Speaking Truth, Beautifully, to Shattered Young People with Poetry #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!


Speaking Truth, Beautifully, to Shattered Young People

Naomi Shihab Nye reminds our “obsessively tuned in” culture of the magic, power and necessity of “quiet inspiration.” She reminds us that the more “connected” we’ve become, the more disconnected we actually are: “With so much vying for our attention,” she asks, “how do we listen better?”

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Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee

Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter 1995 Awardee


April 2018 Horn Book Herald: Spring News: Five questions for Margarita Engle

Most of the poetry written for young readers is straightforward and easy to understand, but it’s meant to be experienced, not dissected. Instead of asking yourself, “What did the poet mean?” ask, “How does this poem make me feel?”

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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


Q & A with Jewell Parker Rhodes

In her latest novel for middle-grade readers, Ghost Boys, Jewell Parker Rhodes blends history with current events and historical characters with fictional ones to weave a tale of an African-American boy whose life is cut short by a white policeman’s bullet. We spoke with Rhodes about her personal experiences of racism in America, why Emmett Till, an African-American teenager lynched in Mississippi in 1955, plays a major role in a story set in contemporary Chicago, and how writing this novel was painful, but also cathartic for her. Ghost Boys is Indiebound’s #1 Kids Indie Next pick this spring.

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Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes 2014 Awardee

The Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes 2011 Awardee


Books about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

50 years after King assassination: Two books for young readers

On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. comes this stunning poetic tribute to the martyred civil rights leader, focusing on the final weeks of his life as he heeded the call to come to the assistance of striking black sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn., where he delivered his hauntingly prophetic “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.

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11 Children’s Books That Honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

To keep his legacy alive, children’s book authors have turned his call for equality and his message of peaceful protest into helpful history lessons. With these books, kids can learn about King’s relatives and their activism, his unforgettable “I Have a Dream” speech, and his continuing impact.

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16 Children’s Books About Martin Luther King Jr.

Because why wouldn’t we give our children as many resources as possible to learn about one of the most prolific people in our history? I can’t see a reason not to and it’s not just because I am a bibliophile. It’s because on the anniversary of Dr. King’s death – and every day – it’s the smallest of ways to say thank you.

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Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson 2012 Awardee

The Village That Vanished written by Ann Grifalconi and illustrated by Kadir Nelson 2003 Awardee

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Shane W. Evans 2016 Awardee

We March written and illustrated by Shane W. Evans 2013 Awardee

New Shoes by Susan Lynn Meyer, illustrated by Eric Velasquez 2016 Awardee

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

Trouble at the Mines by Doreen Rappaport 1988 Awardee

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

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson 2013 Awardee


Hennessy highlights historic cycling champion Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor in latest campaign

Also, artist and cycling enthusiast Kadir Nelson created a modern bronze sculpture titled ‘The Major,’ and the National Brotherhood of Cyclists (NBC) and Hennessy will honor Taylor through education and tribute rides around Taylor’s birthday.

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Brainiac: Westminster City Council approves plans for a park and monument to honor landmark Mendez school desegregation case

“This case determined that no matter what color your skin is you can receive a quality education,” said Sylvia Mendez, whose father, Gonzalo Mendez, launched the lawsuit when she and her siblings were denied enrollment at a Westminster school that only served white children.

“My father fought hard for my rights to go to a good school and he would be so proud to know that Westminster City Council is fighting to preserve his legacy,” she said.

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Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh 2015 Awardee


TD unveils quilts designed by Ringgold

In the 1980s, Ringgold began a series of projects employing the medium of “story quilts,” which are rooted in the African-American communal tradition of quilting and storytelling and have been critical in connecting stories across many generations.

Ringgold told the News that she is excited to use the familiar medium of “story quilts” to inspire members of the Yale community.

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


Discussion with Calvin Alexander Ramsey

In 2010, Ramsey published Ruth and the Green Book, the only book written for children to explore the legacy of the Green Book, and he is the author of several other plays, musicals, and children’s books.

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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

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey with Gwen Strauss and illustrated by Floyd Cooper 2011 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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