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Javaka Steptoe: Inspiration for Your Words & Art
Newsletter , Social Justice Learning / April 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 Javaka Steptoe, contributer to We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices and Jane Addams award recipient, as a child was a model for his late father the award winning author/illustrator John Steptoe. Today, Javaka is an award wining artist, designer, author, and illustrator himself! Look closely at his work via the covers of his books. What do you notice? Get inspired for a some writing and artwork of your own!         In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers  Do You Know What I’ll Do? authored by Charlotte Zolotow  A Pocketful of Poems authored by Nikki Grimes Hot Day on Abbott Avenue, authored by Karen English (2005 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Title for Younger Children) The Jones Family Express  Rain Play authored by Cynthia Cotten Amiri and Odette: A Love Story by author Walter Dean Myers   Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of Young Jimi Hendrix  authored by Gary Golio Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat Then, while you contemplate a story or poem you’d…

Lois Lowry: Grapples with 1918 Pandemic Shutdown
Newsletter / April 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 Lois Lowry has written more than 40 books for young people, some quite serious like Jane Addams Children’s Book Award 1990 Honor Title for Older Readers, Number the Stars, and the dystopian classic novel, The Giver. Others, like the Anastaia series and The Willoughbys, are beloved and lighthearted.  Lois knows her young readers and respects their love of story as well as their ablity and need to grapple with dark topics. Read this recent interview with Lois and learn more about her book Like the Willow Tree and it’s connection with our uncertain times. TEN YEARS AGO, LOIS LOWRY WROTE A BOOK DEPICTING PORTLAND IN A PANDEMIC. NOW, SHE’S REWRITING THE INTRO.   ‘Like the Willow Tree’ tells the story of a girl whose family died during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. LINK TO LIKE THE WILLOW TREE STUDY GUIDE     What would you like to ask Lois Lowry? This 10-year-old got a chance. Read her interview… LOIS LOWRY IN CONVERSATION WITH A 10-YEAR-OLD REPORTER ABOUT HER NEW BOOK   Also, you might want to check out this dramatic moment…

CORETTA SCOTT KING AWARD: IMPORTANT FOR NOW 50 YEARS
Newsletter / August 25, 2019

A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE CORETTA SCOTT KING BOOK AWARDS   To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards, the Dewey Decibel podcast invited five past winners and honorees to discuss the award, its history, and importance at the 2019 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Participants included authors Jason Reynolds (Ghost), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), and Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming); author and illustrator Christopher Myers (Firebird); and illustrator Ekua Holmes (The Stuff of Stars).  American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart moderated. The talk can be heard in full on the July 2019 episode of the Dewey Decibel podcast. READ MORE OR LISTEN…   BOOKMARK: “A SPLASH OF RED: THE LIFE AND ART OF HORACE PIPPIN” BY JEN BRYANT & MELISSA SWEET The illustrations in the picture book are in watercolor, gouache, and collage which illustrator, Melissa Sweet says were inspired by the deep rich colors Horace used in his paintings. Throughout the text, quotes from Horace are hand-lettered and incorporated into the collage. “A Splash of Red”is an exceptional, gorgeous picture book about a self-taught American artist who used his observation of everyday life and adversity to create art that is enjoyed in museums across America. READ MORE & LISTEN…  …