Honoring The Life of Prolific Youth Nonfiction Writer Russell Freedman #JACBA Newsletter

Special Announcement

April 30th: Video announcement and press release made public
Watch this space for a special announcement regarding the announcement of this year’s Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winners and Honorees!


Celebrate The Life of Prolific Youth Nonfiction Writer Russell Freedman With His Books

The youth literature world lost a giant last week. Russell Freedman, author of roughly 50 books for young readers, died on Friday, March 16, 2018, at the age of 88.

“I write for anyone who can read…up to senility. A good book for kids is also a good book for their parents and grandparents. If my grown-up friends cannot read one of my books with interest and respect, then it’s not a good book for kids.” -Russell Freedman

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We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman 2017 Awardee

Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman 2007 Awardee

Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor by Russell Freedman 1995 Awardee

Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman 1994 Awardee


This 1951 Student Strike Laid the Groundwork for Brown v. Board of Education

Nearly 70 years before Emma González became one of the faces of the Parkland student movement against gun violence, another teenager stood up for her rights and led the way to historic change.

Barbara Rose Johns is arguably the most overlooked hero of the civil rights movement. In 1951, as a 16-year-old junior at Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia, she took a huge personal risk by leading her entire school out on strike in the fight for racial equality.

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The Girl From the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield 2015 Awardee


Bloody Sunday survivor and youngest Selma marcher inspires Memphis high school students

As a young teenager, Lynda Blackmon Lowery learned the principle of nonviolence.

Lowery conveyed passion, humor and energy as she captivated the crowd talking about how she became a fearless civil rights leaders at such a young age.

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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery 2016 Awardee


Books by the Bay: Women authors deliver tales of family, flight, immigration, war and feminism

“Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam” by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking, $22.99, 212 pages)

Berkeley-based Elizabeth Partridge, a National Book Award finalist and author of previous books on Dorothea Lange, Woody Guthrie and John Lennon, delves into the Vietnam War in this engaging illustrated history. With analysis of the politics and protests of the era and interviews with American soldiers and Vietnamese refugees, “Boots on the Ground” is designed for young readers. But Partridge makes it a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the war.

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Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge 2010 Awardee

Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange by Elizabeth Partridge 1999 Awardee


Author Lita Judge on Mary Shelley, Feminism and Reclaiming Your Voice

“Mary Shelley wasn’t just the author of Frankenstein, she was a radical teenage girl who helped set in motion the feminist movement by defying the restrictions society imposed upon women. She dared to challenge tyrannical power, unjust wars, slavery, and neglect of the poor in her book. She changed the course of literature by inventing the Industrial Age science fiction novel, and delivered the most iconic monster ever created. I wrote Mary’s Monster to honor her strength and passion.”-Lita Judge

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One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II by Lita Judge 2008 Awardee


10 authors on the St. Louis Walk of Fame – and a few who should be

Fred and Patricia McKissack published more than 100 children’s books, mostly about African-American life and history. Patricia McKissack was known as the writer and her husband as the researcher, but they always emphasized that they were a team. For their deep and groundbreaking work, they are clear candidates for their own star.

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A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack 1990 Awardee


Reading Corner: Picture books depict lives of women in history

In The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid, author Jeanette Winter follows Hadid from a childhood in Baghdad, where she was fascinated by the patterns and ruins around her, to her global career as a successful architect and designer of buildings that “swoosh and zoom and flow and fly.”

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Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter 2010 Awardee


In New Books for Kids, Women’s Victories Speak Loud and Clear

“Votes for Women” starts with the pivotal moment of success that came with Harry Burn’s defining vote to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1920, then immediately zooms out. The fight for suffrage was won one day in the Tennessee statehouse, but it started nearly a century earlier, and that’s where “Votes for Women” opts to begin, pulling back the curtain on 100 years of struggle.

VOTES FOR WOMEN: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot (Algonquin, 320 pp., $19.95; ages 12 and up), by Winifred Conkling

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Sylvia & Aki by Winifred Conkling 2012 Awardee


Momaha bookshelf: 5 books to check out this month for kids and teens

“Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen” by Deborah Hopkinson. A gorgeous picture book about English writer Jane Austen, who penned popular novels such as “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice.” A good introduction for youngsters, it tells you about the young Jane who was a bit quiet and shy and loved to read. She watched and listened and soon starting writing her own tales.

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Steamboat School, written by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Ron Husband, 2017 Awardee

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Terry Wideners, 2004 Awardee

Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924 by Deborah Hopkinson 2004 Awardee

A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired written by the Jubilee Singers by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Raúl Colón, 2000 Awardee

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.

Read more about the 2017 Awards.

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