Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi & Ryan Reynolds – Book Review

Title: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Author: Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: March 10, 2020

RATING: 5 Stars

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You traces the history of racist ideas in America. This “not history book” by Jason Reynolds, adapted from Ibram X Kendi’s award-winning novel Stamped From the Beginning, is brilliant in its delivery. Readers learn about the pervasiveness and insidiousness of racism in America, from past to present. The topic is of paramount importance but obviously fraught. The topic must be taught, though, and Reynolds’ conversational tone hits the right pitch for middle grade and young adult readers to access it. This delivery opens the door to conversation, understanding, reflection, and – critically – compels a call to action. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You should be required reading, in every class. There really is nothing more that needs to be said. Stamped is that powerful and its subject matter that important. The novel’s very presence in students’ hands is one way we, as educators, can contribute to the fight against white supremacy culture and build toward an antiracist future.

Classroom Applications

  • Cross-curricular Study – Teach the novel in conjunction with a nonfiction study of racism embedded in various aspects of U.S. society.
  • Literature Circles – Use novel for small groups or choice reading with a variety of novels that address systemic racism.
  • Book Club or Book Exchange – Share the novel with students that enjoy reading about themes of social justice and racism.

Nonfiction Connections: The list below outlines topics that will enrich your students’ understanding of the novel.

  • Racism in United States
  • History of Racism in United States
  • Institutional Racism – Politics, Education, Justice System, etc.
  • History of Slavery in the United States

Book Companions: The following are great fiction books to pair with Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. In parenthesis are the specific aspects students could explore when synthesizing across the texts.

  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (Nonfiction Connections, Themes)
  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (Nonfiction Connections, Themes)
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Nonfiction Connections, Themes)
  • Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Nonfiction Connections, Themes)
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers (Nonfiction Connections, Themes)

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