Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things)

by Anastasia Higginbotham

Hardcover, 2018



Call number




Dottir Press (2018), 64 pages


**A WHITE RAVEN 2019 SELECTION** NAMED ONE OFSCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL'S BEST BOOKS OF 2018 Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness is a a picture book that invites white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it's real, and cultivate justice. Quite frankly, the first book I've seen that provides an honest explanation for kids about the state of race in America today. --ELIZABETH BIRD, librarian "It's that exact mix of true-to-life humor and unflinching honesty that makes Higginbotham's book work so well..."--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (*Starred Review) A much-needed title that provides a strong foundation for critical discussions of white people and racism, particularly for young audiences. Recommended for all collections. --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (*Starred Review) A necessary children's book about whiteness, white supremacy, and resistance... Important, accessible, needed. --KIRKUS REVIEWS A timely story that addresses racism, civic responsibility, and the concept of whiteness. --FOREWORD REVIEWS For white folks who aren't sure how to talk to their kids about race, this book is the perfect beginning. --O MAGAZINE… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Shannon.Allen
The theme is one I was all in for and parts of the book had me nodding my head in agreement and saying "Yes, white people! Tell your kids about these things and start thinking about what it's like for people who look different than you do!" The book in it's entirety, though, just felt lacking. It kept feeling like it would get close to making a great point about what racism is or describing some situation so a child would understand it, but then the implied news story or incident would fall flat because of lack of explanation. The book is about how parents can keep kids in the dark about racism and terrible things happening because of it in the world today so they need to speak up and demand to be let in on the conversation, yet this book is hiding many things.

Honestly, I wouldn't read this again. I had to fill in so many gaps while reading with my kids that I would've been better off if I just came up with the content myself based on the pics in the book or, TO MY KIDS AS THINGS HAPPEN, as well as having ongoing conversations to combat systemic and individual racism. Shouldn't we all be doing this? Shouldn't we help our children to understand what is happening and why when they see or hear bad things? Shouldn't shutting racism down start with white people making sure we aren't creating racists and also trying our hardest to shut down those white supremacist KKK fuckers who already waste too much air and space on this planet?
… (more)
LibraryThing member francescaimig
The story of young white child as she goes through the process of awakening from her state of racial privilege. The book challenges the reader to become an up-stander against racism and ignorance. "Racism was not your idea. You don't need to defend it."
LibraryThing member Zoes_Human
An absolutely marvelous picture book on a topic that simply must be discussed with white children regardless of how uncomfortable it is: whiteness and white supremacy. Clear about the difference between being white and whiteness, clear about the harm of white supremacy and that it is a white problem, clear about the fact that well-intended people we love may be contributing, but nonetheless age appropriate for a beginning introduction to the topic. A vital tool to start challenging conversations with little loved ones because that is how we change the world.

Appropriate for ages 5 to 10.
… (more)


Original language



1948340003 / 9781948340007
Page: 0.2961 seconds