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Reading/Race: A Literary Discussion Series for Educators

A virtual reading series for educators committed to centering and amplifying adolescent BIPOC voices and stories in schools and classrooms

What is Reading/Race?

Reading/Race is a ten-month virtual reading series from Boogie Down Books for individual educators and groups to explore contemporary young adult literature that centers the voices, hi(stories), and experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). These eleven books speak to young people’s lives and to what is happening in the world around them right now while also celebrating their resilience, their ingenuity, and their potential. Featured genres include history, memoir, comics, short stories, realistic fiction, science fiction, and romance. Participants will:

  • Build their personal and professional bibliography of contemporary young adult literature and nonfiction
  • Design joyful experiences for adolescent and adult reading communities
  • Promote justice by amplifying the voices of BIPOC writers and communities
  • Ensure that BIPOC and LGBTQ+ backgrounds, identities, and experiences are reflected in the books that adolescents read
  • Get lost in page-turning, un-put-downable books as both readers and educators
  • Collaboratively develop plans for incorporating new texts in their curriculum
  • Adapt classroom strategies and practices for a variety of contexts
  • Grow their professional network by cultivating relationships with other antiracist educators
  • Learn from facilitators who are veteran educators with extensive expertise in leading text-based discussions with adolescents and supporting adult learning

Who is Reading/Race for?

Educators of all age groups and disciplines are welcome, including those who are not classroom teachers. We define “educator” broadly: if you support the growth and development of young people, you’re an educator. Parents and caregivers who are homeschooling, leading learning pods, or facilitating virtual learning at home are welcome too. Reading/Race’s ten featured titles are intended for young adult (~ages 12+) readers, but they have wide appeal and will engage, delight, and challenge adult readers as well. Boogie Down Books is an approved New York State provider of CTLE hours, and qualifying teachers will receive a certificate of completion for 1.5 hours after each session. (New York State-certified teachers must earn 100 CTLE hours per 5-year-period.)

How is Reading/Race structured?

Discussions are held on the third Thursday of the month from 7:00 to 8:30pm EDT on Zoom. Participants are encouraged to have their videos on during discussions if at all possible. Each meeting includes an opening check-in, a discussion of that week’s reading, time for reflection, planning, and feedback, and routines for synthesis and closure. Participants are welcome to attend the entire series or select sessions. Registration closes 24 hours before the session begins, at which point the Zoom link is sent out.

Where are Reading/Race books available?

No matter what, please purchase your books from an independent bookstore. Ticket options include both registration only and registration plus books. Books are also available from the Boogie Down Books online store in print, ebook, and audiobook editions. Orders can be shipped or picked up from our Boogie Down Pop-Up at Mottley Kitchen in the South Bronx. Delivery is also available in select South Bronx zip codes. All 11 titles are also available in a Reading/Race Bundle that includes Boogie Down Books swag and free shipping.

2020-21 Schedule

November 19, 2020: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Jean Mendoza, and Debbie Reese (nonfiction, 2019)

December 17, 2020: Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (fiction, 2018)

January 21, 2021: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (nonfiction, 2020)

February 18, 2021: March: Book 1 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell (graphic novel/memoir, 2013) and Victor LaValle’s Destroyer by Victor LaValle & Dietrich Smith (comic/science fiction, 2018)

March 18, 2021: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson (fiction, 2020)

April 15, 2021: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (fiction, 2020)

May 20, 2021: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (fiction, 2012)

June 17, 2021: Frankly in Love by David Yoon (fiction, 2019)

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May 20, 2021


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


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