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INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES & INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS
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…

RHYTHM, WORDPLAY, AND CREATIVITY – POETRY FOR LITERACY & LANGUAGE AQUISITION
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…

PAM MUNOZ RYAN USA NOMINEE FOR 2018 HANS CHRISTAIN ANDERSEN AWARD
Newsletter / March 31, 2019

PAM MUNOZ RYAN USA NOMINEE 2018 HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN AWARD FOR WRITING “Readers need more than one story. They need many stories about many different families and cultures, traditions and holidays, histories and realities. Reading a breadth of stories nurtures the seeds of understanding.” Pam Muñoz Ryan READ MORE…   MAINE ILLUSTRATOR MELISSA SWEET EARNS NATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK HONOR The career of children’s book illustrator Melissa Sweet of Portland will be celebrated at this year’s Carle Honors gala in New York City in September. Presented by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts, the Carle Honors recognize creative vision and dedication in the field of picture books and children’s literature. READ MORE..   INTERVIEW: KAREN LEGGETT ABOURAYA AND SUSAN L. ROTH ON MALALA YOUSAFZAI AND OTHER WOMEN WHO INSPIRE THEM Released this past January in both English and Spanish, Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words is the picture book biography of the amazing Nobel Peace Prize winner and brave, outspoken girl who continues to fight for the millions of children worldwide who are not able to go to school. In this interview for Women’s History Month, we chatted with author Karen Leggett Abouraya and illustrator Susan L.  Roth about their inspiration…

BOOKS TO ELECTRIFY, EDIFY, AND EXEMPLIFY
Newsletter / March 24, 2019

HMH BOOKS & MEDIA INTRODUCES KWAME ALEXANDER’S VERSIFY IMPRINT WITH MULTI-AUTHOR BUS TOUR Versify’s mission is present books to “electrify, edify, and exemplify” with accessible and powerful prose and poetry that celebrates the lives and reflects the possibilities of all children. Its debut list includes four books: The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles; ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by author/illustrator Raúl the Third; White Rose by Kip Wilson; and Alexander’s own picture book, The Undefeated, which is illustrated by Kadir Nelson, who will join the tour for select events. READ MORE… FAMILIES WANT MORE DIVERSITY IN CHILDREN’S BOOKS; HERE ARE 7 TITLES THAT DELIVER   Scholastic’s just-released Kids & Family Reading report found that nearly half of kids ages 9 to 17 (45 percent) and parents of kids 6 to 17 (52 percent) want more books with diversity. Eleven percent of children’s books published in the United States in 2018 featured Africans or African-Americans, 7 percent featured Hispanics, and 8 percent featured Asian characters, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Andrea Davis Pinkney, Scholastic’s executive editor and author of “A Poem for Peter,” said in the report that a lack of diversity fails to expand a child’s love of reading or sense of self. (Among the 7 books: “The Day You Begin” Author Jacqueline Woodson, illustrator Rafael Lóp)…

JANE ADDAMS HONOR BOOK ‘RUTH AND THE GREEN BOOK’ POPULAR IN LIGHT OF ‘GREEN BOOK’ FILM
Newsletter / March 17, 2019

GREEN BOOK HELPED BLACK TRAVELERS NAVIGATE RACIST TERRAIN The guidebook was first published in 1936 by Victor Hugo Green, a postal carrier in the Harlem section of New York. Green’s wife, Alma Duke, was from Richmond. Green was inspired to write the book in part by the discrimination he and his wife faced on trips to her racially segregated hometown. “With Green’s wife being from Virginia, he decided to make trips less humiliating and reached out to fellow mailmen all over the country,” Calvin Alexander Ramsey, an author and playwright who has done extensive research on the subject, told The New York Times in 2015. READ MORE… ‘GREEN BOOK’ MOVIE LIFTS UP SALES FOR BACKLIST PICTURE BOOK While the Green Book film focuses upon the unlikely friendship formed when an African-American musician from New York City goes on tour in the South in 1962 with his racist Italian-American chauffeur, Ruth and the Green Book tells the story of an African-American girl who encounters discrimination when she and her family take a car trip from Chicago to Alabama in the early 1950s…. Ruth and the Green Book “just came to me: everything fell into place,” he said. “It was a labor of love.” Ramsey already knew of Cooper’s…

CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
Newsletter / March 11, 2019

CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH WITH AUTHOR EMILY ARNOLD MCCULLY In celebration of Women’s History Month, we sat down with Caldecott award-winning author and illustrator, Emily Arnold McCully, via satellite to talk about her book “She Did It! 21 Women Who Changed The Way We Think” WATCH HERE… EDWIDGE DANTICAT’S NEW KID’S BOOK EXPLORES A MOTHER’S CARING TOUCH What’s a world without a mother’s love? Haitian-American author and writer Edwidge Danticat is releasing a new children’s book celebrating motherhood, and specifically how a mother cares for her child when he or she is ill. READ MORE… NICHOLASA MOHR’S “NILDA” IS IN THE RUNNING TO BE THE NEW YORK CITY’S SUMMER BOOK Nilda is one of five books selected for this year’s One Book, One New York program. Read an excerpt here. “Pushing open the door, Nilda yelled, ‘They are doing it; they’re going to open the hydrant! Hurry up before the cops come.’” READ MORE… 1974 JACBA Winning Title JACQUELINE WOODSON’S “ANOTHER BROOKLYN” IS IN THE RUNNING TO BE NEW YORK CITY’S SUMMER BOOK Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn is one of five books selected for this year’s One Book, One New York program.  Read an excerpt here. “For a long time, my mother wasn’t dead yet. Mine could have…

