Books, Fiction

Christine Sleeter, The Inheritance. Now available on Amazon and iBooks!

After tracing the house she inherited from her grandmother to the selling of land stolen from the Ute Indians, Denise must decide whether to stand up for her family or her convictions. She wrestles with the guilt of inheriting this history after hearing her best friend’s grandmother’s Ute family story. In addition, since as a teacher responsible for teaching state history, she confronts her curriculum’s story of colonization. As Denise gradually reinterprets the actions of her ancestors and weighs possible responses, she must figure out what family love and loyalty mean. The Inheritance explores how someone who has benefitted directly from the removal of an American Indian tribe from their lands comes to understand how that happened and what to do about it.

The Inheritance brings together uncomfortable truths about race, land, and education. Christine Sleeter brilliantly distills her anti-racist, pro-justice work into this page-turning novel that explores past and present through a white 4th grade teacher, as she grapples with her monetary — and ideological — inheritance. Although The Inheritance illuminates a pathway for teachers to uncover and dismantle their own weighty inheritances, the book is a compelling read for all audiences.” –Linda Christensen, author of Teaching for Joy and Justice and Rhythm and Resistance

“Narrates difficult knowledge and enacts the social psychoanalysis that (predominantly) White women need to engage in to understand the White privilege, whitened ontology and epistemology, responses of people of color to Whites’ anti-racist activism, and the ongoing settler colonial forces of whiteness in the present moment. Perhaps more importantly for teacher educators, Sleeter’s novel renders both the complex issues White teachers face in taking up anti-racism, but also the needful critical question in teacher education: What is to be done in curriculum, schools, and with children now  that I understand White privilege and how it emerges from a history of settler colonialism?” –-James C. Jupp, Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies

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Christine Sleeter (2015). White Bread. SensePublishers.

In White Bread, readers accompany Jessica on a journey into her family’s past, into herself, and into the bicultural community she teaches but does not understand. Jessica, a White fifth-grade teacher, is prompted to explore her family history by the unexpected discovery of a hundred-year-old letter. Simultaneously, she begins to grapple with culture and racism, principally through discussions with a Mexican American teacher. White Bread pulls readers into a tumultuous six months of Jessica’s life as she confronts many issues that turn out to be interrelated, such as why she knows so little about her family’s past, why she craves community as she feels increasingly isolated, why the Latino teachers want the curriculum to be more Latino, and whether she can become the kind of teacher who sparks student learning. Alternating between past and present, the story acquaints readers with German American communities in the Midwest during the late 1800s and early 1900s through portraits based on detailed historic excavation. What happened to these communities gives Jessica the key to unlock answers to questions that plague her.

“Sleeter has provided another breakthrough for critical multicultural research with her pedagogical novel, White Bread.” –James C. Jupp, author of Becoming Teachers of Inner-city Students.

“Sleeter artfully explores the challenging topics of race, culture, history and identity critical to the success of white teachers in multicultural settings. That she manages to do this in a page-turning, multigenerational novel complete with mystery and romance makes this a must-read not just for teachers, but for everyone.” –Bree Picower, author of Practice What you Teach

“White Bread should be read by everybody, but especially teachers and teacher educators as they work to transform their practices to reach our increasingly diverse student populations.” –Wayne Au, author of Pencils Down!

“After reading this engaging novel, readers may be motivated to delve into their own family histories and, along the way, to reflect on what it means to be an American in our complex, multicultural and multilingual nation.” –Sonia Nieto, author of What Keeps Teachers Going?

Using White Bread in College Courses

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