Project Open Books recently received several generous book donations, including a few books not yet included in our free library. One of these books was Rob Sanders’s STONEWALL: A BUILDING. AN UPRISING. A REVOLUTION. We were so excited to receive this book, as Sanders’s other children’s book in our free library is one of our absolute favorites! It’s called PRIDE: THE STORY OF HARVEY MILK AND THE RAINBOW FLAG. Together, these two books are the perfect way to introduce topics such as Pride and the LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement to students in your elementary school classroom.
STONEWALL: A BUILDING. AN UPRISING. A REVOLUTION. is told from the perspective of the buildings that make up the Stonewall Inn. It’s an interesting yet successful narrative style, which details the events that took place on June 28, 1969 and thereafter, marking the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement and LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement. Sanders’s creative storytelling, together with amazing illustrations by Jamey Christoph, make this book a must-have for creating a more inclusive classroom environment and accurately teaching the history of these important human rights issues.
At the end of this book, there are a few great resources included, which can also be used in your classroom. These include a more detailed history of the Stonewall Uprising; an interview with Martin Boyce, who participated in the uprising as a LGBTQ+ activist; a glossary of important terms helpful for understanding the story; and other resources such as websites, books, and a podcast, if one would like to continue the conversation and learn more.
After receiving this fantastic book, we felt we just had to visit the historic Stonewall Inn and take this book with us on our journey! Shortly after arriving in New York City, we walked from Grand Central Station to Greenwich Village until we saw the sign for Christopher Street. We quickly found the intersection of Christopher Street and Gay Street and then continued to the Stonewall Inn. Once there, we felt as if we had jumped right into the pages of the book! Everything around us matched what we saw on the pages.
We also discovered a park across the street from Stonewall called Christopher Park, where you can use your phone to scan barcodes and learn more about the history of Pride and the LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement. There are also several statues of same-sex couples and many, many Rainbow Pride Flags!
Looking for a great way to introduce these topics to your elementary school students? Request one of Sanders’s books from our free library here. You can also use accompanying virtual read alouds and downloadable classroom activities, absolutely free on our website.