Rewriting the Narrative In a World With No Fairy Tale Endings: J. Woodson At Teachers College #JACBA Newsletter 26May2017

Rewriting the Narrative: At TC’s first master’s degree ceremony, a focus on civic education as an antidote to a world with no fairytale endings

Speaking after Fuhrman, the National Book Award-winning writer Jacqueline Woodson – author of the memoir-in-verse Brown Girl Dreaming, the novels Locomotion and Feathers, and other titles for young adults and children – remarked on the moment in children’s literature when “the stories change to tales where there is no longer a happy ending” and where suddenly “no perfectly fitted glass slipper brings about a happily ever after, no straw spun to gold defeats Rumpelstiltskin, no pea beneath a mattress ends in some hetero-normative, very white world of marriage and Queendom.”

NO GLASS SLIPPER Woodson spoke of the need to prepare young people to work for change in a world with no fairy-tale endings.

Woodson recalled a school appearance at which she read the bittersweet ending to one of her books, only to have a third grade boy stand up, enraged, and tell her that the characters were supposed to become friends.

“You will face again and again the enraged boy who doesn’t think the story should end this way,” she told graduates. “And you will agree with him and say ‘No it shouldn’t, so how will you, my thoughtful child, go out and change the narrative?’” The key, she suggested, will be equipping that boy, and all students, for life in a time when “we know we are meeting the bully head-on – [when]someone is saying to them – someone who is supposed to be powerful and thoughtful and leader of a country – that who they are doesn’t matter.”

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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


Andrea Davis Pinkney on Connecting the African American and Jewish American Experience [VIDEO]

First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer recently sat down with award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney for a conversation about her latest book, A Poem for Peter – a book she describes as her “love letter” to Ezra Jack Keats.

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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


Watch the Exclusive Trailer for Angelina Jolie’s The Breadwinner, About Life Under the Taliban [VIDEO]

“I am proud to be a part of this beautiful film with this timely and very important subject matter,” Jolie says of her involvement in the film. “Millions of girls around the world have to grow up before their time, working to provide for their families at a very young age and in difficult circumstances. They have the strength to do what no one should ask little girls to do. I hope this film is able to bring this discussion to a broader audience.”

Based on the novel by Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner follows a young Afghan girl who cuts her hair and poses as a boy to save her family after her father gets arrested. In theaters this fall, the movie comes from the team behind Oscar-nominated films Song of the Sea and Secret of Kells.

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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


A Storm of Calories: The American Commercial Invasion of Europe, the Decline of European Empires and the Puzzling Origins of the Russian Revolution

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 – 5:30pm

This talk will explore how the American Civil War altered international trade across the Atlantic after 1864, its relationship to the panic of 1873, and how these changes in international trade helped destabilize Europe’s empires.

Scott Reynolds Nelson is UGA Athletic Association Professor of History at the University of Georgia. He is the prizewinning author of five books on nineteenth-century American history. The New York Times has most recently called him a “fascinating guide to the grim landscape of Reconstruction.”

His book, Steel Drivin’ Man, about the life and legend of the folk legend John Henry, won four national awards including the National Award for Arts Writing and the Merle Curti Prize for best book in US history. A young-adult book he co-wrote with Marc Aronson, Ain’t Nothing But a Man, won seven national awards in 2008 including the Aesop prize for best book in American folklore. His latest book about America’s financial panics, titled A Nation of Deadbeats, was published by Knopf in 2012. Business Week recently named it one of the best business books of 2012. He is at work on a history of Kansas wheat, Russian communists, and the end of World War I.

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Ain’t Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry, published by National Geographic by Scott Reynolds Nelson and Marc Aronson 2009 Awardee


SLJ: Listen to New Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle on The Yarn [AUDIO]

Last week we released our episode with Margarita Engle and then the Poetry Foundation goes and names her Young People’s Poet Laureate. If you missed the episode, you can listen below.

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PW: Margarita Engle Named Young People’s Poet Laureate

She is the first Latino to receive the honor. Engle will succeed current laureate Jacqueline Woodson on June 12, promoting a love of poetry among young readers and advising the Poetry Foundation on projects in support of that mission.

Engle’s memoir in verse, Enchanted Air, earned the 2016 Pura Belpré Author Award and was named a Walter Dean Myers Award Honoree. She is also the author of such young adult novels in verse as Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist, and The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom, for which she received a Newbery Honor and a Pura Belpré Author Award.

Engle has already begun shaping her platform as Young People’s Poet Laureate. “I want to choose the theme of peace, or paz. It’s a bilingual theme, and maybe if I can draw in other poets it will become multilingual.” She believes that poetry plays a critical role in times of political tension. “I’m imagining a time and place when children and teens of opposing factions could listen to each other’s voices and discover common ground [through literature].”

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Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle 2015 Awardee

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle 2009 Awardee

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.

Read more about the 2017 Awards.

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