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Antiracist Reading Revolution [Grades K-8]

Antiracist Reading Revolution [Grades K-8]
A Framework for Teaching Beyond Representation Toward Liberation

First Edition

Foreword by Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz

May 2024 | 344 pages | Corwin

“When can we move beyond representation to liberation?”

This question from a young Black girl moved New York Times #1 bestselling author Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul to offer a vision for antiracist teaching that goes far beyond adding diverse texts in a classroom library. Antiracist Reading Revolution provides an actionable antiracist teaching framework and models how K-8 educators can create opportunities for transformative reading and discussions in classrooms.

Dr. Cherry-Paul offers six critical lenses that help educators to adopt an antiracist teaching stance, spotlighting the importance of instruction built around love, joy, community, justice, and solidarity. Educators are invited to reflect on their instructional practices, dismantle ideologies that are barriers to students’ critical and creative thinking and cultivate identity-inspiring learning experiences where students can show up fully as themselves and recognize the full humanity of all people. This is what it means to move beyond representation to liberation.

Chapters feature several children’s books that center BIPOC characters and creators. Dr. Cherry-Paul provides prompts and pathways for each children’s book that guide teachers toward putting into action the six critical lenses at the core of the Antiracist Reading Framework – affirmation, awareness, authorship, atmosphere, activism, and accountability. And she provides toolkits for students and teachers to use when selecting and reading books on their own.

Chapters in this book also …

  • Offer personal and insightful anecdotes, supported by research and scholarship, that illustrate the power of antiracist teaching in working toward equity, justice, and freedom
  • Provide a clear and actionable guide for K-8 literacy educators including classroom teachers, instructional coaches, and librarians
  • Encourage critical reflection, pausing to ask educators to examine their own identities and values, and how these influence their teaching
  • Guide educators toward selecting and teaching with books that center the lived experiences of BIPOC students

This book is a call to action. In Dr. Cherry-Paul’s words, “In an antiracist classroom, reading helps us to dream, experience joy, engage in collective struggle,  liberate our minds, and  love. Let’s move forward together to realize our vision of an antiracist reading classroom rooted in love and liberation.”

"Dr. Cherry-Paul’s meticulous application of the six critical lenses testifies to her commitment to reshaping the landscape of reading instruction. This book is not merely an exploration of diverse literature; it is a call to action, an encouragement for educators to connect these literary offerings to the worlds of their students and change the way reading is taught in the majority of classrooms across the nation. Her Antiracist Reading Framework will be a powerful tool for educators who are guided by a vision of inclusivity and justice.” 

From the Foreword by Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz

Foreword by Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz
Introduction: There's No Such Thing As Antiracist Fairy Dust
Chapter 1: Be A Dandelion: A Metaphor and Vision for Antiracist Teaching
Chapter 2: Center BIPOC in Texts
Chapter 3: Recognize Cultural, Community, and Collective Practices
Chapter 4: Shatter Silences Around Racism
Chapter 5: Help Students Acquire Racial Literacy
Chapter 6: Learn About Community Activists
Chapter 7: Sustaining the Revolution
Epilogue: Building the Movement for Human Liberation

I find myself in awe of what Dr. Cherry-Paul has skillfully crafted—a true masterclass and a work of art in the field of antiracist education. This book is not just a mere publication; it symbolizes a dedicated pledge to love, intersectionality, justice, and the crucial process of repair. It goes beyond being a standard resource; rather, it stands as a testament to the transformative power of education when approached with a commitment to creating an antiracist world.

Bettina L. Love
NYT bestseller of Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal

Rooted in the love and collective scholarship of Black women, Dr. Cherry-Paul’s Six Critical Lenses are an essential (not additional) component of reading instruction in the classroom. Antiracist Reading Revolution meets the reader at their intersection of years of antiracist readings and equity trainings, and extends a concrete framework for both adult and young learners to develop and apply their racial literacy and consciousness alongside one another. Beginning so beautifully with affirmation, the Antiracist Reading Framework summons every reader to continue practicing the critical and transformative conversations necessary for progress. 

