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Newsletter / April 21, 2019

WHOSE LIFE STORIES ARE BEING NEGLECTED IN PICTURE BOOKS? – MAY 4   The event will tackle key issues related to diversity such as whose life stories are celebrated versus whose are often ignored and not told. The event will also take a look at how thoughtfully these life stories are written for young readers, and look at which authors are telling these stories. A deep-dive panel discussion about the making of award-winning picture book biography, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave. The panel will include the book’s author Laban Carrick Hill, illustrator Bryan Collier, and art director Patti Ann Harris. A panel discussion around the theme of diversity in picture book biographies. Panelists will include author and illustrator Javaka Steptoe… READ MORE… MARTIN’S BIG WORDS BY DOREEN RAPPAPORT & BRYAN COLLIER  ‘EVERY CHILD SHOULD FIND THEMSELVES IN A BOOK’ SPEAKING WITH ILLUSTRATOR MELISSA SWEET Her (Melissa Sweet’s) next book, due out in June, is a collaboration with Kwame Alexander, called How To Read A Book: A Focus on Non-Fiction. “Every child entering a library, entering school, is going to pick a different book. It’s imperative for them to find their book.” She says that not every kid is going to be attracted to the most popular or classic children’s…

Newsletter / April 14, 2019

INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY Birchbark Books (owned by Louise Erdrich — the internationally recognized author of many novels, poems, short stories and children’s books) carries books by Native authors along with a selection of other carefully selected titles, Native art and jewelry. READ MORE… INDEPENDENT BOOK PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION UNIVERSITY 2019: RACCAH SPILLS SECRETS TO INDIE PUBLISHING SUCCESS   W. Nikola-Lisa of Gyroscope Books, an author-publisher in Chicago, praised (Dominique) Raccah’s talk afterwards, describing her as “a visionary from day one who understood that she needed a niche and understood from the beginning that she had to stand out.” Citing her “energy and passion for what she does,” Nikola-Lisa noted, “It’s passion that inspires people…” READ MORE… 1995 Jane Addams Honor Title by W. Nikola-Lisa   AUTHOR TALK WITH MELISSA OTIS: RURAL INDIGENOUSNESS: A HISTORY OF IROQUOIAN AND ALGONQUIAN PEOPLES OF THE ADIRONDACKS (Panelists include) Joseph Bruchac – author, poet, novelist, storyteller and scholar of Native American culture. LISTEN HERE… HOW LIANE MORIARTY, KATE DICAMILLO AND JACQUELINE WOODSON GOT THEIR STARTS Jacqueline Woodson admits that she “wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when…

Newsletter / April 7, 2019

50 MUST-READ POETRY BOOKS FOR KIDS The rhythm, word play, and creativity in poetry books for kids make them the perfect companion to language acquisition and developing literacy skills. I remember as a child stealing poetry books off my mom’s bookshelves and performing the poems, relishing the way the words felt in my mouth. (Included in the list…) Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text (The Day You Begin) and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway. READ MORE…   HOW POETRY CAN HELP KIDS GET TO COLLEGE K’myah is one of the students at Ann Visger Elementary School in River Rouge who participated in InsideOut Literary Arts’ In School Writer-in-Residence Program, in spring 2018. (Photo: Doug Coombe) Students in marginalized communities often struggle to relate to the people and texts they are asked to study; there is power in learning that highly-respected writers — such as Lucille Clifton, Francine J. Harris, Jamaal May and Naomi Shihab Nye — come from similar backgrounds and have used their own, unique…