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Is This Book for Me?

Posted: January 29, 2019

By: Alexa Moffat, Youth Associate

Recently, I helped a family looking for Vox[1] books. I showed them our selection and watched as they perused the available options. I pointed to one book on the opposite side of the display, titled Hey Black Child, indicating that it was also a Vox book. The parent considered it quickly and said, “Oh, that one isn’t for us.” I wish I would have told the family that Hey Black Child is a beautiful book with a message of knowing yourself, your strength, and your endless possibilities, and that while it may have been written for a black audience, the book has captivating illustrations and a wonderful message for any child.

The truth is, we hear different versions of “That book isn’t for me (or my child)” all the time. Kids reject books upon sight because they’re “too boyish/girlish” or because the cover art doesn’t appeal to them. Parents reject books their child selects because they’re not the appropriate reading level. While you should certainly read books you find appealing, it is beneficial to expand your literary horizons. We’re in an age where books being published are increasingly reflective of different backgrounds. They are a wonderful window into the lives of others, sharing their experiences and points-of-view. By encouraging your child to push beyond their initial, “It’s not for me!” thinking, you might help them find their new favorite book or series.

[1] Wondering what Vox is? Think picture book with an audio component.

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