This blog post discusses sensitive subject matter; reader discretion advised.
There are some topics you can’t really find children’s books about. If you want to read about the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, for example, you need a teen or adult book or an encyclopedia. Sometimes these gaps seem surprising since there are books about other horrible and disturbing topics, even when they usually come up in the school curriculum when children are a little older, such as in middle school.
I have written previously about resources available, both from the library and from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for learning about the Holocaust. The following is a quote from the educational materials on the museum’s website:
“Genocide is an internationally recognized crime where acts are committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. These acts fall into five categories:
- Killing members of the group
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
- Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
- Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group
There are a number of other serious, violent crimes that do not fall under the specific definition of genocide. They include crimes against humanity, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and mass killing.”
I bring this up because of recent stories in the news about hysterectomies performed on women in ICE custody. Involuntary sterilization and eugenics are two subject headings that you can search without bringing up any books in the children’s section, although there are titles for teens and adults.
I am aware of a few books in the children’s section that touch on these topics, if only briefly. They are excellent, and I highly recommend them. Click on the titles below to find a copy.