Not My Idea

A book about whiteness.

November’s equity resource comes recommended to us by Nicole (Ole) Rapson, Math teacher at Washburn High School.

“The book I always share is called Not My Idea, by Anastasia Higginbotham.  This picture book is a great way to talk to your children who are ages 5 – 12 about their own whiteness and racial justice.  The text is simple but effective, and there’s a lovely dense section at the end for adults to read more and get more resources.

However, I think the best part of the book is the pictures.  Each picture allows you (the reader) to ask more about the story: what is the girl thinking here?  What is she noticing?  What do you notice?  What are you feeling?  Have you ever noticed something like this?  We use this book to open up conversations in our family (two daughters, 5 and 9). 

I’d recommend planning to read and re-read this book.  The first time we read it with the girls, I just read it all the way through, and we didn’t do much discussion.  Then, in subsequent readings, I just followed their lead, and we stopped for long discussions on one page or another, and sometimes didn’t even finish reading it – there’s a jumping off point in here for police brutality, for protesting, for microaggressions, for internal bias, for media bias, … it’s just rich.

Even though my 9-year old is an avid reader and is usually found nose-in-book, I still find picture books one of the best ways to engage with her about bigger topics in the world, and this one’s a great one!”