I have always believed in the power of literature to help us to understand, to empathize, to open our hearts and minds. Literature allows us to see further than our own household, our own neighborhood. It allows us to experience the lives, thoughts, and emotions of people in circumstances very different from ours. Conversely, it’s also important that all children read about characters who they can identify with – who share their culture or religion, for example.
These books focus on groups of people who are often discriminated against in our society. Not all these books are specifically about prejudice or oppression. Some are pleasant stories whose characters happen to be from one of these groups. Others give peeks into various cultures in other ways (such as folk tales). Some touch on history that we must never forget.