Recommended Reading on Diversity for Children and Teens
Over the past months, staff members from various Museum departments read, discussed, and selected a large number of books on the theme of diversity. These books propose that diversity in German society is not limited to ethnic and cultural origins or religious affiliation, but extends today and in the forseeable future to family constellations, sexual orientation, age, and gender.
Finding books on these subjects which can be recommended without reserve was not easy. A lot of stories have a complicated structure and lifeless characters because their authors gave priority to pedagogical goals at the cost of narrative cohesion. The result is often a book which might be labelled “non-discriminatory education,” but which is not compelling, and so fails to inspire young people to read. Many books, while well intentioned, nevertheless reinforce clichés and prejudices, rather than dispel, question, or contradict them.
We looked for texts that do not speak about “others,” but rather let them speak for themselves. And we found quite a lot of books that reflect the diversity of people living in Germany today in a very entertaining and original way. They tell of patchwork and rainbow families, of asylum-seekers in Germany, of animal and human language confusion, of street children, of religious diversity in everyday life, of soccer and friendship.
After making our selection, we put together a brochure that presents altogether 30 picture books, books for children and young adults, and graphic novels, each with a short descriptive text, and recommends 20 more books. Several books have already been reviewed in our blog on the JMB website.
Ausgewählt im Jüdischen Museum
Berlin in Kooperation mit kulturkind e.V.,
Jewish Museum Berlin
Berlin 2013, 2017
Jüdisches Museum Berlin
Büro Harald Niessner
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