Jane Kelley, associate professor in WSU’s College of Education, shares some book titles that show depictions of poverty. Read more about Kelly’s research on children’s books and poverty.
Poverty is complex and contextualized and to say that a book is the “best” depiction would be problematic. However, there are some books that are better than others when it comes to presenting the issue of poverty. Here are a few titles that are engaging and present the complexities of poverty. As I tell pre-service and service teachers, you can’t rely on one book for any topic. Readers will have a better understanding of an issue when they critically read and critically discuss several books about the same topic.
Altman, L. J. (1993). Amelia’s road. New York: Lee & Low Books.
Boelts, M. (2007). Those shoes. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press
Cohn, D. (2002). ¡Si, se puede! Yes, we can!: Janitor strike in L.A. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.
Cooper, M. (1998). Gettin’ through Thursday. New York: Lee & Low Books.
DiSalvo, D. (1994). City green. New York: Morrow Junior Books.
DiSalvo, D. (2001). A castle on Viola Street. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Ketteman, H. (2001). Mama’s way. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.
Mitchell, M. K. (1993). Uncle Jed’s barbershop. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Pérez, A. I. (2000). My very own room. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.
Wyeth, S. D. (1998). Something beautiful. New York: Doubleday Books for Young Readers.