Marian Wright Edelman on the Necessity of Current Day Stories about Young People of Color JACBA Newsletter 19Aug2016

What Books are your Children Reading this Summer? Diversity in Knowledge Sources

Children of color need to be able to see themselves in the books they read. Just as importantly, all children need to be exposed to a wide range of books that reflect the true diversity of our nation and world as they really are.

Doreen Rappaport writes fiction and nonfiction that celebrate diverse histories and biographies like her Caldecott Medal winner Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrated by Bryan Collier. Her curiosity about one kind of untold story left her wanting to know more and more: “I got into it because when I was a teenager there were no books about women. Maybe there was Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Ad[d]ams – those were the only two books. There wasn’t much of a place for young girls with a curiosity, and maybe even an ambition, and actually we were told not to be ambitious.”

Poet and author Carole Boston Weatherford approaches history from another angle: she said she “mine[s] the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles” in order to help fill in the gaps of the stories being told. Many of her books are based on historical events spanning the African American experience from slavery through the Civil Rights Movement, and she said children are often amazed to learn the stories she writes about are true: “It never fails, one of the first questions is, ‘Did that really happen?’ Well, you know, that’s exactly the reaction that I want from the kids – because they can’t fathom that some of the inhumanities and injustices that were part of legalized segregation and part of America’s history of institutionalized racism really happened.”

Let’s make sure all children have access to engaging books that help them see themselves and, to paraphrase Doreen Rappaport, fill in all pieces of the real story of our nation and world.

Read More

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Doreen Rappaport with artwork by Bryan Collier 2002 Awardee

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee


“School Days, School Days” Theme August Book Buzz

It’s just around the corner – start-up friendships at bus stops, new tennis shoes and backpacks, sharpened No. 2 pencils, erasers intact, and books rich with the scent of fresh ink. Newsbee anticipates the joy and challenges of another school year with his August “School Days, School Days” theme.

Too often we take our education for granted-not the African American children in “Steamboat School,” a book by Deborah Hopkinson inspired by the true story of the Rev. John Berry Meachum of St. Louis. Sepia toned-pages, and Ron Husband’s pen and ink illustrations depict all the joy and sadness on the faces of those fighting to learn; history comes to life again, thanks to Deborah Hopkinson, a prolific author and a hive favorite.

Read More

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


‘Another Brooklyn’ Hits Reset on the Coming-of-Age Story

Jacqueline​ Woodson does for young black girls what short-story master Alice Munro does for poor rural ones: She imbues their everyday lives with significance.

​How your friends become part of you and what happens if you lose them-that’s what drove Woodson to write Another Brooklyn. “Who are you without your girls?” she asks. “I truly believe that. Who are you without the people who help you make sense of the misogyny, the racism, the economic struggle, all of it? You need those people saying you’re a good mom, a great writer. You’re a great dresser. You cook well. Whatever the beauty is that you need to hear.”

Read More

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


World Beyond War 2016 conference

The World Beyond War 2016 conference, sponsored in part through the Jane Addams Peace Association’s Disarmament Fund, is planning a big event in Washington, D.C., in September 2016, just after the International Day of Peace, including a conference on Friday September 23 through Sunday September 25. They are also working with the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) which is planning a nonviolent activism training and planning session on the 25th and a nonviolent action in D.C. on Monday morning September 26th, with support from Campaign Nonviolence.

Join us to learn about and engage in working on viable alternatives to war and militarism.

The next application deadline for the JAPA Disarmament Fund is September 30, 2016.

Learn More and Check Out the Flyer


2016 Ceremony Invitation

Join us for a memorable afternoon of award presentations and responses by authors and illustrators.
Come meet and talk with the honored guests, including Award winners and honorees.
Enjoy a reception and an opportunity for book signing after formal presentation of the awards.
All the award books will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to all.
Reservations are not needed. Please come and enjoy!

Ceremony Invitation: JPG | PDF

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 2016 Awards.

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