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Newsletter / June 9, 2019

WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES   Below, the (Cheryl and Wade) Hudsons share why we must stand up for change and spread hope: “Today, our democracy is under attack and much of the progress to make us more just, fair and inclusive that has been achieved through fierce and dedicated struggle, is in peril. There are those who would make us an even more uncivil and less moral country. They view and use meanness and power to get their way, to try to recreate a world from a bygone era where too many of us were victims and not citizens. In a time such as this, we must rise, resist and raise our voices. Our young people are not only watching, they are impacted as well by this onslaught.  We need to rise, resist and raise our voice not only for ourselves, we need to do it for the future of our young people. That is why this anthology is so important. In it, fifty-two creators of books for children and young adults share their voices to offer wisdom, encouragement, love, support and HOPE! We are so proud to be a part of an outstanding team of…

Newsletter / June 2, 2019

FIRST BOOK RELEASES “TITLE RAVES” LIST: 1O BOOKS THAT MAKE AN IMPACT, ACCORDING TO EDUCATORS SERVING KIDS IN NEED Paired with First Book Bestseller List, Title Raves demonstrates educators’ use of books to meet unique needs of children from low-income families in book deserts…. First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise committed to equal access to quality education, today released the inaugural “First Book Title Raves,” a list of 10 newly-published books reviewed and recommended by educators exclusively serving children in need. (‘The Day You Begin’ is on the list!) ….said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO, and co-founder of First Book. “With these lists, we capture the recommendations of the educators who know kids in need better than anyone, in addition to examples of how they are using books to make a difference. READ MORE… BOOKEXPO 2019: A WIDE-RANGING KEYNOTE KICKS OFF PROGRAMMING Diverse stories are becoming more popular—but diversity in the publishing industry workforce remains scarce, (Jacqueline) Woodson noted. “Inside the publishing houses, small and large, we all know who’s inside. I know it comes out of comfort. You hire people you know, who went to the ‘right schools,’ who you’re comfortable around, who are able to afford to live in New…

Newsletter / May 26, 2019

PICTURE BOOKS TO A HELP KIDS WEATHER OUR AGE OF ANXIETY This is Jessica Love’s debut picture book, and every choice she makes — the spare text, a color palette both muted and lively, full-bleed pages that make even subway cars and apartment rooms feel as expansive as the ocean — imbues the story with charm, tenderness and humor. Alongside Julián, readers learn that anyone can be a mermaid: All it takes is love and acceptance, a little imagination and a big swishy tail. READ MORE… JULIAN IS A MERMAID BY JESSICA LOVE 2019 JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK HONOR BOOK FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN TO SEE ALL 2019 WINNING AND HONOR TITLES…   ‘TO BE IT, THEY HAVE TO SEE IT’: BOOK FAIR SPOTLIGHTS AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN’S BOOKS   Husband and wife Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis-Hudson from New Jersey have been running their own publishing company for 30 years. They got started after being told by other publishers there was no market for the kinds of books they wanted to produce. “Mainstream publishing is default white,” Hudson said. And while some progress has been made on diversity and self-publishing is opening new doors, he said, “we still have a long…

Newsletter / May 19, 2019

2019 JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD’S WINNING AUTHORS RETURN TO THE AWARD Winning titles demonstrate the power of sharing stories to break down barriers and, for older children, explore fear-based violence against black men & boys and the possibilities of healing. Winner in the Books for Younger Children category. The Day You Begin, written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López, and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, is the Winner in the Books for Younger Children category. The Day You Begin ​demonstrates the power of sharing stories to break down barriers and build community​. The Selection Committee noted that “the lovely, lyrical lilt of Woodson’s unrhymed verse cradles young readers as they bear witness to explicit othering.” Previous titles by Jacqueline Woodson: Winner in the Books for Older Children category. Ghost Boys, written by Jewell Parker Rhodes and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette, is the Winner in the Books for Older Children category. Ghost Boys ​is a timely and haunting depiction of two African American boys who die before reaching manhood, victims of violence. Drawing on traditions that view ancestors as guides to the living, author Parker Rhodes imagines these dead boys as…

2019 Award Winners and Honorees
Award Announcements / May 14, 2019

Congratulations to the 67th Jane Addams Children’s Book Awardees Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Nicola Davies, Rebecca Cobb, Jessica Love, Veera Hiranandani, Wade Hudson, and Cheryl Willis Hudson. Download the press release in .pdf format here.

Newsletter / May 12, 2019

COMING VERY SOON 2019 JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT NAOMI SHIHAB NYE NAMED YOUNG PEOPLE’S POET LAUREATE The Poetry Foundation has named Naomi Shihab Nye the Young People’s Poet Laureate for 2019 to 2021.  It is yet another distinction for the acclaimed author, who becomes the first Arab-American to earn this honor. The Young People’s Poet Laureate aims to “raise awareness that young people have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.” Past recipients include Jacqueline Woodson and Margarita Engle. READ MORE… BRINGING HIDDEN STORIES TO LIGHT: A PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHY SYMPOSIUM   Whose stories deserve to be told in picture book biographies? Authors, illustrators, and editors gathered to discuss this question and others at a Saturday morning symposium called “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” Speaking on a panel about the process of writing and illustrating a picture book biography, were author Laban Carrick Hill, illustrator Bryan Collier, Scholastic art director Patti Ann Harris, and children’s book historian Leonard S. Marcus. The topic of their discussion was the book Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave (Little, Brown), written by Hills and illustrated by Collier. READ MORE… 2002 WINNER ILLUSTRATED BY BRYAN COLLIER POWERFUL BOOK FOR YOUNG…

