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Speaking Truth, Beautifully, to Shattered Young People with Poetry #JACBA Newsletter
Newsletter / April 29, 2018

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?” Read More 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?” Read More 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,…

Jane Addams Award Winning Author Jacqueline Woodson Wins the World’s Largest Prize for Children’s Literature #JACBA Newsletter
Newsletter / April 14, 2018

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! Jacqueline Woodson wins the world’s largest prize for children’s literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Jacqueline Woodson, who won a National Book Award for her memoir in verse “Brown Girl Dreaming,” won the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award on Tuesday. Woodson is the 18th person or organization to win the prize, which is considered one of the most prestigious children’s literary awards in the world. Woodson becomes the fourth American author to win the Lindgren Award, after Maurice Sendak, Katherine Paterson and Meg Rosoff, an American-born writer who has lived in the United Kingdom for several years. The award was accompanied by a citation from the jury who selected Woodson, which reads, “Jacqueline Woodson introduces us to resilient young people fighting to find a place where their lives can take root. In language as light as air, she tells stories of resounding richness and depth. Jacqueline Woodson captures a unique poetic note in a daily reality divided between sorrow and hope.” Read More Each Kindness written by Jacqueline…

Jacqueline Woodson, newly named 2018 Wilder Winner, Calls for the End of the Label “Struggling Reader” #JACBA Newsletter 16Feb2018
Newsletter / February 18, 2018

Stop Using the Label ‘Struggling Reader,’ Author Jacqueline Woodson Advises Woodson: Any kind of qualifier can be harmful because who we are is not static. Our abilities are constantly changing. What does it mean to be a struggling reader? I know if I was raised in this day and age, I would have been labeled a struggling reader. But what I know now is I was actually reading like a writer. I was reading slowly and deliberately and deconstructing language, not in the sense of looking up words in the dictionary, but understanding from context. I was constantly being compared to my sister who excelled, and it made me feel insecure. What gets translated is ‘you are not as good,’ and that gets translated into our whole bodies. That’s where the danger lies. 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 ALA Awards: Jacqueline Woodson wins 2018 Wilder Award Jacqueline Woodson is the winner of the 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honoring an author or illustrator, published in the United States,…

Black History Celebrated Through Biographies and Much More #JACBA Newsletter 9Feb2018
Newsletter / February 11, 2018

Children’s Books About Black History, Heavy on Biographies Among that genre’s newest arrivals are names familiar to adults, as in THE UNITED STATES V. JACKIE ROBINSON (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, ages 4 to 8), written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. This picture book is more interested in young Robinson’s less-known act of resistance during his Army days than in his later, trailblazing career as a baseball player. It’s nice to have an athlete celebrated for personal integrity over physical prowess, and R. Gregory Christie’s pictures bolster this, evoking a Robinson who is strong and sure, but also smiling, warm, and ultimately, triumphant. Sandra Neil Wallace’s BETWEEN THE LINES: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, ages 4 to 8), illustrated by Bryan Collier, is a beautiful testament to a quintessentially American life. Wallace and Collier celebrate both Barnes’s success on the gridiron and his subsequent reinvention as an artist. As in “The United States v. Jackie Robinson,” athleticism is a secondary concern; early on, we see the young Barnes in a museum, wondering where the black painters are, and the story ends with contemporary young museumgoers being shown Barnes’s art. This choice makes the…

Naomi Shihab Nye’s Poetry Speaks of Caring and Kindness #JACBA Newsletter 19Jan2018
Newsletter / January 20, 2018

Deep Listening Lessons from the psychology of the spiritual imagination Poet Nye recounted how her world-renowned poem “Kindness” came to her as a kind of voice that she heard from deep within herself. On her honeymoon, her and her husband’s luggage was stolen. As her husband traveled to the next town to get new travel documents, she sat in the town’s square watching people as they passed. Suddenly, the poem came to her as if “floating across the square” for her to transcribe. Read More Replace despair with volunteerism in 2018: Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk (Opinion) Ms. Nye is a writer and a Palestinian-Arab American. I am a Jew, a Zionist, and a rabbi. We differ sharply in culture, politics and identity. But we share an aspiration to secure wholeness and peace. Read More Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter 1995 Awardee Drumpf Reopens an Old Wound for Haitians by Edwidge Danticat President Drumpf’s alleged remarks have taken many of us back to a time when such attitudes were commonplace. They are also particularly disturbing in the context of his larger anti-immigrant program. As Haitian-community advocates are trying to rally…

African-American Stories and Images in 2017-2018 Children’s Literature #JACBA Newsletter 8Dec2017
Newsletter / December 14, 2017

