Turning Coal into Diamonds at the Used Book Store


I ventured to a book store that I don’t usually shop at because of it’s lack of progressive titles that suit my personal interests. However, they have a used book cellar, that I go into from time to time. After all, I have to dump books that I  wouldn’t read to my students somewhere right?                                                                                I was able to trade these culturally-expired titles:

For these culturally-relevant titles:

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou. Illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Echoes of the Elders: The Stories and Paintings of Chief Lelooska by Christine Normandin

Four bell hooks titles. Yay!

Yes. All of the above 6 titles I got with my $35.50 in store credit. I only buy from the used book section of the store, and fortunately the Brookline Booksmith Used Book Cellar had these goodies hiding away in it.   While browsing the used books I also came across two titles that I highly DON’T recommend reading to children. I did not purchase them, but I did snap photos of them with my iPad. They are below:

‘Why?’ you ask, would I not want to read a children’s book about my beloved city of Boston? because there are only white people in the illustrations. Yes, my city is 100% caucasian in this book. All the street people, store patrons, main characters, etc. I do not wish to delve into the inaccurate any longer.

I do not recommend this book simply because of the title. I personally don’t read or keep Madeline books in my classroom, because they are not relevant enough. However, this title I flat out would not read to any child, in any realm. The Gypsy people are Romanies.

After I left this store in Brookline, I headed over to More Than Words Used Books in Waltham, MA.  I respect this store, and it’s mission to support youth in the foster care system. Anyways, they take donations at this store, rather than buying second-hand books from the general public.  So, the 40 or so titles, that Brookline Booksmith did not buy from me, I donated to More Than Words. And just guess what they gave me for my generous donation? The mecca of teaching philosophy:

Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks

Yesssssssssssssssss.    More Than Words is also better than Brookline Booksmith’s Used Book Cellar because they give teacher discounts. Now if you’ll excuse me. I have to go get my brain on. (That’s slang for: I need to go read and expand my mind)

Thank you for reading The Picture Book Pusher