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The Samantha Smith Challenge: Middle School Change Makers #JACBA Newsletter 17Jun2017
Newsletter / June 17, 2017

Becoming a Changemaker: 3rd Annual Samantha Smith Challenge [VIDEO] In 1983, a Manchester Elementary School fifth grader made history with a letter she wrote to a Soviet leader. Samantha Smith tragically died two years later in a plane crash, but she’s remembered through a yearly challenge that aims to inspire others to make a difference. The Maine native became an ambassador for peace, visiting the Soviet Union for two weeks, then sharing her peace keeping mission around the world. “So we’re asking you to do the same thing,” said Carter. “Take a look around you and your world and your community and see what issues are concerning you and then take action.” Smith’s legacy now lives on through these students. Read More Journey to the Soviet Union by Samantha Smith 1986 Awardee Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books by Michelle Markel | SLJ Review MARKEL, Michelle. Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books. illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Markel’s delightfully exuberant treatment follows Newbery’s lead and presents the facts of his life in a wholly original and absorbing way, mixing evocative and richly detailed cartoon artwork, a playful use of typography, and visual and…

Splendid Summer Reading #JACBA Newsletter 10Jun2017
Newsletter / June 11, 2017

Splendid Summer Reads If you enjoyed Lauren Wolk’s debut “Wolf Hollow” you’re certain to be mesmerized by her latest “Beyond the Bright Sea.” A plucky character with a caring nature, Crow is persistent in this must-read-book that has much to say about sacrifice and courage. “Beyond the Bright Sea” is sure to earn Wolk additional accolades. Read More Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk 2017 Awardee What San Antonio Writers Are Reading This Season Aside from poetry “by everybody,” poet and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye is currently reading Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, which she describes as “a most haunting novel.” The author of Transfer and Fuel also recommends Megan Staffel’s The Exit Coach, Lost Geography by Charlotte Bacon, and I, Who Did Not Die by Zahed Haftlang, Najah Aboud and Meredith May, a book about friendship amid the Iran/Iraq war which takes its very title from one of Nye’s poems. As for summer reading advice, Nye says: “I recommend everybody go to the library and find a book you never heard of to fall in love with.” 2015 Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla is into Margaret Atwood. Having loved Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, which Tafolla sees as “way too recognizable…

Inspired Feminist Children’s Books On the Rise #JACBA Newsletter 1Jun2017
Newsletter / June 4, 2017

15 Feminist Children’s Books That Will Inspire Readers Of Any Age Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh and Melissa Sweet tells the stories of the women who invented everything from windshield wipers, to liquid paper white-out, to aircraft bumpers, to the chocolate chip cookie, and more. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley tells the (condensed, simplified) version of the amazing life and achievements of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while combating the idea that young girls and women should always be agreeable, accommodating, and non-confrontational – a lesson I know that at least I need to keep learning over and over. The Invisible Princess by Faith Ringgold is an African American fairy tale set during slavery, telling the story of one couple whose wishes for their child come true in ways they never could have imagined. That daughter becomes the Invisible Princess, who will one day liberate her parents from slavery, and bring freedom to all the slaves on the plantation. This one is a great reminder of the difference just one individual can make – invisible or not. Read More Brave Girl: Clara…