J. Woodson and others… Why We Shouldn’t Shield Children From Darkness
We are currently in a golden age of picture books, with a tremendous range to choose from. Some of the best are funny. Or silly. Or informative. Or socially aware. Or just plain reassuring. But I’d like to think there’s a place for the emotionally complex picture book, too. Jacqueline Woodson’s amazing Each Kindness comes to mind, in which the protagonist misses the opportunity to be kind to a classmate. Margaret Wise Brown’s The Dead Bird is a beautiful exploration of mourning from the point of view of children.
Award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson to discuss his ‘search for truth’
Nelson shared a statement that discussed the strong African-American themes of his art. “It’s just a search for truth,” writes Nelson. “I think all of us have to find our own truths, and for me, this is part of it. When we learn about history in school or in books, we don’t always get the whole truth, and that’s kind of what I’m searching for. So when I do a book on the Negro baseball leagues or Harriet Tubman or what have you, it’s really a matter of trying to learn that truth for myself. When I learn something and am inspired by it, it motivates me to share it with other people. Children’s books are a really great platform that allows me to do that.”
Jacqueline Woodson will be America’s next National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
Jacqueline Woodson, the author who won a National Book Award for her young adult memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming,” has been named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
The appointment was announced by the Library of Congress, one of three organizations that selected Woodson, along with the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader.
“I don’t believe there are ‘struggling’ readers, ‘advanced’ readers or ‘non’ readers,” she said. “I would love to walk away from my two years as ambassador with the qualifiers gone and young people able to see themselves beyond stigma or oft-times debilitating praise.”
Houston’s tweens should read for fun
Presentations from popular award-winning authors like Nathan Hale, whose comic-book hybrids offer both original fiction and retellings of significant historical events; Kate DiCamillo, author of the novels “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “The Tale of Despereaux”; Christopher Paul Curtis, author of “Bud, Not Buddy” and many other great books; R. J. Palacio, author of the bestselling “Wonder” – now a major motion picture; and most recently the legendary Katherine Paterson, author of “Bridge to Terabithia,” attract hundreds of children and their families, as well as teachers and librarians.
Students listen, riveted, while the writers talk about the fictional worlds they create, what it takes to be a writer, and answer the students’ questions. The writers stay afterwards to greet fans and sign books. This kind of relationship-building encourages young readers to think of reading as a cherished part of their lives and not homework.
Merwin Conservancy to Launch New Fellowship for Hawai’i Teachers
Teachers will also receive “social-emotional learning” focused professional development support from The Creative Core, one of the top agencies supporting teachers and schools in the state, and receive instruction and guidance from award-winning poet and children’s book author Naomi Shihab Nye.
‘The Journey of Little Charlie,’ rich storytelling for all ages
Christopher Paul Curtis has the rare gift of being to effortlessly render a youngster’s reality readily accessible to readers of all ages. He did it beautifully with the multiple award-winning Bud, Not Buddy, about a motherless boy in search of his father. He does it again with The Journey of Little Charlie (Scholastic Press), looking over the shoulder of a teenager consigned to help an unscrupulous slave catcher track down return-to-bondage fugitives who are living free.
The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.