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 &
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.
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!
Episodes & 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.