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Love Comes in Every Shade

Cover of "Brown"

As our country grapples with its difficult past, two educators offer a timely book to combat stereotypes and celebrate the skin tones of Black and brown people with Brown: The Many Shades of Love. Penned by elementary school teacher Nancy Johnson James, a San Leandro Teachers Association member, and illustrated by art teacher Constance Moore, an Alameda Education Association member, the picture book takes a look at the narrative around skin tone in a loving and lovely ode to the color brown. A boy describes the colors of his family’s skin — the clear, dark chocolate brown of his mama, the autumn leaf brown of his father — and celebrates his own gingerbread hue. As many children engage in tough discussions pertaining to racial differences in the early grades, the inviting language in this work is sure to pique the interest of young readers. Available at Amazon and


Helping Kids Navigate the New Normal

Cover of "School Coronavirus Do's and Don'ts"

Wear a mask on your face, not your elbow, and don’t you dare wash your hands with macaroni and cheese. These are a couple of the gems of advice that will make kids smile while helping them learn the new rules and expectations when it comes to school during COVID-19. School Coronavirus Do’s and Don’ts, a new book by Adrienne Barber, second grade teacher and member of Milpitas Teachers Association, breaks down the essential safety measures for distance learning and in-person interaction in a silly way. During what’s been a stressful time for everyone, this lighthearted piece can reduce anxiety and bring on some much-needed laughter. Barber enlisted the help of colleagues, friends and a former student to translate the book into Spanish, French, Italian, Vietnamese and Mandarin. Available at Amazon and (where there’s also a PDF version).


Even Remotely, the Show Must Go On!

Cover of "From a Distance"

Nothing can replace meeting with students in a black box space, teaching them movement, lighting, rigging, acting, improvisation and more, says Bryan Starchman, high school teacher and Mariposa County Teachers Association member. But when we can’t meet face-to-face, his new book Drama From a Distance: Theater Lesson Plans for Remote Learning will keep students engaged with eight weeks of lessons. Educators can follow lessons consecutively or pick and choose from improv ideas and creative writing prompts. Starchman reminds us what all good directors must focus on when working with teens: “We must be flexible, focused, ready to think outside the box. And in the end, we must be willing to do whatever it takes because the show must go on!” On Amazon and

Got something for these pages? Send details to with “Lit From Within” in the subject line. We lean toward new(ish) work that can be used in the classroom.