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Yuyi Morales: Illustrations of Care & Hope
Social Justice Learning / May 28, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?   Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times…all resources available online.   Meet Yuyi Morales, illustator of the 2004 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award winning title for younger children, ‘Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez.’     Read a summary of the book.   Cesar Chavez was an American hero, a labor activist who worked tirelessly to improve working conditions for the migrant farm workers of California. In Krull’s picture book biography, we first meet Chavez as a small boy, enjoying his life on his family’s ranch in Arizona. It was not until he was ten years old that a drought destroyed the ranch and forced his family to move to California, where his life changed dramatically. He grew up alongside thousands of other Mexican and Mexican American laborers and experienced firsthand the discrimination and poor working conditions faced by migrant workers. In school he was forced to speak only English and eventually left before finishing his education. As he grew older, he became more hopeful that he could fight for reform, and eventually organized The…

Lynda Blackmon Lowery: Use Steady Loving Confrontation
Social Justice Learning / May 26, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?   Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times…all resources available online.   Meet Lynda Blackmon Lowery coauthor (along with Elsbeth Leacock & Susan Buckley) of the 2016 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winning Title for Older Children, ‘Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March.’ Read a summary of the book. Lynda Blackmon Lowery’s conversational tone is engaging and compelling as she shares her experiences as a young teen in the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama. Beaten badly on Bloody Sunday in Selma in early March of 1965, she went on to be the youngest person on the march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights later that month. Lowery includes memories of her activism leading up to those events—she was jailed nine times—providing context and deeper understanding of her passion and commitment. Her courage did not preclude her from being fearful, and this is part of what she honestly details. A beautifully designed book also includes striking full-color graphic illustrations by PJ Loughran and archival black-and-white photographs. The volume…

Debbie Levy: Ask Open-Ended Questions
Social Justice Learning / May 21, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?   Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times…all resources available online.   Meet Debbie Levy author of  the 2017 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Title ‘I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark.’   Read a summary of ‘I Dissent.’  I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark celebrates Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lifelong refusal to accept the unacceptable. Inspired by her mother, Ginsburg’s devotion to fighting for justice is signaled by the refrains “I dissent”, “I object”, “I do not concur!” that ring through both text and illustrations. Frequently humorous, this picture book biography paints Ginsburg’s personality, the support of her husband and family, and her struggles as a lawyer, professor and judge. With energy and charm, Levy and Baddeley represent Justice Ginsburg as a true hero who never hesitates to disagree with the status quo either in her personal life or on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court.    Debby’s graphic novel about Justice Ginsberg was released last fall.    Watch this interview of Debbie about her experience writing these biographies of Justice Ruth…

Kadir Nelson: Challenging Us to Fill Our Days With Creating
Social Justice Learning / May 19, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?   Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times…all resources available online.   Meet artist Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of the 2012 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Title, ‘Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.’ Read a summary of the book. “Most folks my age and complexion don’t speak much about the past. Sometimes it’s just too hard to talk about— nothing we want to share with you young folk.” As the unnamed narrator of Kadir Nelson’s stirring work continues, she bares her heart and soul to recount the oral history that’s been passed down in her own family from pre-slavery times to the present day, and in doing so traces the history of African Americans. The narrative technique gives readers a view of history that is both sweeping and intimate. Every page of text is accompanied by a full-page, hauntingly realistic painting. Some are of well-known historical figures such as Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, and others are anonymous men and women who represent the scope of African American lives. Each one…

Lucia M. Garcia & Lulu Delacre: Special Librarians and Special Stories
Social Justice Learning / May 16, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?   Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times…all resources available online.   Meet Lulu Delacre, illustrator, and Lucia M. Gonzalez, author, of the 2009 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Title for Younger Children, ‘The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos.’       Read a summary of the book.   Hildamar and her cousin, Santiago, pass the public library on their way to school, and it always looks so inviting. But Titi Maria explains, “We don’t speak English and the people in there don’t speak Spanish.” And so they never go inside. It’s one more thing that makes New York City in winter so unlike the warm and welcoming island of Puerto Rico, which was until recently their home. When the new librarian, Pura Belpré, visits their classroom to tell stories, she assures the children that “ la biblioteca es para todos ”—the library is for everyone. Hildamar and Santiago still need to convince their hesitant parents and other grown-ups that everyone in El Barrio is welcome in the library, but all doubts are eased on their first visit,…

