5 New YA Books on Women's History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 18, 2022

Here at Facing History, we see awareness months as opportunities to deepen our knowledge of and attention to the histories and contemporary experiences of historically marginalized communities. However, the focus on celebrating these communities over one particular month can further marginalize the very experiences we are hoping to elevate. With this in mind, what follows is an invitation to engage with important themes raised by Women’s History Month this March and throughout all of the months of the year.

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Topics: Women's History Month, Reading List

5 New Books on Women's History for 2022

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 17, 2022

Here at Facing History, we see awareness months as opportunities to deepen our knowledge of and attention to the histories and contemporary experiences of historically marginalized communities. However, the focus on celebrating these communities over one particular month can further marginalize the very experiences we are hoping to elevate. With this in mind, what follows is an invitation to engage with important themes raised by Women’s History Month this March
and throughout all of the months of the year.

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Topics: Women's History Month, Reading List

6 New Books on Human Rights

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on December 14, 2021

Here at Facing History, we see awareness months as opportunities to deepen our knowledge of and attention to key histories and related areas of contemporary concern. However, the focus on these issues during one particular month can further marginalize the very concerns we aim to elevate. With this in mind, what follows is an invitation to engage with important themes raised by Global Human Rights Month this December and throughout all of the months of the year.

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Topics: Books, Human Rights, Reading List

5 New YA Books on Latinx Life

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on September 23, 2021

Hispanic American Heritage Month each September and October offers a valuable opportunity to evaluate the kinds of reading materials we are sharing with young people throughout the year, and to consider how the experiences of Latinx people can have a greater presence in classrooms. We know that it can be challenging to sift through the large body of reading material, pinpoint texts written at an appropriate reading level, and that speak to key themes in ways that are relatable to adolescent readers so we have curated some rich new titles for educators seeking to expand their pool of resources.

Below are five young adult (YA) books capturing Latinx experiences that educators can consider sharing with their students. These books with young Latinx narrators cover significant thematic ground including the true story of how a Mexican American student sparked the first legal battle led by immigrants to the U.S.; a young gay Latinx man’s pursuit of deeper belonging in his new community; being on the front lines of contentious immigration debates as a young Guatemalan American immigrant; the concept and concrete realities of borders and border crossing as understood by Mexican American youth; and navigating toxic masculinity and gentrification in addition to Latinx identity.

Below, the publisher of each title offers a glimpse of what is contained in each book:

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Topics: Reading List, Latinx History

5 Summer Audiobooks for Teachers

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on July 15, 2021

For many educators, summer offers a welcome break from the frenetic pace of the school year. But teacher professional development and summer fun aren’t mutually exclusive, and there are ways to squeeze in plenty of both before classes resume. With the rise of digital audiobooks and podcasts, it is easier than ever to build new skills and expose yourself to new ideas surrounding the theory and practice of teaching while, say, taking a leisurely walk on the beach, powering through an epic road trip, or even catching up on self-care at the gym.

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Topics: Reading List

Reads for Juneteenth

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 17, 2021

Described as a second independence day, June 19th or Juneteenth marks the day that emancipation reached enslaved people in the furthest reaches of the American South. Though the Emancipation Proclamation established that all enslaved people held within the rebellious states were freed, plantation life continued as though no change had occurred in many parts of the slaveholding South until this day. And just yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill to make Juneteenth a legal public holiday. Juneteenth is a time to reflect upon this history, as well as the steps toward freedom that have been achieved and the forces that continue to undermine the freedom of African Americans.

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Topics: Reading List, Black History

5 YA Books on AAPI Life

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on May 19, 2021

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month each May offers a valuable opportunity to evaluate the kinds of reading materials we are sharing with students throughout the year, and to consider whether Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) experiences need to have a greater presence. Particularly this year, as racism and violence targeting AAPI people becomes more visible, it can be challenging to sift through the growing body of reading material and pinpoint the texts that are presented at an appropriate reading level, and in ways that are relatable to adolescent readers.

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Topics: Reading List, Asian American and Pacific Islander History

5 New Books on Black History and Life

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 2, 2021

As we begin Black History Month 2021, it is clear that we are living through extraordinary times. We have seen many landmark events in Black history over the last year ranging from the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement to the election of the first Black female Vice President of the United States. Determining how to structure reflection on these subjects in the classroom can be challenging, and one way to get started is to prioritize our own learning as educators.

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Topics: American History, Reading List, Black History

Moving Forward, Looking Back: A Reading List

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on January 21, 2021

As we pass Inauguration Day, Americans are sitting with a great many feelings. Some may be moving forward with a sense of disappointment and uncertainty while others are basking in the sense of possibility that new beginnings provide. Irrespective of where we lie on this continuum, the events of the last year have revealed to all of us that our democracy is highly fragile and continued civic engagement is required to strengthen its functioning. But in order to move forward, we must be prepared to look backward and plumb the lessons of the past. 

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Topics: Reading List

5 New Books on Human Rights

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on December 8, 2020

Each December, we observe Universal Human Rights Month—an opportunity to reflect upon historical and ongoing struggles for human rights around the globe. Yet understandings of human rights are constantly evolving, raising new questions, and calling into question aspects of social life that some of us take for granted. In the following five books published within the last year, scholars, a biographer, and a memoirist reflect upon different dimensions of human rights, offering educators a number of areas for further exploration of this important subject. Below, the publisher of each title outlines what is to be found within each book:

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Topics: Human Rights, Reading List

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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