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Jane Addams Award Winning Author Jacqueline Woodson Wins the World’s Largest Prize for Children’s Literature #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!

Jacqueline Woodson wins the world’s largest prize for children’s literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Jacqueline Woodson, who won a National Book Award for her memoir in verse “Brown Girl Dreaming,” won the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award on Tuesday. Woodson is the 18th person or organization to win the prize, which is considered one of the most prestigious children’s literary awards in the world.

Woodson becomes the fourth American author to win the Lindgren Award, after Maurice Sendak, Katherine Paterson and Meg Rosoff, an American-born writer who has lived in the United Kingdom for several years.

The award was accompanied by a citation from the jury who selected Woodson, which reads, “Jacqueline Woodson introduces us to resilient young people fighting to find a place where their lives can take root. In language as light as air, she tells stories of resounding richness and depth. Jacqueline Woodson captures a unique poetic note in a daily reality divided between sorrow and hope.”

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 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


Noted Canadian author drops by Rickson Ridge Public School
Deborah Ellis, author of The Breadwinner, talks to students about understanding the humanity behind the issues

Ellis spoke to Rickson Ridge’s Grade 7 students about understanding the people behind the war, behind the drugs and behind the prisons – all things she explores in her books.

“We have to be able to see the human person inside the person we’re being told to kill,” she said of war. “My feeling is that once we know somebody, it becomes harder to kill them, and I hope that’s true.”

Ellis has a new non-fiction work coming out this fall about young people who have been in the Canadian prison system.

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The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis 2005 Awardee

The Breadwinner Trilogy, three books by Deborah Ellis 2004 Awardee

Parvana’s Journey by Deborah Ellis 2003 Awardee


WHOEVER YOU ARE By Mem Fox Springs To Life At Stages Theatre Company

Stages Theatre Company’s 2017-2018 season continues with the uplifting Whoever You Are, based on the bestseller by award-winning children’s author Mem Fox with illustrations by Leslie Staub. Weaving a colorful tapestry of contemporary world music, dance, culture and celebration from countries around the globe, Whoever You Are illuminates the common threads we all share despite our many differences.

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Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation written by Edwidge Danticat, illustrated by Leslie Staub 2016 Awardee


NYTimes: Russell Freedman, 88, Writer of History for Young Readers, Dies

Beginning in 1961, Mr. Freedman wrote more than 60 books, most of them about the people, movements and events that shaped the world, and especially the United States. There were biographies like “Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery” (1993) and “Becoming Ben Franklin” (2013). There were books about conflicts, like “The War to End All Wars” (2010), about World War I; and “Vietnam” (2016). There were books about young people who did impressive or courageous things, like “We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler” (2016).

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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


Books: Marking 50 years since MLK’s death

In January, we commemorated the 89th anniversary of his birth. And on April 4, we mark the 50th anniversary of his 1968 assassination.

Two new books offer different but compelling portraits of King and his legacy:

Envisioned for young readers but sure to be appreciated more widely, “Martin Rising: Requiem for a King” (Scholastic, ages 13 and up) depicts King as a source of warmth and brightness on its radiant front cover.

Rather than surveying King’s entire life, author Andrea Davis Pinkney and her husband, illustrator Brian Pinkney, focus on why he was in Memphis in 1968.

Nearly every poem in the book carries a date, and the emotional peak arrives April 3, the night before King was killed. Young readers will surely be struck by the power and premonition of his final speech.

“Martin Rising” ends with a call to action: “When we speak out, seek peace, teach the truth, we all rise to a better tomorrow. And the time is now.”

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Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney 2011 Awardee

Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney 2010 Awardee


Oklahoma Book Awards finalists announced

In addition to the literary awards, the Oklahoma Center for the Book will present the 2018 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award to award-winning American Indian author, storyteller, performer Tim Tingle, a member of the Choctaw Nation.

Named for Norman historian Arrell Gibson, the first president of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, the Gibson award recognizes a writer for a body of work contributing to Oklahoma’s literary heritage.

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Crossing Bok Chitto: told in written form by nationally recognized Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle 2007 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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