Teachers for Teachers | It’s Monday! We Are Giving Away What We Are Reading! #IMWAYR #booklove
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It’s Monday! We Are Giving Away What We Are Reading! #IMWAYR #booklove

As soon as we finished reading, Can I Touch Your Hair, we started rereading and couldn’t stop talking.  We then promptly ordered another copy, so we could each have our own. So much to learn, so much to discover, so much to admire in this very timely book.

Can I Touch Your Hair is a collaboration between Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black. These two artists put their talents and experiences together to create poetry that brings out the everyday racial issues that surround children in school.  The poems deal with topics such as, how we may feel when we are assigned a partner, how children might choose a specific type of shoe to fit in, and even how conversations get silenced when the topic of race comes up.

Irene and Charles are the two children in the book who become writing partners in class.  As they write poems back and forth about everyday topics, they learn about each other, about race, and ultimately about friendship.  This book takes a difficult topic of race and brings it to life in ways that readers of all ages can access.  The poems help readers reflect on their own biases, think about the perspectives of others, and encourages us to change, learn and grow.

As we read, we found ourselves reflecting on our own journey to uncover our biases, and what we learned in our recent process of writing It’s All About the Books. (Here is an excerpt from our podcast with Heinemann that shares our journey of learning). We still have so much to learn, and we are grateful to Irene and Charles for writing a book that fosters conversations with children about race.

This is a book you will want to own, you will want to read for yourself, and a book you will want to read with your students.  The quote by A. Phillip Randolph, written on the dedication page says it all, “Salvation for a race, nation, or class must come from within.”  The work we do to learn about each other, to stop racial hatred, and to promote equality begins with all of us. This book is a gift that will help all of us have courageous conversations about race.

To help get this book out into the world, we are giving away one copy of Can I Touch Your Hair.  Comment on this blog post, and we will use a random number generator to choose a lucky winner.   We will announce this winner next Monday!


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    Diane Anderson
    Posted at 11:45h, 28 May Reply

    It sounds like this is a book that will help start conversations students might not bring up.

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    Courtney Carpenito
    Posted at 12:51h, 28 May Reply

    We need to begin conversations about race early. What better way to do it than through books! This looks like a great one.

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    Kristiania Lorentzen
    Posted at 13:42h, 28 May Reply

    Thank you for sharing books! This looks like a fantastic addition to my class room library!

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    Susan Sullivan
    Posted at 13:56h, 28 May Reply

    I have read this book and love it but don’t own a copy yet for my school library. I’d be thrilled if you’d consider us! Thank you.

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    Tina Malley
    Posted at 14:02h, 28 May Reply

    Looks like a must read

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    Elisabeth Ellington
    Posted at 14:18h, 28 May Reply

    I heard Latham present about this one at NCTE and I’ve been so eager to read it ever since. The story of her collaboration with Waters was fascinating, and I think she’s one of the best poets writing for children. Thanks for sharing!

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    Kellee Moye
    Posted at 15:04h, 28 May Reply

    I love that this book exists! It looks so special; I can’t wait to read it!

    Happy reading this week 🙂

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    Lisa Maucione
    Posted at 15:05h, 28 May Reply

    I haven’t read this book yet, but it sounds amazing and an important one to share with young readers.

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    Linda Baie
    Posted at 15:36h, 28 May Reply

    Don’t put me in the giveaway, I have it and have given a copy to my granddaughter’s classroom, too. It is a marvelous book, wishing every classroom could have one! Thanks for sharing it!

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    Elaine Shapiro
    Posted at 15:36h, 28 May Reply

    Thank you for bringing this book to my attention. I am constantly striving to add more diversity to my library’s collection. We also have a social emotional learning program in place in our school and I am always on the lookout for books that teach acceptance, self awareness, tolerance, etc. This book fits right in.

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    Kate Merten
    Posted at 16:35h, 28 May Reply

    Can’t wait to read this!

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    Holly McKean
    Posted at 17:04h, 28 May Reply

    You have me curious about this book. Sounds like it could spark open, honest, brave conversations which help us better understand one another.

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    Lisa Tastor
    Posted at 17:22h, 28 May Reply

    Wow, so generous of you! This looks like the kind of book that all students and adults need in their lives!

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    Jane @ Raincity Librarian
    Posted at 20:27h, 28 May Reply

    Alas my library doesn’t have a copy of this book yet, I’m waiting impatiently to read it!

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    2Shaye @ Miller Memo
    Posted at 21:04h, 28 May Reply

    I have not yet read this and I just love how detailed your review it. Fingers-crossed that I win a copy. What an important read!!

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    Sarah Shoemaker
    Posted at 23:03h, 28 May Reply

    Thank you for supporting all children and reading!

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    Tracy Johnson
    Posted at 01:21h, 29 May Reply

    Would love this! Both in the classroom and to read to my own little

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    Carrie Gelson
    Posted at 05:56h, 29 May Reply

    This is a title on my radar. So pleased to see you two love it so much!

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    Keara Hayes
    Posted at 21:55h, 29 May Reply

    Sounds like another must-have for my collection of read alouds!

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    Jana Eschner
    Posted at 23:00h, 29 May Reply

    Can I Touch Your Hair is a terrific book to share with young readers, especially to start conversations about building community that makes everyone feel welcome and valued. Great way to start thinking about the things we all have in common as a way to develop relationship with each other.

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