Published in 1981, Alesia, by Eloise Greenfield and Alesia Revis, details the struggles of an African American girl who became physically disabled as the result of being hit by a car. She was Greenfield’s neighbor, which led to this collaboration about her life. Few books include characters with disabilities, and fewer still include people of color with disabilities.
In the quest for disability representation, readers are searching for quality multicultural literature that, in the words of Christine Sleeter and Carl Grant, “recognize, accept, and affirm human differences and similarities related to gender, race, handicap, and class.” As an educator, I join the quest of parents, teachers, and librarians who hope to find bias-free books featuring people of color as fully developed characters.
Each month, “The Reading Quilt” provides a short review of a book that a teacher may use to spark conversations about diversity, along with a learning activity that may help students understand human behavior. The acronym QUILT refers to Quality of writing, Universal theme, Imaginative plot, as well as a mini Lesson plan, and Talking points that stem from the book’s premise.