Elizabeth Suneby: A Window into a Girls’ School in Afghanistan
Social Justice Learning / May 14, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?   Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times…all resources available online.   Meet Elizabeth Suneby, author of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award 2014 Honor Title, ‘Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education.’   Read a summary of ‘Razia’s Ray of Hope.’ In Razia’s village in Afghanistan a school is being built for girls. Razia dreams of attending. Her brothers attend school in a neighboring village. Her oldest brothers work in the quarry and Razia helps at home and in the orchards. Razia grandfather agrees to speak for her at the family “jerga” but her uncles and brothers say no. Unwilling to give up, she asks the school teacher to intercede. Finally, when her eldest brother is assured Razia will be safe, and her mother assured that she will continue to help the family before and after school, and when all see how committed she is to learn – through her own advocacy and spirit, the answer becomes Yes! A gentle, beautifully illustrated book. Elizabeth says on her website, “… I heard Razia Jan recount…

Lesa Cline-Ransome & James E. Ransome: Ask Why
Social Justice Learning / May 12, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?   Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times…all resources available online.   Meet Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome, husband and wife team and author and illustrator of the 2018 Jane Addams Children’s Books Award Honor Title, ‘Before She Was Harriet.’  Read a summary of ‘Before She Was Harriet.’ A journey backward in time through the life of the woman known most often as “Harriet Tubman” emphasizes the many roles she played—suffragist, Union spy, nurse, conductor on the Underground Railroad, daughter—the many names by which she was known—General Tubman, Aunt Harriet, Moses, Minty, Araminta—and the name she chose for herself, Harriet. She “dreamed of living long enough / to one day / be old / stiff and achy / tired and worn and wrinkled / and free.” The skillful narrative’s imaginative and effective structure, in which Tubman’s life unspools from old woman back to childhood, allows the child audience to build on prior knowledge and emphasizes Harriet’s agency throughout her life. The many facets of Tubman’s life and the many roles she played are vividly portrayed in the…

Duncan Tonatiuh: Looking at Injustice
Social Justice Learning / May 10, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?   Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times   Meet Duncan Tonatiuh, author of the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winning Title for Younger Children, ‘Separate is Never Equal.’  Read a summary of ‘Separate is Never Equal.’ In 1944, Sylvia Mendez’s Mexican American family had recently moved. She and her siblings were not allowed to go to the public school nearest their farm and were instead told they had to attend the Mexican school, which was farther away and had fewer resources. Sylvia’s father found other families willing to join him in suing the school district, whose only explanation had been, “That is how it is done.” During the trial, Sylvia and her family sat through infuriating testimony in which school district officials blatantly claimed that Mexican children were inferior to white children — in their personal habits, their social abilities, and their intelligence. Author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh quotes from the trial as part of this narrative that is grounded in both facts and the emotional experience of young Sylvia. The ample end matter includes a lengthy author’s note…

Susan L. Roth: Let’s (Not) Hold Hands (Just for Now)
Social Justice Learning / May 7, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY   WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?  Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times Meet Susan L. Roth author (along with co-author Cindy Trumbore) and illustrator of the 2012 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winning Title for Younger Children, ‘The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families.’   Read a summary ‘The Mangrove Tree.’ The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families is ecological innovation at its best, all spearheaded by Dr. Gordon Sato, a survivor of the Japanese internment camp Manzanar and a biologist committed to ending hunger throughout the world. In the village of Hargigo in Eritria, local women provide the labor to plant mangrove trees which supplies them with much needed income. The trees turn carbon dioxide to oxygen, attract fish, feed goats and sheep, and therefore children, all made visible in Roth’s brilliant multimedia collage renderings. Learn more and see some of the pages of ‘The Mango Tree’ at the Lee & Low Books website. Be sure to click on the small images under the book cover for a closer look. Examine Susan’s art closely. How does she create those images? Mango Tree/Lee…

CYNTHIA LEVINSON: WRITE YOUR OWN HERO’S JOURNEY
Social Justice Learning / May 5, 2020

INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY WHAT CAN YOU LEARN? WHAT CAN YOU DO?  Social justice learning and actions that can be taken close at hand during these uncertain times Meet Cynthia Levinson, author of ‘We’ve Got a Job: the 1963 Birmingham Children’s March,’  Jane Addams Children’s Book Award 2013 Winning Title for Older Readers. Read a summary of ‘We’ve Got A Job’ and learn of the young heroes of Birmingham. Cynthia Levinson illuminates the pivotal role that older children and teens played in Birmingham Civil Rights protests in early May 1963. When adults were reluctant to march and fill the jails, youth took up the call. Their willingness to do so inspired adults who had been hesitant to protest for a number of reasons, from fear of physical repercussions to the possibility of losing their jobs to disagreement among leaders in the Black community regarding the right course of action. When the youth marched, the violent response of police and fire departments under Bull Connor ignited the broader public and the media. Levinson’s account returns repeatedly to the experience of four African American youth who participated in the marches, three of them teenagers, and one, Audrey Hendrickson, only nine years…