The Power of Reader’s Choice and Identity
In her landmark book, Cultivating Genius, Gholdy Muhammad challenges us to reconsider the heart of teaching: “It is our job as educators to not just teach the skills, but also, to teach students to know, validate, and celebrate who they are (2020).”
At the core of every reader is a sense of self-identity that encompasses the reader’s sociocultural background, language, values, perspectives, and developing knowledge of the world. Having the agency to choose your own books and craft a reading life that aligns with your identity is equity in action. Literacy as a civil right begins with defining yourself as a reader and choosing the books that will help you shape and expand your identity. As Julia Lopez-Robertson remarks, “All children deserve and have the right to see books representing their language, culture, traditions, and worlds in which they live” (2021).
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