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Muslim American Children's Literature

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Kaitlynn McShea

on 28 July 2015

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Transcript of Muslim American Children's Literature

Muslim American Children's Literature: Reaching Multiculturalism and Ethnorelativism
By: Kaitlynn McShea
The Statistics
<5.25% African American
<3.25% Asian Pacific American
<2% Latino
<1.25 American Indian
?? Arab American OR Muslim
Reading Ladders

Muslim American Picture Book Ladder
The Statistics
100% have reading level of second grade and higher
87.5% about Arab American Muslims
87.5% introduce protagonist as "different" than classmates or "other"
Why Diversity?
"Kids should not have to leave their community to live, learn, and earn in a better one." -Steven Ritz
Windows and mirrors
Explicit and implicit curriculum
Toni Morrison-literary absence vs. literary presence _Playing in the Dark_
Multicultural literature is global literature...how can we make it relevant in the digital age?
Muslim American Children's Literature
Final Thoughts
Why Muslim American Children's Books?
"If the children of second- and third-generation Muslims are to feel at home in the mosaic of North American culture, they need to see themselves and their values represented positively in literature." -Khan
"Lifetime reading and lifelong learning." -Lesesne
Objective: To find read-aloud picture books that expose students to Muslim Americans without highlighting the religion (windows and mirrors).
What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

-Langston Hughes
A character's Islamic identity can be like "wallpaper" or "a part of the setting-providing flavor but definitely not part of the problem" (Khan, 20, pg. 37).
"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." -Toni Morrison
Full transcript