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Book Highlight Part 7
Newsletter , Uncategorized / August 25, 2014

Now for the final installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Sonja Cherry-Paul for Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Jacqueline Woodson uses clear understated language to capture the subtle ways in which cruelty and bullying appear in classrooms, schools, and in the lives of children. Each Kindness is a beautiful and poignant story that shines a light on what happens when children reject, rather than embrace, difference. Maya is new to the school and when she is brought to her new classroom, Chloe and her friends stare at her. They shun her in class and at recess. They nickname her “Never New” and mock her clothes and shoes that appear old and worn. Whenever Maya attempts to play with them, they say no. And so, at recess Maya stands by the fence or jumps rope alone. Soon Chloe and her peers notice that Maya’s seat in the classroom is empty and after several days, they discover that Maya would not be returning to class. Chloe’s shame is palpable to readers. “That afternoon, I walked home alone. When I reached the pond, my throat filled…

Book Highlight Part 6
Newsletter , Uncategorized / August 25, 2014

Now for the sixth installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Lani Gerson for We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson. Adults are always telling young people that they can grow up to make a difference; that they should prepare themselves for an uncertain future by getting smarter, more skilled and better prepared to become accomplished agents for change. Cynthia Levinson has written a wonderful book that tells the stories of how young people in Birmingham, Alabama during the crucial months of 1963 become their own heroes right then and there. While adults in the civil rights movement struggled to find the way forward in their efforts to bring about freedom and integration in Birmingham, young people, children really, stepped into the worrisome void and made history. In this time of many significant anniversaries, the complex and inspiring actions of Birmingham’s black youngsters, culminating in the Children’s March, marks its 50th, and today we honor that history, the history makers and the history writers of that time period. You know a book of history is successful when people like…