Newsletter / May 5, 2019

INTERNATIONAL LITERACY ASSOCIATION’S(ILA) 2019 CHOICES READING LISTS HIGHLIGHT “OWN VOICES” TEXTS Each year, Choices empowers 25,000 children and young adults across the United States to enjoy newly published children’s and young adults’ trade books and vote for the ones they like best and that had an impact on them as readers. Teachers, in turn, identify high-quality books that enrich the curriculum and, most important, excite and interest students. This year’s lists exemplify the project’s continued commitment to diversity and representation in children’s literature. Books such as Finding Langston, Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice and Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag offer powerful launch points for discussion around the social justice issues of racial bias, police violence and the LGBTQ rights movement. READ MORE… CIVIL-RIGHTS ICON RUBY BRIDGES TO GIVE RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS In 1960, when she was 6, (Ruby)Bridges became one of the first black children to integrate the all-white New Orleans school system. She had to be accompanied by federal marshals throughout her entire first year at William Frantz Elementary School. The scene as she entered the school on her first day, as the marshals led her past a hostile mob, was depicted in Norman Rockwell’s…

Newsletter / April 28, 2019

FIRST NATIONAL ANTIRACIST BOOK FESTIVAL LAUNCHED BY NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER Washington, D.C.–based American University will be the site of the first National Antiracist Book Festival, providing a platform for nearly 50 authors and publishing professionals to discuss policies and power structures that fuel racism in America, as well as the efforts being made to dismantle those systems…. Young adult authors Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson will talk with one another about “Writing to capture the hearts and minds of youth.” READ MORE…   NHCC HOSTS CHILDREN’S READING FESTIVAL “Margarita (Engle) came here last May to read from her books,” recalled Martínez, NHCC director of history and literary arts and festival organizer. “I asked her afterwards what can we do at the (National Hispanic Cultural Center) NHCC that is not happening elsewhere. She said there are very few bilingual book festivals in the country.” Their conversation was about Spanish and English. But the NHCC’s festival expands “bilingualism” to include Native American languages, Martínez said. READ MORE…   SPRING 2019 PUBLISHER’S PREVIEW: FIVE QUESTIONS FOR ELOISE GREENFIELD Why are people afraid of poetry? I don’t see the fear. When I watch poets or teachers reading poetry to children and/or adults, the…

Newsletter / April 21, 2019

WHOSE LIFE STORIES ARE BEING NEGLECTED IN PICTURE BOOKS? – MAY 4   The event will tackle key issues related to diversity such as whose life stories are celebrated versus whose are often ignored and not told. The event will also take a look at how thoughtfully these life stories are written for young readers, and look at which authors are telling these stories. A deep-dive panel discussion about the making of award-winning picture book biography, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave. The panel will include the book’s author Laban Carrick Hill, illustrator Bryan Collier, and art director Patti Ann Harris. A panel discussion around the theme of diversity in picture book biographies. Panelists will include author and illustrator Javaka Steptoe… READ MORE… MARTIN’S BIG WORDS BY DOREEN RAPPAPORT & BRYAN COLLIER  ‘EVERY CHILD SHOULD FIND THEMSELVES IN A BOOK’ SPEAKING WITH ILLUSTRATOR MELISSA SWEET Her (Melissa Sweet’s) next book, due out in June, is a collaboration with Kwame Alexander, called How To Read A Book: A Focus on Non-Fiction. “Every child entering a library, entering school, is going to pick a different book. It’s imperative for them to find their book.” She says that not every kid is going to be attracted to the most popular or classic children’s…

Newsletter / April 14, 2019

INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY Birchbark Books (owned by Louise Erdrich — the internationally recognized author of many novels, poems, short stories and children’s books) carries books by Native authors along with a selection of other carefully selected titles, Native art and jewelry. READ MORE… INDEPENDENT BOOK PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION UNIVERSITY 2019: RACCAH SPILLS SECRETS TO INDIE PUBLISHING SUCCESS   W. Nikola-Lisa of Gyroscope Books, an author-publisher in Chicago, praised (Dominique) Raccah’s talk afterwards, describing her as “a visionary from day one who understood that she needed a niche and understood from the beginning that she had to stand out.” Citing her “energy and passion for what she does,” Nikola-Lisa noted, “It’s passion that inspires people…” READ MORE… 1995 Jane Addams Honor Title by W. Nikola-Lisa   AUTHOR TALK WITH MELISSA OTIS: RURAL INDIGENOUSNESS: A HISTORY OF IROQUOIAN AND ALGONQUIAN PEOPLES OF THE ADIRONDACKS (Panelists include) Joseph Bruchac – author, poet, novelist, storyteller and scholar of Native American culture. LISTEN HERE… HOW LIANE MORIARTY, KATE DICAMILLO AND JACQUELINE WOODSON GOT THEIR STARTS Jacqueline Woodson admits that she “wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when…