Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness

Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness

Not My Idea, the latest in the critically-acclaimed Ordinary Terrible Things series, is a book about whiteness.

A white child sees TV news coverage of a white police officer shooting a brown person whose hands were up. Upset, he asks his mother why; she deflects, assuring him that he is safe. Later, they visit an aunt and uncle, where the TV, always on, shows a rally in response to the police shooting. The child glimpses a moving press conference with the victim’s family while his aunt claims she simply “can’t watch the news.”

The book’s narrator accompanies the child as he faces history and himself. The activities section urges kids to grow justice (“like a bean sprout in a milk carton”) inside of themselves, seek out and listen to the truth about racism and white supremacy, and prepare to be changed, heartbroken, and liberated by this experience.

Part history lesson, part compassionate primer to assist children (and parents) past defensiveness, Not My Idea is a tangible tool for necessary conversations.

Title:Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781948340007
Format Type:

    Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness Reviews

  • Betsy

    The other day I was at the table with my 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son and the subject of police shootings came up. I think there was a time when I would have been surprised by that statement...

  • Danika at The Lesbrary

    A much-needed resource to teach white children about white supremacy, racism, and police shootings. A quotation from a Toni Morrison interview is included in the book: "White people have a very, very ...

  • Mary Lee

    This book is the first I've ever seen to take on whiteness and white privilege head on. The story line/information is somewhat scattered and fragmented, but it's a great place to start important conve...

  • Val Brown

    My 8-year-old daughter, who has had multiple introductory conversations about race, loved this book. She recorded her own review and recommends it to others....

  • Shari

    Wow! I spent two decades teaching white children. I thought that I was doing a good job because I exposed them to diverse books and included the history of African Americans, Asians, and Latinos into ...

  • Taylor Kundel-Gower

    Required reading. "Racism was not your idea. You don't need to defend it."...

  • Panda Incognito

    This book encourages white parents and children to talk about racial dynamics and recognize how they experience privilege in their daily lives, but it is incredibly vague and provides almost no histor...

  • Aolund

    Not My Idea is many things at once. It's an important contribution to a gap in children's literature (i.e. critical books about whiteness and racism aimed at white readers); a strikingly illustrated p...

  • Gretchen

    This is an essential book about coming to terms with whiteness, acknowledging privilege, and recognizing that all of us, including white parents, are implicated by systems of oppression that benefit w...

  • Emma

    This book absolutely floored me. It is incredible. I'm not even sure if I can write a proper review for it. No, I'm 100% sure that I can't write a review that does this book justice. What a necessary ...