Jonah Winter Discusses the Difficulties – and Necessities – of Introducing Picture Book Readers To Tough Topics #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!

Books and Authors

Acclaimed author Jonah Winter discusses the difficulties-and necessities-of introducing picture-book readers to tough topics.

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Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter 2016 Awardee


‘Just Like Me!’ is the subscription box every child of color deserves

The “Just Like Me!” box caters to children from the ages of 2 to 11.

Each month the box features two to three books from authors like Faith Ringgold, the author of “Tar Beach;” Maria Willis, an Atlanta native and the author of “The Secret Keeper;” and Ty Allan Jackson, the author of “Danny Dollar Millionaire,” a book that teaches children early on about money and how to manage their finances.

For $28 per month, parents can skip the hassle of searching through bookstores and instead have books with African American characters delivered straight to their doorstep. As the child’s reading level advances, so do the book selections.

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Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold 1993 Awardee


Festival Authors Inspire Local Young Readers and Writers

Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award-winning author of seven books for children and young adults, hails from Charlottesville and likes to challenge herself to get out of her comfort zone. She published two books on the same day in 2017, and each was a departure from her past work.

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Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine 2014 Awardee


Historian completes story revealing the identity of 11-year-old W.Va. coal miner from 1908

Historian and writer Joe Manning fell into his investigating by accident.

A friend, Elizabeth Winthrop, who is also a writer, saw a picture of a young girl who worked in a cotton mill in Vermont. She said the girl’s name was Addie Card.

The photo, by Lewis Hine, was one of many in a campaign to bring awareness to child labor. Winthrop decided she was going to write a fictional story about the girl, giving her a fictional name.

Once the book was finished, she said she could finally figure out who the real Addie Card was. She asked Manning to do some digging and he agreed.

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Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop 2007 Awardee


The Secret Language Of Quilting And The Underground Railroad

In the era of darkness before slavery was ended in America, quilts may have been used to help steer people in need of refuge to safety north in Canada. Some reliable evidence suggests various quilt squares served as advice or warnings. One example is a zigzag pattern that reminded the viewer of the quilt not to travel in a straight line in order to make it harder for any followers to track them. Another example is the Shoo Fly pattern, which meant, “scatter in all directions” if danger appeared. Both of these patterns, among others, are evident in a children’s book titled “The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom” by Bettye Stroud.

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Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend written by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud, illustrated by John Holyfield 2012 Awardee


Haitian novelist Edwidge Danticat to discuss immigrant artists

Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat will be speaking at a discussion with Paul Holdengraber at the New York Public Library in Midtown on April 6. Together the pair will be talking about the role of immigrant artists, the art they make, and their experiences.

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


‘Boots on the Ground’ gives young people perspective on the Vietnam War

When Elizabeth Partridge began research for her new book, “Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam” (Viking Books for Young Readers, $22.99, 224 pages), she never imagined its publication would feel so timely.

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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

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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