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Books as Windows and Mirrors

At recent meeting of the Diversity & Inclusion Parent Affinity Group, Head Librarian Jennifer Friedman presented a partial list of Foote library books that support our mission to be a place where all children feel accepted for who they are—a school that celebrates diversity in all its forms.

"We have a broad range of families and we believe books should be windows and mirrors: you should be able to see yourself and the outside world," said Jennifer. 

Foote's 48,000-volume collection is unparalleled in its size and breadth, and is the byproduct of careful and thoughtful planning by our three full-time librarians. Jennifer Friedman, Anna Stover and Katie Santomasso pour over review journals to select new books that will offer students a range of perspectives and inspiring stories about strength, resilience, empathy, understanding and experiences that differ from their own.

Here's just a small sampling of the books in our collection that Jennifer shared with the parent affinity group:

Jerome By Heart by Thomas Scotto and Olivier Tallec

Two boys, Raphael and Jerome, nurture a tender and emotional friendship despite the disapproval of parents who wish they would play soccer rather than chase butterflies.

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

A boy loves to dress up as a mermaid, and his mother takes him out into the world to see there is a place for him.

My Hair is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera

After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie seeks guidance from her wise and comforting neighbor, who shows her that natural black hair is beautiful.

Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets by Hena Khan

A beautiful picture book that simultaneously explores shapes, Islam and the cultures of the Muslim people.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

A celebration of Chinese culture that tells a whimsical origin story of the moon, from the author of the Ling and Ting series.

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

A New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of 2018, Dreamers tells of the author's journey from Mexico to the U.S. with her infant son in order to give him a better life.

Still a Family by Brenda Reeves Sturgis and Jo-Shin Lee

A girl and her family find strength and empathy after losing their home and being forced to move into a homeless shelter.

Night Job by Karen Hesse and G. Brian Karas

A powerful and tender story about the bonds that form when a boy joins his father on his night shift as a school janitor.

The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul

A story about community, resilience and optimism in the face of devastating news events.

The Unwanted by Don Brown

A graphic novel that tells the story of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor

How books helped the first Latina Supreme Court justice to find inspiration, resilience and to dream of a future in which anything was possible.

Game Changers by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome

A picture book biography about how hard work and practice led Venus and Serena Williams to become tennis trailblazers.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

A novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.

Two Roads by Joseph Bruchac

A boy learns about his Native American heritage—and finds strength in it—during the trying circumstances of the Great Depression.

Little Man, Little Man by James Baldwin and Yoran Cazac

A coming-of-age story about a boy who discovers the challenges and joys of black childhood.

Super Late Bloomer by Julia Kaye

A highly personal collection documenting the early months of artist Julia Kaye's gender transition.



Since 1916, The Foote School has provided child-centered education that nurtures creativity, excellence and joy in learning.

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