July 8, 2021
By Benay Hicks
In January 2021, Amy Franks, Book Harvest’s Learning Partnerships Manager, created the Featured Five initiative. Every month, she curates a list of five children’s books that are timely and representative of individuals and stories from different cultures. Examples of monthly themes include Black History Month, National Poetry Month, and most recently, books that highlight social justice in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
Book Harvest’s Featured Five falls within our commitment to Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors — a concept created and championed by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop:
Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author.(Read more here).
Six months in, and our Featured Five lists are now a fun part of our monthly routine. Furthermore, individuals have donated dozens of copies to Book Harvest — purchased by people all over the country. And many Book Harvest followers have also purchased them for their home bookshelves. Below you will find our Featured Five lists from February-July, and all of the books are included on our wishlists at The Regulator and on Amazon.
Thank you for your support of this initiative! We look forward to continuing to bring you timely, culturally-inclusive children’s books each month.