Monday, January 12, 2009
Jenny, my new daughter-in-law, teaches third grade in Seattle. She has a girl in her class who is a big fan of Library Lil. When the girl mentioned that the author's last name was the same as her teacher's last name, Jenny told her it wasn't just a coincidence, that I was her mother-in-law. Later, the children were reading a magazine article about tennis pro Serena Williams. "Are you related to her too?" a child wanted to know. A boy laughed, saying that their teacher couldn't be related to Serena--the tennis pro was African-American and their teacher was Asian. Someone else, having seen my photo on the back jacket of Library Lil, pointed out that I wasn't Asian either. The kids all laughed about that.
I love the "multi-ethnic" nature of so many of our families today, don't you? And soon we'll inaugurate a president who truly represents that blending of families. Speaking of which, if you haven't yet read Sundee Frazier's wonderful story of a bi-racial boy, "Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It," rush out and buy a copy. It's about a boy finding his place in the world, and making friends with a white grandfather he'd never known. Among other honors, the book won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award just after it was published. Happy Reading!