In 2020, I had the pleasure of reading Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, an adaptation of Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning for young adults. In 2021, I read the children’s version. This nonfiction chapter book was a wonderful adaptation, containing the same information in a way children will understand and using new metaphors and excellent illustrations that add to the text.
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The summary, from Amazon:
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
This chapter book edition of the groundbreaking #1 bestseller by luminaries Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds is an essential introduction to the history of racism and antiracism in America
RACE. Uh-oh. The R-word.
But actually talking about race is one of the most important things to learn how to do.
Adapted from the award-winning, bestselling Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, this book takes readers on a journey from present to past and back again. Kids will discover where racist ideas came from, identify how they impact America today, and meet those who have fought racism with antiracism. Along the way, they’ll learn how to identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their own lives.
Ibram X. Kendi’s research, Jason Reynolds’s and Sonja Cherry-Paul’s writing, and Rachelle Baker’s art come together in this vital read, enhanced with a glossary, timeline, and more.
Buy Stamped (For Kids) here.
As someone who works with children 12 and under, Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You is a phenomenal adaptation in the Stamped series. The metaphors and illustrations used in Stamped (For Kids) share the same message as the YA version I have already read in a way kids will get. This is a middle grade chapter book, though the language and chapter length make it accessible for younger readers with support.
The Stamped books are essentials in learning to be truly antiracist. I highly recommend adults check out the YA or adult version, and kids go for the one aimed towards their age group. Kendi expresses important concepts in a historical and modern context, and Reynolds and Cherry-Paul do a fabulous job of adapting for younger readers.
Everything I loved about this book, I’ve said already in my review for the YA version, which you can read here. Here are a few quotes I’ll reiterate:
Stamped provides the reader with the history of racism, starting in the 1600’s and building up to present day, while discussing racist and anti-racist ideas. As Kendi puts it in his introduction, “A racist idea is any idea that suggests something is wrong or right, superior or inferior, better or worse about a racial group. An antiracist idea is any idea that suggests that racial groups are equals.” The authors challenge the reader to be a true anti-racist, as opposed to a racist or an assimilationist. They take into account that many historical figures have been anti-racist at times while also displaying assimilationist or even racist behaviors.
Stamped was an ultra-powerful read. It made me confront myself, and I think will do the same for any reader. I know sometimes I do not do my best. Reynolds asks at the end that we question whether we “want to be a segregationist (a hater), an assimilationist (a coward), or an antiracist (someone who truly loves).” I know I want to be an anti-racist, and I need to keep working to be that person.
This was a 5 star read for me. I’m so thankful for this series for coming along to educate, challenge, and inspire me to be antiracist.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Exceeded my expectation. This adaptation is accessible for middle grade and young readers with support. Up-to-date.
Book Club Questions
- What does it meant to be antiracist?
- What’s the difference between antiracism and assimilation?
- How can you be more antiracist? How are you already antiracist?
- How did Stamped empower and challenge you?
- Have you read other versions of this novel – the one for adults and teens? How does the middle grade/young reader version of Stamped compare?
Interested? Buy Stamped (For Kids).
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