THE FIRST CHILDREN’S BOOK TO NAME RACISM AS A PROBLEM OF WHITENESS
NEW YORK, NY—Continuing her work to support adults talking openly with children about subjects too important to ignore, author and illustrator Anastasia Higginbotham returns with the fourth book in her Ordinary Terrible Things Series. Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness invites families to acknowledge the ways white children are conditioned to feel apart from conversations about race.
Conversations about whiteness are happening over all forms of media, on college campuses, and in schools and religious communities nationwide. As more white people actively seek to unlearn racism and dismantle its structures, all need support to deepen their understanding of what whiteness is and what it does to shape a worldview.
Not My Idea offers an emotional inlet to the crisis white children experience when they know people are being harmed and they are actively discouraged from feeling anything about it. Inspired by her own children’s curiosity, Higginbotham sets the story in present day America where a white child sees news coverage of a police shooting. The child asks questions of their family, but finds answers in the library. In an age of fake news and alternative facts, Not My Idea spotlights the role of libraries as sanctuaries and librarians as guardians of the truth.
Not My Idea lifts the burden of fixing racism off the shoulders of children and empowers kids to seek an education in both white supremacy and those who have always fought against it—including some white people. With clear language, exquisite art, and powerful incentive to open and connect, Not My Idea conveys Toni Morrison’s 1993 call to action on race in America: “White people have a very, very serious problem, and they should start thinking about what they can do about it.”