Recommended Reads #15

Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa

Books can help to foster empathy and understanding in students, and to validate the experiences of those who don’t always see themselves reflected in the culture or the curriculum. If you would like to borrow any of these books, just email me and I will bring them to you. - Maya

Did you know?

The PebbleGo Social Studies database has an entire section on holidays!
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'Twas Nochebuena, by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

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It’s Christmas Eve, and you’re invited to a Nochebuena celebration! Follow a family as they prepare to host a night filled with laughter, love, and Latino tradition. Make tasty tamales and hang colorful adornos (decorations) on the walls. Gather to sing festive canciones (songs) while sipping champurrado (hot chocolate). After the midnight feast has been served and the last gifts have been unwrapped, it’s time to cheer, “Feliz Navidad and to all a good night!”

Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas, by Pamela Ehrenberg

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In this sweet and humorous picture book, Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas, a multi-cultural family (Mom's Indian; Dad's Jewish) celebrate Hanukkah while incorporating traditional Indian food.

Instead of latkes, this family celebrates Hanukkah with tasty Indian dosas. To her brother's chagrin, little Sadie won't stop climbing on everything both at home and at the Indian grocery store, even while preparing the dosas. As the family puts the finishing touches on their holiday preparations, they accidentally get locked out of the house. Sadie and her climbing skills just may be exactly what is needed to save the day.

The Christmas Menorahs, by Janice Cohn

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In Billings, Montana, a Menorah displayed in boy's bedroom prompted someone to throw a rock through the window. The resulting true story of one town's fight against bigotry is the subject of this award-winning book.

Cohn's powerful narrative tells how two children, two families — one Jewish, one Christian — and a community resolve to stand together against the shameful actions that have been happening in their home town. Her story is based on real events that happened in Billings, Montana, in 1993. Farnsworth's beautiful paintings illuminate the message of the power of goodness.

Seven Candles for Kwanzaa, by Andrea Davis Pinkney

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Describes the origins and practices of Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival during which people of African descent rejoice in their ancestral values

Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border, by Mitali Perkins

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It's almost time for Christmas, and Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico. For the few minutes they can share together along the fence, Maria and her brother plan to exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven't seen in years. But when Juan's gift is too big to fit through the slats in the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea. Here is a heartwarming tale of families and the miracle of love.