A couple of years ago, I was part of an IB-PYP elementary school accountability committee. During one of our meetings, the interim principal, an expert in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, said something I had never considered before. And he got me thinking.
He said that a real multicultural library is not only a library full of books about diverse characters, about different cultures, and about other countries. A real multicultural library is full of books WRITTEN BY diverse people, representatives of different groups. People that can give our children a taste of a different point of view. And his remarks made me think.
Hardly ever have I seen a book from an acclaimed Brazilian children’s author, such as Monteiro Lobato, Ziraldo, Ana Maria Machado, and so many others that I did not list. In fact, the only two books, written by Brazilian authors, I have ever seen in a library or a bookstore in the US were Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon, by Jorge Amado, which was being discarded by a library and sold in a sale (I bought it), and The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, which was listed on Amazon.com as a book I might like.
I guess it is something to think about… Maybe one day we will be open to welcome into our libraries and our lives a bit of the stories that make this world so diverse and colorful.