Sara K. Ahmed
Educator and author of Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension

Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul has listened to teachers, librarians, literacy coaches, curriculum developers, teacher educators, and researchers in children’s literature and anti-racist teaching! Antiracist Reading Revolution compels all to move beyond the book lists and into liberating pedagogy — an invitation to “think deeply and possibly differently” through children’s literature and, in that process, better facilitate literature and life discussions with children.

Dr. Carla España
Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education, Puerto Rican/Latinx, and Latin American Studies Department of Puerto Rican and Latinx Studies Brooklyn College, CUNY

This book is an inspiration to make a commitment. A commitment to love. A commitment to construct a classroom that is deserving of and centers BIPOC students. A commitment to push ourselves beyond representation and to use our agency to create curriculum that brings us closer to creating a more antiracist classroom. Dr. Cherry-Paul challenges us to interrogate how our identities, biases, and assumptions influence our instructional decision making. The Antiracist Reading Framework provides applicable, transferable skills that can be implemented meaningfully in the classroom. With the tools Dr. Cherry-Paul provides, Antiracist Reading Revolution will not only create a change in ourselves and our students in the classroom, it will help create a more antiracist world beyond.

Angela Bae
Senior Program Officer, Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING

In this creative masterpiece, Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul centers the work of four incredible Black women scholars to create the Antiracist Reading Framework. This framework teaches educators how to select and engage youth in multicultural literature, while providing the practicality of meaningful prompts, reflection, and an actionable antiracist curriculum. Antiracist Reading Revolution is necessary and urgent for anyone who dreams of and seeks a better world.

Gholdy Muhammad
PhD author of Cultivating Genius and Unearthing Joy

Antiracist Reading Revolution is both a mentor and a needed companion to educators that includes an expansive foundation grounded in research, reflection, and action. Dr. Cherry-Paul’s Antiracist Reading Framework provides a supportive guide that creates pathways for educators to collectively engage in necessary conversations and teach centering love and humanity within all parts of a younger reader’s experience. Dr. Cherry-Paul’s work will continue to thrive across time and spaces.

Tiana Silvas

Antiracist Reading Revolution peels back the often unquestioned layers of reading as a means for socialization and oppression. Dr. Cherry-Paul models the self-scrutiny and deliberate planning teachers must do to wield reading as an instrument for liberation. The accessible resources she provides guide teachers at any stage of their journey toward becoming antiracist educators.

Anna Gotangco Osborn
Reading Teacher

In this powerful tool for individual and collective professional learning, Dr. Cherry-Paul demonstrates not only the self-work needed to begin - or delve deeper into - antiracist pedagogy, but also the ways to make that work actionable with students by implementing critical lenses woven together to form the Antiracist Reading Framework. Through dozens of examples applying the framework to recently published books, she provides clear pathways to teaching toward liberation.

Keisha Smith-Carrington
Supervisor of Humanities and Co-author of Read-Alouds with Heart: Literacy Lessons that Build Community, Comprehension, and Cultural Competence

Antiracist Reading Revolution is a tremendous gift for teachers everywhere and an essential addition to every literacy educator's professional library. Dr. Cherry-Paul offers a comprehensive toolkit that synthesizes decades of research in culturally responsive and liberatory instructional practices. The beauty and power of this book is the way Dr. Cherry-Paul guides teachers throughout, modeling expertly along the way what it means to be an antiracist reading teacher and teacher of young readers. The text selections, rich scholarship, and practical and engaging framework will deepen new and experienced teachers’ practices. Following Dr. Cherry-Paul’s lead, may we all be dandelions, planting the seeds of change that our young people deserve.

Tricia Ebarvia
Author of Get Free: Antibias Literacy Instruction for Stronger Readers, Writers, and Thinkers, and co-Founder of the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy, #DisruptTexts, and #31DaysIBPOC

One of our oaths as educators is to teach children how to think, not what to think. Antiracist Reading Revolution teaches us - teachers and librarians - how to think about the texts we lovingly place in our students' hands, heads, and hearts. More importantly, it teaches us how to center the essential work of antiracism in the classroom and in the library. This book is the educators’ educator’s guide, teaching readers how to use any text in ways that center activism and advocacy, love and liberation.

Shana Frazin
Teacher Librarian, Scarsdale Middle School

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One - Be a Dandelion

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ISBN: 9781071915356