Representation Matters. Particularly for children and youth.
Books and stories are a fantastic way to help children understand anti-racism and diversity and a way to encourage and ease difficult conversations. When we empower kids to find and read diverse books, we all grow, learn and benefit. For children of colour, diverse books reflect and validate their lived experiences. For others, it opens their eyes to worlds and experiences different from their own.
That's why in 2020, we teamed up with the Sickle Cell Foundation of Alberta to create a literature guide for parents and educators of K-12 students featuring themes of representation, diversity and the Black Canadian cultural experience. This collaboration became The African and Caribbean Canadian (ACC) Books in Colour Literature Guide. A collection of books selected and reviewed by a jury of readers in a competitive reading process.
What is ACC Books in Colour?
An amazing literature guide featuring over 300 fiction and non-fiction titles selected by a jury of readers, and organized by grades (Kindergarten to Grade 3, grades 4 to 6, grades 7 to 9 and grades 10 to 12). Each book is categorized based on the themes, genres and subject matter discussed such as Excellent Storytime Books, Books about Self-Esteem, Body Positivity, Mindfulness or Books Featuring an LGBTQ2+ Character. A legend at the beginning of the guide includes links to our booklists about a particular category.
Importantly, the guide features a range of reading material. There are picture books, ghost stories, biographies and heartwarming stories to read together. There are also books that help frame difficult conversations on topics such as informed consent, systemic violence and immigrant detainment or imprisonment all to help #diversifyyourbookshelf.
These stories, both the serious and the silly, can be shared with all readers. They are best read together, as a classroom or between children and their parents or caregivers. Families may especially enjoy choosing one of these books for their next family book club. As a welcome bonus all these titles are available for free with your library card.
In 2022, the ACC Books in Colour Project received the 2022 Minister’s Awards for Municipal and Public Library Excellence in the category of Public Library Services (serving over 10,000 population). The Minister’s Award for Municipal and Public Library Excellence is awarded to initiatives showing unique approaches, streamlined processes or creative community partnerships addressing a community need and must have been in place long enough to produce verifiable results.
Learn more about the ACC Books in Colour Project by watching some of the people behind the project talk about the book selection process.
View the guide now!