fiction has the power to change the universe.

If this podcast resonates with you, please subscribe on Stitcher or iTunes.

And please spread the word: tell your friends, and leave a rating on iTunes or Stitcher so that others can find it. The more people who are thinking about these books and how we can bridge our cultural divides, the better.

If you’re an educator or librarian and have ideas about great ways to use books to bridge cultural divides, we’d love to hear from you! Together we can discuss what ideas you think should be included in a future episode, and we can explore potentially setting up an interview. Our goal is to have all voices at the table!

You can reach out to Ann on Twitter or here.

And you can reach out to Saadia on Twitter or through her website.

 


Episodes & Show Notes

In Episode 22, Saadia Faruqi shares recommendations for picture books about people of color leading regular lives. Then, Ann Braden shares her conversation with Dr. Krista Aronson, founder of the Diverse Book Finder, a comprehensive collection of children’s picture books featuring Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC).

To access the list of books and more information about the Diversity BookFinder’s tools, check out the Episode 22 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 21, Saadia Faruqi will share recommendations for picture books about grief. Then, Ann Braden will share her conversation with educator Jillian Heise (here’s her website) about the movement she started, #ClassroomBookADay.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 21 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 20, Saadia Faruqi will share recommendations for books that take place in other parts of the world. Then, Ann Braden will share her conversation with educator Jen Vincent about the Identity Unit she used with her students to begin the school year.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 20 Show Notes.

 

 

In Episode 19, our first episode of Season 4, Saadia Faruqi will share recommendations for books that have a theme of perseverance. Then, Ann Braden will share her conversation with the School Library Journal news editor Kara Yorio who recently wrote an article about students facing housing insecurity.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 19 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 18 we focus on welcoming new Americans. Saadia will share her book recommendations and then Ann will share her conversation with Kirsten Cappy, the heart and brains behind the I’m Your Neighbor project as well as Curious City, which offers free kidlit programming for educators.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 18 Show Notes

 

In Episode 17  Saadia Faruqi recommends some good books with African-American main characters, and Ann Braden shares her conversations with three different educators, Chris Tuttell, Elizabeth Kyser, and Kerri Moccia, who all have found a way to get books into kids hands over the summer.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 17 Show Notes

 

 

In Episode 16, Saadia will share recommendations for books that help us make cultural diversity part of our environment and and then Ann will share her conversation with librarians Wendy Garland and Todd Burleson who got to experience a cultural exchange of their own with a trip to the United Arab Emirates.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 16 Show Notes

 

In Episode 15 our focus is on ensuring that LGBTQ students see themselves on our bookshelves. Saadia will share recommendations for good books with LGBTQ characters and then Ann will share her conversation with author K. A. Holt, who recently released a survey that explores the dynamics involved when educators want to put diverse titles on their shelves but are worried there might be consequences.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 15 Show Notes.

 

For Episode 14, instead of having separate segments, we’re going to share one good meaty interview with Matthew Winner, a school librarian, the host of The Children’s Book Podcast, and a writer. 

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 14 Show Notes.

 

 

In Episode 13, the first episode of Season 3, Saadia Faruqi shares recommendations for good books that help us empathize more deeply with those dealing with mental illnesses, whether it’s ourselves or someone else. Then Ann Braden shares her conversation with librarian Kathie MacIsaac, a librarian in Manitoba and a mover and shaker in the online middle grade community.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 13 Show Notes.

 

Episode 12, the last episode of Season 2, offers something different. Two weeks ago, Saadia and Ann got to meet in person for the very first time, and they decided to interview each other. So, today there’s no book recommendations and no separate segments — it’s just one meaty interview with two book people who care a lot about bridging divides.

To access a list of related articles, check out the Episode 12 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 11, Saadia Faruqi recommends some good culturally appropriate and non-traditional thanksgiving books, and Ann Braden shares her interview with public librarian Sam Maskell. Finally, the episode concludes with information about the non-profit First Book and the First Book Marketplace, which works to get books into the hands of kids who can’t afford them.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 11 Show Notes.

