A few things coincided for this post. My middle daughter who is in 3rd grade told us at dinner that she’s learning sign language at school and proceeded to demonstrate the alphabet. She has had a hearing impaired student in her class for the last three years so I asked her if it is to help communicate with that child. She said, “yes.”
In eerily similar circumstances, young Navajo Americans were forced to relocate to attend boarding school where great attempts were made by the school to purge them of their ethnic identity, particularly their language. Both children’s books that are featured talk about harsh punishments for speaking in their native tongue. This forced relocation is not unlike the Japanese Americans during WWII. Is this really America, the home of the free?! This is the ugly underbelly that doesn’t get much press coverage. Am I the only one who didn’t learn about the Navajo Code Breakers at school in U.S. History? I am glad for these books to teach a new generation, and our nation, that the differences that make us unique make our country more powerful. Imagine if that boarding school were successful in wiping out the Navajo language? It’s really not inconceivable if the timing of the war were different!
As for my second hand saturday, please leave a comment to win. I will email the winners to get their mailing addresses. I will chose the winner based on your comment of WHY YOU WANT and NEED THE BOOK. I just want to get the book into the right hands!
And that is all it took. Plus me realizing that I knew nothing about Burma, to the point that I didn’t fully realize that Myanmar is Burma. Such is Teach Me Tuesday … I teach myself (that’s the Teach Me part) and then I share what I hope is also interesting to others. I’m not sure if I would feel safe traveling to Burma now with my family so this is my way to arm chair travel — through children’s literature, food, photo essays, and the briefest pit stop into the history. I hope you enjoy the trip. And please share in the comments section any experiences you have had in Burma. And if you have more children’s books suggestions, please share!
Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It by Dr. Joann Deak [non fiction picture book, ages 4-8] is gently encouraging kids to try new things after taking time to point out how the brain works. The message to the kids is that you are one sculpting and shaping your brain so be the driver not the passenger in this amazing journey called life!