Celebrate Jane Addams Day, School Children Raise $1000 for Water in South Sudan, & Book Highlight #2 JACBA Newsletter 8Dec2015

Jane Addams Day, Dec 10th

“America’s future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live.” Jane Addams.

Join us in celebrating Jane Addams Day on December 10, marking the anniversary of the day she received the Nobel Peace Prize, the first American woman to do so. The story of Jane Addams can teach young people that one person really can make a difference.

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Ottawa’s Rachna Gilmore finds motivation of a morning walk

“The cadence of children’s stories was imbued in me. And I had the rich and wonderful material of being a mother.”

When Gilmore was a young girl in Mumbai, a morning walk was a happy part of her routine. These journeys gave her a sense of watching the world and seeing things she would not normally see.

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A Group of One by Rachna Gilmore 2002 Awardee


Book signing to benefit Humane Society for Greater Nashua

Recently named a National Book Award finalist, all proceeds from sales of Sy Montgomery’s “The Soul of an Octopus” and “The Good, Good Pig” through Toadstool Bookshop in Milford will benefit the Nashua Humane Society for Greater Nashua.

“We’re pleased to be the beneficiary of this holiday event and appreciate that it is with an author who is an advocate for all animals,” said Doug Barry, president and CEO of the Humane Society for Greater Nashua. “We take in and care for over 2,000 pets every year, and community fundraisers like this help us provide medical care, food and shelter for these animals in need.”

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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery 2013 Awardee


Chasing waterfalls

After reading “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park this school year and learning from their teacher, Lindsy Phillips, about the real-life circumstances that inspired the story, the students took it upon themselves to raise money for the Water for South Sudan Foundation, which digs wells for South Sudanese villages where clean water is not readily accessible.

Soon the students also will get an opportunity to watch a live-streaming interview with Salva Dut, whose life inspired the book “A Long Walk to Water,” and the author, Linda Sue Park.

“They read a book, they got inspired, they decided they wanted to help, and they did,” Phillips said.

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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park 2011 Awardee
When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park 2003 Awardee


Lit Talk Feature: “Brotherhood” by Anne Westrick

Historical fiction is the theme of December’s lit talks, and on Wednesday, December 9 Regina presents “Brotherhood” by Anne Westrick. Middle-school readers and their families are welcome to listen and participate.

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Brotherhood by Anne Westrick 2014 Awardee


Fleischman wins national award for environmental book

Santa Cruz author Paul Fleischman has received the 2015 Green Earth Book Award for his nonfiction book “Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines.” “Eyes Wide Open” is a guidebook for young adults on the social, political and cultural characteristics of the environmental movement. The Green Earth Book Award is awarded in five categories. Fleischman’s won Best Young Adult Nonfiction.

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Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman 1998 Awardee


‘The good Nazi’: Courageous story of guilt-wracked German officer who saved ‘The Pianist’ and inspired Hollywood blockbuster

Far from being a one-off act, the book ‘I Always See The Human Being Before Me’, by Hermann Vinke, shows that the man who hailed Adolf Hitler as a ‘true genius’ in 1940 rediscovered his own conscience long before the war was over.

The book is the first about Hosenfeld and draws on letters, diaries, memories from his children and even the widow of Szpilman who still lives in Warsaw, to show that his act of mercy towards the pianist was no one-off affair.

The world learned a little of his goodness through the Polanski film: it will now learn a lot more from the Vinke book, which will be printed in English in the near future.

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The Short Life of Sophie Scholl by Hermann Vinke 1985 Awardee


Finding inspiration in spirit houses
by Sy Montgomery

Southeast Asia is full of spirits — from river spirits to mountain spirits to (according to at least one hill tribe in Thailand) a spirit who presides over the cooking of tofu. But unlike gods, who are worshiped, and ghosts, who are feared, the spirits for whom these houses are built are rather ordinary. They’re neighbors — neighbors whom nobody wants to offend.

