Make Culturally Relevant Books More Accessible

4 min read

| By Gale Staff |

Project LIT Community is a grassroots network of book groups that aims to get students excited about reading by highlighting diverse, high-interest, culturally relevant books. The movement started in the fall of 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. Jarrad Amato, an English teacher at Maplewood High School, and his students initiated a class project to eliminate book deserts in the community. Since then, more than 600 Project LIT Community chapters have been created in schools across the country.

Each year, Project LIT Community announces a list of recommended titles for students and chapter leaders to read. Thorndike Press offers 75+ of the titles in large print for all levels of readers, including those who are struggling. The combination of a larger font and increased white space that large print offers helps with decoding, tracking, fluency, and reading comprehension. That can be a difference maker in championing literacy.

Give them books they can relate to with these highly selected picks.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
ISBN 9781432874414

“Teens, librarians and teachers alike will find this book a godsend…. Vivid and powerful.” 
Booklist, starred review

“A visceral portrait of a young man reckoning with the ugly, persistent violence of social injustice.”
Publishers Weekly

Front Desk by Kelly Yang
ISBN 9781432861452

“Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“It’s the details that sing in this novel, particularly the small moments that feel like everything when you’re a kid….This book will help foster empathy for the immigrant experience for young readers, while for immigrant children, it is a much-needed and validating mirror….Deserving of shelf space in every classroom and library.”
Booklist, starred review

Internment by Samir Ahmed
ISBN 9781432869328

“…a poignant, necessary story that paints a very real, very frank picture of hatred and ignorance, while also giving readers and marginalized individuals hope.”
Booklist, starred review

“By the end of the first two pages of this title the reader will be breathless with the anticipation and excitement of what’s to come.”
School Library Connection, starred review

It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime (Adapted for Young Readers) by Trevor Noah
ISBN 9781432882198

“Through the foreign, the familiar, and the funny, Born a Crime is a piercing reminder that every mad life–even yours–could end up a masterpiece.”
Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author

“His mother raised him with an imagination and showed that there were no barriers to whatever he wanted to be. Readers will find this journey through Noah’s formative years humorous and exciting.”

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
ISBN 9781432876326

“An amazingly timely and stunningly accessible manifesto for young people….At times funny, at times somber but always packed with relevant information that is at once thoughtful and spot-on, Stamped is the book I wish I had as a young person and am so grateful my own children have now.”
Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming

“The R-word: Racism. Some tuck tail and run from it. Others say it’s no longer a thing. But Dr. Kendi breaks it down, and Jason Reynolds makes it easy to understand. Mark my words: This book will change everything.”
―Nic Stone, bestselling author of Dear Martin

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