 

 

In Episode 10 (the second part of our 2-part special on reaching kids in poverty) Saadia Faruqi recommends middle grade and YA books about the reality of poverty, and Ann Braden shares the conclusion of her conversation with 5th grade educator Kristin Crouch. Kristin is uniquely positioned to help us bridge the class divide having broken the cycle of generational poverty to become an educator. In this part of the conversation she shares some book recommendations of her own and talks about what teachers can do to be true allies for kids who are struggling.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 10 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 9 (part one of our 2-part special on reaching kids in poverty) Saadia Faruqi recommends picture books about the reality of poverty, and Ann Braden shares the first half of her conversation with 5th grade educator Kristin Crouch. Kristin is uniquely positioned to help us bridge the class divide. She discusses her experience growing up in a family struggling to make ends meet, how she broke out of the cycle of poverty and became a teacher, and how she now works to support her students who are dealing with the same struggles. 

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 9 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 8, Saadia Faruqi takes over the podcast and recommends a ton of great non-fiction biographies.

To access the list of books, check out the Episode 8 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 7, Saadia Faruqi recommends some of her favorite picture books featuring refugees and immigrants. Then, Ann Braden shares her conversation with Library Director Laura Arnhold. Finally, we talk about the Welcoming Library, a fabulous educational resource that brings communities together in conversation around the topic of immigration.

To access the list of books discussed and key links from the episode, check out the Episode 7 Show Notes.

 


This is Episode 6 and it’s our last episode of Season 1 (we’ll be back for Season 2 in the fall, so make sure you subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss it!). Today, Saadia will focus her “Books You’ve Never Heard Of” segment on good books about Ramadan, and then Ann will share her conversation with public librarian Jennifer Haight. Finally, Ann will reflect on the role books can play in combating ignorance.

To access the list of books discussed and key links from the episode, check out the Episode 6 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 5, Saadia Faruqi will discuss WISHTREE by Katherine Applegate and discuss other books that focus on welcoming those who are seen as “The Other.” Then Ann Braden will share her conversation with elementary school librarian Christina Carter. Finally, Ann will reflect on what we can do with people are unwelcoming to someone.

To access the list of books discussed and key links from the episode, check out the Episode 5 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 4, Saadia Faruqi will discuss the brilliance that is Jason Reynolds, and then Ann Braden will share her conversation with middle school librarian Mary Linney. Finally, Ann will reflect on the way we approach trauma at a personal and societal level–and what that means for the classroom.

To access the list of books discussed and key links from the episode, check out the Episode 4 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 3, in honor of National Poetry Month, Saadia Faruqi shares some good novel-in-verse recommendations in her segment “Books You’ve Never Heard Of,”and Ann Braden shares her conversation with Juliet Lubwama, a high school senior and 2017 National Student Poet. Finally, Ann shares an example of one way to approach poetry if the thought of writing it yourself brings about total terror.

To access the list of books discussed and key links from the episode, check out the Episode 3 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 2, Saadia Faruqi shares some good book recommendations about South East Asia and refugee issues in her segment “Books You’ve Never Heard Of.” And Ann Braden shares her conversation with Kiran Waqar, a high school senior and a member of the slam poetry group “Muslim Girls Making Change”. They discuss the power of seeing yourself in the pages of a book and the incredibly rise of youth voices we’re currently seeing in our country with the March for Our Lives and beyond.

To access the list of books discussed and key links from the episode, check out the Episode 2 Show Notes.

 

In Episode 1, Saadia Faruqi shares some good book recommendations about kids struggling with poverty in her segment “Books You’ve Never Heard Of.” And Ann Braden shares her  conversation with elementary school librarian, Eileen Parks. Many of the students that Eileen’s library serves come from families that are struggling to make ends meet. Also, since the majority of the community is white, children of color can easily feel isolated. She discusses some of the issues she faces in working to serve all of her students.

To access the list of books discussed and key links from the episode, check out the Episode 1 Show Notes.