My Teacher Has Tattoos

My Teacher Has Tattoos
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Bhagya Madanasinghe
Publisher Name
Soaring Kite Books
Age Range
Release Date
August 01, 2023
In Xavier's neighborhood, tattoos represent gang membership. After Xavier catches an unexpected glimpse of his new teacher's tattoos, he learns that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to the cultural significance of tattoos.
Based on real events that took place during author Darren Lopez's first year teaching in Washington DC, My Teacher Has Tattoos is an impactful conversation starter that brings to life the pitfalls of stereotyping in the classroom and beyond.

Editor review

1 review
Erasing Stigmas Regarding Tattoos
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Xavier's mother has always taught him that tattoos mean the person is in a gang. So when he notices tattoos on his teacher, he grows worried about whether or not he's a good person. He's so helpful and always teaching him important lessons so how can his teacher be in a gang? When Xavier asks his teacher about the tattoos, Mr. Mendoza helps clear up the stigmatism towards them. To Xavier, teachers can't have tattoos, but Mr. Mendoza opens his eyes to the fact that it's a form of expression and doesn't make someone a bad person.

MY TEACHER HAS TATTOOS addresses the stigmas that usually surround tattoos and tries to teach how they don't make someone a bad person. While some gangs use them as a label, others use tattoos to express themselves and I love how the author addresses this from a school perspective. There are some discussion questions in the back of the book for either parents or teachers to use to expand on this lesson. It teaches children not to judge others without hearing their story first. The illustrations are beautifully detailed and vibrant and is a great representation of Hispanic heritage.

Final Verdict: I would recommend this to elementary classrooms and to parents who have tattoos. This clears up the bad stigma around them and teaches that you shouldn't judge someone just based on their looks.
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