Writing Immigrant Characters: Avoiding Exoticism – by Jane Friedman…

During the last weekend in September, I had the good fortune to speak at the Writer’s Digest indieLAB, where children’s author Zetta Elliott gave the keynote address. She spoke about the great need for children to read stories that act as mirrors and referenced an essay by Rudine Sims Bishop, “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors.”

In that essay, Bishop writes: “When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part. Our classrooms need to be places where all the children from all the cultures that make up the salad bowl of American society can find their mirrors.”

Continue reading HERE

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