JACOB LAWRENCE’S NARRATIVE SERIES ABOUT BLACK PERSEVERANCE AND AMERICAN REBELLION INSPIRED A CACHE OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Newsletter / March 3, 2019

BLACK ART HISTORY: JACOB LAWRENCE’S NARRATIVE SERIES ABOUT BLACK PERSEVERANCE AND AMERICAN REBELLION INSPIRED A CACHE OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS Published in 1996, “Toussaint L’Ouverture: The Fight for Haiti’s Freedom” is a collaboration between Lawrence and celebrated children’s book author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). In the introduction to the book, Lawrence recalls the compelling stories he heard from Harlem street orators about black history figures such as L’Ouverture. READ MORE… 6 CANADIAN BOOKS FOR YOUNGER READERS TO CHECK OUT DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH The Journey of Little Charlie follows a 12-year-old boy who agrees to track down thieves in order to settle his debts with a cruel man named Cap’n Buck. But when Charlie discovers the thieves he’s hunting are people who escaped from slavery, his conscience intervenes. Why Christopher Paul Curtis writes best from a place of fear…. READ MORE… POEMS TELL THE STORY OF THE FIRST BLACK STUDENTS AT TENNESSE SCHOOL IN ‘THis PROMISE OF CHANGE’ “We had no idea that this would have a historical impact,” said Jo Ann Allen Boyce about that August morning in 1956 when she and 11 other teenagers first took their place as students in the formerly whites-only high school in their small Tennessee town. Boyce…

JANE ADDAMS AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS CONTINUE THEIR INFLUENCE
Newsletter / February 24, 2019

PHOTOS: BERMUDIAN ART FEATURED IN GOVT BUILDING  Lovitta Foggo, the community affairs minister, with local artist Sharon Wilson Sharon Wilson is a Bermuda based artist whose work both captures and explores the beauty of the human spirit…Working exclusively with pastels for more than twenty years, Sharon has recently begun working in the 3000 year old medium of Encaustic art, involving painting with molten waxes. READ MORE… 1997 HONOR TITLE ILLUSTRATED BY SHARON WILSON ACTING WHILE BLACK When Alice Childress’ first full-length drama, Trouble in Mind, was first produced in 1955, it ran for 91 performances. Afterward, Childress became the first black woman to win an Obie Award for the play, which was inspired by her own experiences as an actor. READ MORE… 1974 HONOR TITLE AROUND CAPE ANN: AN ONSCREEN JOURNEY WITH ARTISTIC GREATS Winthrop, who is the author of four novels, lives in Gloucester and teaches creative writing at Endicott College in Beverly. Her latest novel, “The Mercy Seat,” caught the attention of the New York Times, which called it a “well-timed page turner.” It tells the story of 18-year-old Willie Jones, a black man accused of a crime he might not have committed. READ MORE… PARK MIDDLE SCHOOL TO WELCOME AUTHOR JOSEPH…

LUCILLE CLIFTON, DYNAMIC FORCE AND LITERARY TITAN
Newsletter / February 17, 2019

Q&A: HOW GLORY EDIM FOUND HER VOICE IN HER ANTHOLOGY ‘WELL-READ BLACK GIRL’ (Quoting Glory Edim) ‘There’s so much to be said about Lucille Clifton. She is such a dynamic force and literary titan. That poem, for me, spoke to the demand to be seen, to be visible in the work, to be taken seriously and not be compared to anyone else; simply be seen for who you are. I just love the power in her voice. Renée Watson, one of the [anthology] contributors, talks about Lucille’s work about how, being able to be physically seen, Lucille changed her idea of who she was and how she could become a poet…’ READ MORE… 1978 Award Winner by Lucille Clifton 2019 AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR IN PHOTOS Nikki Grimes (One Last Word, Bloomsbury) and Floyd Cooper (contributor, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, Crown). Bestselling authors Sharon Draper (Blended, Atheneum/Dlouhy) (l.) and Renée Watson (Watch Us Rise, Bloomsbury).  READ & SEE MORE… MPLS. WRITERS LOUISE ERDRICH AND MARLON JAMES DISCUSS HIS NEW BOOK, HIS NEXT BOOK AND BEING BLACK IN AMERICA               Not surprisingly, the questions were as thoughtful as the responses. Erdrich…

PICTURE BOOKS THAT BRING BLACK HEROES TO LIFE
Newsletter / February 10, 2019

PICTURE BOOKS THAT BRING BLACK HEROES TO LIFE James E. Ransome’s THE BELL RANG beautifully captures several days in the life of an enslaved girl living with her family on a plantation. Plantation life is seen through the innocent yet fiercely observant eyes of the young, nameless narrator. Each day begins with the ringing of a bell… LET ’ER BUCK! George Fletcher, the People’s Champion, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (“Bad News for Outlaws”) and illustrated by the Newbery Honor winner Gordon C. James (“Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut”), tells the story of the black cowboy George Fletcher, whose journey began when his family set out on the Oregon Trail from their Kansas town. READ MORE… A PIONEERING BLACK RODEO COWBOY ENTERS THE PAGES OF HISTORY “Part of my goal is not only in sharing a good story but also showing important accomplishments of African-Americans. Regarding George Fletcher, he changed the views of a lot of people about African-Americans just by displaying his talent and determination. … His story was inspiring.” READ MORE… UCSB DEPARTMENT OF THEATER AND DANCE PRESENTS ‘THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM 1963 Based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis and adapted for the stage by…