Book Highlight: part 5 This fifth installment of our multi-part series on the 2017 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony features an introduction given by Book Award Committee Member Sonja Cherry-Paul for Steamboat School: Inspired by a True Story, written by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Ron Husband, published by Disney-Jump at the Sun, an imprint of Disney Book Group, named the Winning Book in the Books for Younger Children category. Introduction by Sonja Cherry-Paul Steamboat School: Inspired By A True Story St. Louis, MIssouri 1847, the winner in the Books for Younger Children Category, is written by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Rob Husband and published by Disney-Jump at the Sun, an imprint of Disney Book Group. “We make our own light here,” Reverend John Meachum proclaims. His statement is a powerful metaphor that Deborah Hopkinson and Ron Husband extend across this poignant picture book to juxtapose the oppression of African-Americans with their resilience, determination, ingenuity, and activism. Inside their church, down the basement steps, and into the darkness, the children in this story attend the Tallow Candle School, led by their Reverend John. Through the eyes of a young boy, James, readers discover the importance of education and the measures…

Truth, Humor, and Golden Storytelling: The Riches of Children’s Literature #JACBA Newsletter 17Nov2017
Newsletter / November 19, 2017

Book Highlight: part 2 This second installment of our multi-part series on the 2017 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony features an introduction given by Book Award Committee Member Ann Carpenter for First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial, written by Susan E. Goodman, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, named an Honor Book in the Books for Younger Children category. Introduction by Ann Carpenter “The march towards justice is a long, twisting journey.” The truth of these words is brought to life with lush illustrations and moving text in the story of Sarah Roberts, a young black girl living in Boston in 1847. Denied a place at the local segregated school because she was not white, her parents fought back. It was the first American court case fighting segregation. It was the first case where an African American lawyer argued in front of a state supreme court. It was the first time an African American lawyer and white lawyer worked as a team in court. And it was the first, of many, civil rights court cases that was lost. It would have been easy to stop there. To give up hope. To acknowledge that…

Illustrated Books About Women Who Changed The World #JACBA Newsletter 28Jul2017
Newsletter / July 29, 2017

14 Illustrated Books About Women Who Changed The World ‘Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women’ by Catherine Thimmesh and Melissa Sweet (Illustrator) Women have invented some pretty amazing things throughout history – you just didn’t know it. Girls Think of Everything is a smart collection of stories, each with a compelling voice that makes you feel part of the stories themselves. ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight’ by Kathleen Krull and Amy June Bates (Illustrator) If you have a thing for books that tell the stories of inspiring female politicians, look no futher: Kathleen Krull and Amy June Bates’ account of Hillary Clinton’s life will take you on an inspired journey through her younger years. ‘Me, Frida’ by Amy Novesky and David Díaz (Illustrator) Connect with the life of Frida Kahlo with this playful, poetic and mesmerizing book, styled after Frida’s artwork. Written by Amy Novesky and illustrated by David Diaz, this book tells the tale of her early days in San Francisco with her husband, the artist Diego Rivera. Frida struggled to find a muse, speak a foreign language, and learn to live a life that didn’t yet belong to her, but once she did,…

Featuring Jane Addams Artist and 2017 Caldecott Winner Javaka Steptoe #JACBA Newsletter 15Jul2017
Newsletter / July 15, 2017

Profile of 2017 Caldecott Medal and CSK Illustrator Award winner Javaka Steptoe by Azure Thompson Javaka’s commitment to this truth is evident in his more-than-two-decade career of illustrating black faces and bodies in various settings and situations. His first book, In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, shows the diversity of relationships among black grandfathers, fathers, and children. The night after Javaka won the Caldecott Medal, he told a roomful of librarians in Seattle, Washington, that the award means his voice will be amplified. It will help ensure that he continues to tell stories about the black experience, as he is committed to expanding the boundaries of how we see people of color. And it ensures that we will listen to him more than ever before. Read More Caldecott Medal winner for best picture book visits Skokie It took illustrator and writer Javaka Steptoe five to six years to complete his multi-award winning picture book on the early life of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. It took an eager group of children less than an hour to recreate some of the book’s story of Basquiat in a playful version Monday at the Skokie Public Library. “Art is the street…

LBGT Lambda Literary Awards and Pride Book List #JACBA Newsletter 30Jun2017
Newsletter / July 1, 2017

LGBTQ Women of Color Win Big at Lambda Literary Awards Nine women of color took home prizes at this year’s 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards. With 24 categories in all, ranging from “LGBT Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror” to “Transgender Poetry,” the event celebrated 13 writers of color and 16 women. The Lambda Literary Awards, also known as the “Lammys,” honors books written by writers in the LGBTQ community. One of the evening’s most prestigious awards, the Visionary Award, went to Jacqueline Woodson. The author of the 2014 New York Times bestselling memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming” received the award to commemorate her lifetime achievements. Tony Award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon introduced Woodson, declaring her a “writer who is part of the institution but stands outside it and critiques.” Nixon also said Woodson is “the writer, the friend, the citizen these times demand.” 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 Award-winning children’s author comes to new Open Book/Open Mind Series event Newbery and National Book Award-winning children’s author Jacqueline Woodson will be the next guest…