The Bright Daybreak of Peace: Using Children’s Books to Create Learning Spaces that Encourage Brave Conversations about Justice, Equity, and Love

Presented by Bethany Hoglund, Julie Mauermann, and Thom Barthelmess


It is imperative that we grow our level of awareness, and our ability to interact and respond to the current challenges we face in society. And, we must nurture the value of “voice” and story – particularly of those who have historically been silenced. This necessitates increasing our exposure to, and understanding of, diverse experiences at a young age. Books provide a distinct avenue for doing this, while nurturing our ability to begin meaningful conversations to make necessary changes moving forward. We will provide book sharing, new book lists, and interactive book sharing.

Participants will be introduced to current children’s books that provide a window into experiences or topics unfamiliar to the participant, and perhaps stories that mirror a participant’s experience and provide a voice. Attendees will interact with the books and discuss and reflect on their messages and how they can be used to start and continue conversations with youth. Additionally, participants will leave with book lists for further reading and exploration.


About the Presenters:

Bethany Hoglund is Head of Youth Services at the Bellingham Public Library.

Julie Mauermann is a Children’s Specialist at the Bellingham Public Library, is a REACH trainer and member of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force.

Thom Barthelmess is Youth Services Manager at the Whatcom County Library System.


Primary Audience: adults – general, educators

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