Spirit houses remind us that resources and space are finite, and that in our hunger for more houses, more hotels, more shops, more gas stations, we humans continually disrupt and displace other beings. The least we can do for them is make some offerings to those who live among us, like neighbors — and who, like us, are hungry and eager to go home.

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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery 2013 Awardee


Kentucky Poet Laureate Lyon coming to Maysville

Lyon, a Lexington-based writer and Harlan native, will share her experiences as an author at two events on Friday, Dec. 11.

Recent titles include She Let Herself Go (poems) and the following picture books: Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song, and All the Water in the World (both CCBC Choices), the Pirate of Kindergarten (Schneider Award) and You and Me and Home Sweet Home (Jane Addams Honor).

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You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon and Stephanie Anderson 2010 Awardee


Orchard Valley Middle School Students Speak to Author and Illustrator

Author Jen Bryant spoke with the English and Language Arts students about the writing process and how she uses illustrations to further develop her stories. Illustrator Melissa Sweet, who has worked with Bryant on several books, connected with the eighth-grade students via Skype during their Art class.

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Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909, written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet 2014


Award-winning children’s author Jacqueline Woodson to visit Indy

The Indianapolis Public Library has announced that its 39th annual McFadden Memorial Lecture will be presented by noted children’s author Jacqueline Woodson.

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Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee
From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee
I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson 1995 Awardee


Inspiring Memoirs Tell Journey From Child Farm Worker to Academic

As a child migrant worker in the 1940s and 50s, Francisco Jiménez would spend 12 hours a day, seven days a week in the California fields, missing the first two months of school every year to help his parents during the harvest season. Decades later, this renowned scholar and professor would be chronicling his inspiring journey, highlighting that despite difficulties, education is a path forward.

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The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jiménez 1998


Special Feature

Book Highlight: Part 2

The second installment of our eight part series on the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony features the introduction given by past JACBA Chair Susan Griffith for Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, named the winner in the Books for Younger Readers category.

Introduction read by Susan Griffith, written by Mary Napoli, Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards Committee member

What would you do if you were told that you did not belong or that you were not allowed to attend a particular school because of your background? In 1943, nine year old Sylvia Mendez and her two brothers went with their aunt and three cousins to enroll at the 17th Street School in Westminster, CA located close to their home. When the Mendez children were denied admission because of their Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage and the color of their skin, they were told that they had to enroll at the Hoover school, the town’s run¬down “Mexican School” with fewer resources, located ten blocks away.

Mendez’s father Gonzalo and his wife Felicita were appalled by such blatant discrimination that they took action by organizing the community to fight for equal rights. As Sylvia’s mother said, “Cuando la causa es justa, los demás te siguen” – When you fight for justice, others will follow.” The groundbreaking Mendez vs. Westminster civil rights case helped to dismantle the segregation of schools in California, and its victory laid the foundation for the historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case.

Thank you to Duncan Tonatiuh for writing about this important historical moment for young readers. With his signature artistry and meticulous research, he masterfully tells the story of Sylvia Mendez and her family. It begins with Sylvia being bullied on her first day as an integrated student at her new school then provides background information about the family’s fight for justice. Duncan Tonatiuh draws from actual court testimonials and personal interviews to ensure accuracy and authenticity.

For providing readers with this compelling true story about the fight for desegregation, and for sharing the important message that everyone, regardless of their background, has the right to stand up for social justice, invoke change, and make a positive contribution to society, Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation has been named the recipient of the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for Young Readers.

Violinist Ericka Shlenkermann 


Duncan Tonatiuh’s Acceptance Speech

Video coming soon!

Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually acknowledges books published in the U.S. during the previous year. Books commended by the Award address themes of topics that engage children in thinking about peace, justice, world community and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books also must meet conventional standards of literacy and artistic excellence.


A national committee chooses winners and honor books for younger and older children.

Click here to read more about the 2015 Awards. http://www.janeaddamspeace.org/jacba/2015ceremony.shtml

This concludes our second installment of the eight part series of the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winners and Honorees.

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