(as of May 12,2021 21:24:37 UTC – Details)
Written by a clinical social worker and child therapist with experience in anti-bias training and edited by a diversity expert, Race Cars tells the story of 2 best friends, a white car and a black car, that have different experiences and face different rules while entering the same race.
Filled with bright, attention-grabbing illustrations, a notes and activities section at the back helps parents, guardians, and teachers further discuss these issues with children.
Why is this book important? As early as 6 months old, a baby’s brain can notice race-based differences; children ages 2 to 4 can internalize racial bias and start assigning meaning to race; and 5- to 8-year-olds begin to place value judgments on similarities and differences. By age 12, children have a complete set of stereotypes about every racial, ethnic, and religious group in society. Our guidance is especially crucial during this impressionable time.
Race Cars offers a simple, yet powerful, way to introduce these complicated themes to our children and is a valuable addition to classroom and home libraries.
From the Publisher
Race Cars: A children’s book about white privilege
For as long as anyone could remember, every year when the big race came around, a white car would win the race. A white car would win fourth place, third place, second place, and first place. Until last year…
When the committee heard about Chase winning, they were not happy. A black car had never won first place. They did not want things to change.
“We have always given white cars the fastest tires and the most powerful engines!” they roared. “How could a black car have won?”
But back at home, something was bothering Chase. It just did not seem fair that the bridge was for white cars only. Was he not as good as the white cars? Was something wrong with him? He shrugged it off and decided to train even harder for next year.
Back at Ace’s house, Ace was snuggled up in bed smiling. He did not expect to be faster than Chase—in their practices Chase was always fastest. “I must be getting much faster,” thought Ace. He drifted off to sleep dreaming of next year’s race-car race.
Chase paused for a second. “Hmm…that’s strange,” he thought, “none of the white cars seem to be getting stopped,” but he did not want to waste any more time. He showed the officer his identification and continued the race through the magical forest.
Chase sped around the river as fast as he could and jumped over the finish line. But because the race officer stopped him, Chase did not place, and Ace came in first instead.
Ace was heading for the magical forest when something made him pause.
A forked road with two separate paths—one for white cars and another for all other cars. “Why have I never noticed this before?” thought Ace.
Ace wanted to know what was down the other path. He wanted to understand what the race was like for Chase.
When he got to the magical forest he saw Ace
speeding towards him.
“I’m sorry it took me so long to realize how much harder it was for you to win this race, Chase,” said Ace.
The best friends embraced! Then, together, Ace and Chase finished the race.
Why do you think the race committee was so upset that Chase won the race?
What do you think it felt like for Chase to see that sign?
Why does Ace think he is winning the race, and not Chase?
What do you think Ace would have done if he saw Chase get stopped? What would you do?
TIPS FOR READING RACE CARS WITH KIDS
Stop and think critically: When reading the story, stop at various points to give children a chance to discuss what’s happening.
Reach for feelings and activate children’s moral imaginations: Have children consider what the characters in the book might be feeling as they read the story.
Invite full participation: When discussing difficult topics such as race, some children may tend to shut down, whereas others may dominate the conversation.
Relate it to the wider world: Race Cars is a fictional book, but the book is a reflection of the wider world.
Praise for Race Cars: A children’s book about white privilege