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    Best Christmas Books to Read with Your Students

    The Best Christmas Books to Read with Your Students: A Mayor’s School Guide to Broadening Horizons

    Christmas in Nigeria is a vibrant and joyous time, filled with rich traditions and festivities. For many families, it’s also a time to share stories and create lasting memories. As educators, we can contribute to this cultural celebration by incorporating Christmas books into our lessons. But choosing the right books can be challenging, especially if we want to broaden our students’ perspectives and foster cultural understanding.

    Here at Mayor’s School, we believe in the power of literature to bridge cultural divides and spark curiosity. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Christmas books that celebrate the diversity of the season while promoting critical thinking and inclusivity. These books are not only engaging and entertaining, but they also offer valuable lessons about empathy, kindness, and the true spirit of Christmas.

    For younger students:

    • “The Story of Christmas” by Toni Yuly: This beautifully illustrated book tells the traditional Christmas story from a Nigerian perspective, introducing children to the customs and traditions of the season.
    • “My Merry Christmas in Nigeria” by Chinua Achebe: This heartwarming story follows a young boy as he experiences the joy and wonder of Christmas in his Nigerian village.
    • “The Twelve Days of Christmas in Africa” by John Langstaff: This reimagining of the classic Christmas carol features African animals and traditions, fostering cultural awareness and appreciation.

    For older students:

    • “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey” by Susan Wojciechowski: This historical fiction novel tells the story of a woodcarver in Nigeria who undergoes a transformation during the Christmas season, inspiring messages of forgiveness and redemption.
    • “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel offers a poignant perspective on the Biafran War in Nigeria, highlighting the resilience and hope of the human spirit during challenging times.
    • “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” by Lola Shoneyin: This captivating story explores the lives of four women married to the same man in Nigeria, offering insights into cultural norms and societal expectations.

    Beyond these specific recommendations, we encourage teachers to explore a variety of Christmas books from various cultures and perspectives. Look for stories that celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and the common values we all share. Encourage your students to discuss the similarities and differences they encounter in the books, prompting them to think critically and challenge their own assumptions.

    By sharing a diverse range of Christmas stories with our students, we can open their eyes to the beauty and richness of different cultures. We can help them understand the true meaning of Christmas – a time for giving, sharing, and celebrating the human spirit.

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