There are a tremendous amount of resources flooding our timelines right now to help families navigate the challenges around us. There are no simple explanations for the pandemic, the police brutality & Black Lives Matter protests, or the curfew our city is currently under. We have identified some resources that could help your family navigate conversations around race, unrest, and grief, that I hope will help children be able to find their voice and find answers they have been looking for.
Black Lives Matter
Our BKLYN Bookmatch program pairs patrons with customized lists of reading materials tailored to their interests.
The following lists were created specifically to help families understand Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter Reading Lists by Emma Carbone:
- A Black Lives Matter Reading List for Kids
- A Black Lives Matter Reading List for Teens
- A Black Lives Matter Reading List for Adults
Protests, Demonstrations, and Civil Rights in America
You can find children’s books that promote discussions of racial justice at BPL here*
Children’s Librarian Danielle Winter also recommends*:
- Sit-In : How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney
- You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World by Caroline Paul
- Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights by Rob Sanders
- If You're Going to a March by Martha Freeman
- We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March by Cynthia Levinson
- Painting for Peace in Ferguson by Carol Swartout Klein
There are online tools that can help adults frame conversations with children in honest and constructive ways. Discussing race, history, and our feelings or fear and anxiety are challenging at any age.
Talking About Race
The Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture recently launched an online portal: Talking About Race. This portal has stories, resources, and frameworks for helping families unaccustomed to talking about race: You can also find books for children that promote discussions of racial justice.
YoutuberThe Tutu Teacher recently posted a video for her kindergarten class on race, protests, and why people are upset right now in helpful, age-appropriate language for young children.
Many of us are feeling increased anxiety, and children are not exempt from those fears. Even if you have been shielding children from the evening news, the dramatic change in life in the last three months has affected all members of a household. Children don’t always express anxiety the way adults do, so it’s important for adults to look for signs their child might be in distress and need emotional or mental help.
The New York Public Library has a list of recommended books to help kids cope with anxiety:
National Public Radio shared resources for kids and suggestions for parents on how to talk about anxiety in October of last year, both in an article and on their broadcast, now available streaming:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise adults to watch out for symptom of anxiety and depression in children, and what families can do to support kids who may need additional help.
If you are seeking professional support, the City has free resources for New Yorkers, including call-in helplines, free apps for smartphones, and digital resources for the entire household.
Your child may have questions about COVID19, and if the virus has changed since the protests began. I encourage you to visit my previous blog post: How to Answer (Some) of your Child’s Questions About Coronavirus
A note from Brooklyn Public Library:
Apply for an eCard to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, and online databases from home.
While buildings are closed, you are still able to put physical items on hold if you have a physical library card. When buildings open, items will be pulled for you, and you will be notified for pick up.
Have further questions? Contact BPL.
There are no easy answers in this extremely difficult time. The effort adults can make today to start conversations with children will make it possible to have deeper conversations down the road. We hope you will contact us if you have questions or thoughts about resources for families in the comments below.
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