Curating a Culturally Inclusive Library on the Cheap Presented by Amanda Kerrigan



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Curating a Culturally Inclusive Library on the Cheap

Presented by Amanda Kerrigan

Mesa Ridge High School, Colorado Springs

Why do I need a classroom library?


  1. My story…

  2. Readicide by Kelly Gallagher, Book Love by Penny Kittle, The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller

  3. We all know that it all comes down to relationships with kids.

Reading YOURSELF in literature…Reading as Social Justice

  1. Young adult literature is surging with great reads about kids from all different backgrounds and identities.

  2. When kids read about characters they share something in common with, they begin to feel less “other”. This takes reading as escape to a whole new…necessary…level.

  3. When kids read narratives about social justice issues, they connect with the stories and understand the intricacies better.

DON’T miss the opportunity to have real conversations with kids about the books they are reading. This could be the most important teaching opportunity you have.

Using your library to make connections with kids and rekindle the love of reading



  1. Dialogue Journals – In the Middle by Nancie Atwell

  2. Reading Conferences (formal and informal) – Donalyn Miller

  3. Individual Goal Setting- Book Love by Penny Kittle

  4. Reading Ladders – Book Love by Penny Kittle

Sources of Funding/Books

  1. Classroom fundraising sites you can connect to social networks: www.donorschoose.org, www.adoptaclassroom.org, www.Gofundme.com,

  2. Scholastic Reading Clubs: Kids order books and you get bonus points for free books

  3. Plant-a-Book program for classroom library, Book tree at Christmas
  4. Write a grant: Book Love grant - $5,000 classroom libraries through the Book Love Foundation


  5. Ask families to donate books they no longer need (quality control is essential)

  6. Create wish lists at Amazon.com and Scholastic.com

  7. Title 1 and Title 2 money can be used for books for classroom libraries…

  8. Other ideas:

Books that are hot on my shelves right now:

LGBTQ issues:

Every Day by David Levithan

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Social Justice

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario
Immigrant kids and 3rd Culture Kids (my new endeavor)

Other Books that I Can’t Keep on the Shelf:

If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year by Gayle Forman

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher


Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns by John Green

The Compound and The Fallout by S.A. Bodeen

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan

Burned and Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

Panic by Lauren Oliver

The Selection series by Kiera Cass

The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi


The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz




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