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Not My Idea

Not My Idea

A Book About Whiteness

Book - 2018
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A white child sees a TV news report of a white police officer shooting and killing a black man. "In our family, we don't see color," his mother says, but he sees the colors plain enough. An afternoon in the library's history stacks uncover the truth of white supremacy in America. Racism was not his idea and he refuses to defend it.
Publisher: New York : Dottir Press, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781948340007
Branch Call Number: J305.80097 H5351N 2018
Characteristics: 64 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm


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Jun 07, 2021

Actual quotes from the book activities at the end:

“white supremacy has been lying to kids for centuries”
“whiteness is a bad deal, it always was”
“here’s a contract binding you to whiteness you get:
-stolen land
-stolen riches
-special favors
-whiteness gets to mess endlessly with the lives of your friends, neighbors and loved ones and all fellow humans of color for the purpose of profit, the only price is your soul,”

IndyPL_ShellieR Mar 20, 2020

Well-oriented toward the target audience (early to middle elementary) this book manages to assign responsibility without shaming or blaming children. I think it would be difficult for a child to make sense of this without an adult to talk it over with but it could be a great tool for families, churches and progressive classrooms.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Dec 05, 2018

A unique book that is the only one I've found that deals with the concept of whiteness for young readers. It will be helpful for framing conversations about the often-uncomfortable topic of race. An excellent addition to the "Ordinary Terrible Things" series!

Nov 08, 2018

Difficult topic addressed head on. Perfect for families open to questions of conscience. Not sure how well this would work if read independently. Would love to hear others’ thoughts!

LPL_KarenA Sep 19, 2018

Another book from the "Ordinary Terrible Things" series that delves into topics that can be hard for some to talk about with children. "Not My Idea" is an important look at whiteness for kids and parents to explore racial identity and privilege together. Higgenbotham presents unique subject matter on what it means to be white for kids, which is not a point of view that is often discussed in children's non-fiction. The included "activities" at the end mostly consist of empowering statements for kids to be persistent in the fight for racial justice. This book is a good jumping off point for parents and caregivers looking for more books about social justice and how to raise racially conscious children.


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Jun 07, 2021

BellaView thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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