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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,…

Oscar nominee The Breadwinner (based on the Jane Addams book) Echoes A Broader Shift to Cultural Diversity in Film #JACBA Newsletter 02Mar2018
Newsletter / March 5, 2018

How Two Nominees for Best Animated Feature Found the Right Sound Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie put her producing muscle behind The Breadwinner, Irish filmmaker Nora Twomey’s adaptation of Deborah Ellis’s 2000 best-selling young-adult novel about an 11-year-old Afghan girl. The film is voiced almost entirely by relatively unknown Afghan actors…. Read More 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 Drawing Black History: 4 Children’s Book Illustrators Show Us How Maria Russo: And the author is Cynthia Levinson, who is a fantastic historian for children. She writes for children, but I learn from her books. Every one of them teaches me, too. Also features Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Bryan Collier, Carole Boston Weatehrford, and R. Gregory Christie. Read More We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson 2013 Awardee We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song written by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton 2014 Awardee Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Doreen Rappaport with artwork by Bryan Collier 2002 Awardee The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda…

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…

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…

‘Maybe it’s time for all of us to talk,’ addressing violence and discrimination #JACBA Newsletter 9Nov2017
Newsletter / November 11, 2017

Book Highlight: part 1 This first 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 Julie Olsen-Edwards for Wolf Hollow, written by Lauren Wolk, published by Random House Children’s Books, named an Honor Book in the Books for Older Children. Introduction by Julie Olsen-Edwards Wolf Hollow, written by Lauren Wolk and published by Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Dutton, Random House is a beautifully written, compelling, coming of age novel set in rural World War II Pennsylvania. It is the story of the damage done by war – even after the soldiers come home; about the power of fear and bias to close the eyes of good people to what is happening around them, and of a young girl’s discovery of her own moral compass and courage. Almost twelve-year-old Annabelle encounters almost incorrigible cruelty for the first time when a school mate, Betty, focuses on Annabelle and her younger brothers and then places blame on Toby, a troubled, homeless, World War I veteran. As false accusations take hold of the town, Annabelle’s awareness of the world’s unfairness grows and step by step leads her to…

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…

Remembering the Jewish Holocaust and Armenian Genocide: Never Again for Anyone, Anywhere #JACBA Newsletter 5May2017
Newsletter / May 6, 2017

Holocaust Remembrance Day reminds us that vigilance must be constant Many of our schoolchildren read about the Holocaust in books like Lois Lowry’s “Number the Stars,” Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl” and Elie Wiesel’s “Night.” We’re generations away from the Holocaust now, and that distance may be muting the horror for those whose family members weren’t touched by it. We cannot allow this to happen. Forgetting has terrible consequences. “The impact of direct education from survivors is huge,” Miriam Baumgartner of the Jewish Community Alliance of Lancaster, told LNP. “Putting teenagers in a room with a survivor – there is no experience like it. And it doesn’t happen very much anymore.” Read More Number the Stars written by Lois Lowry 1990 Awardee Remembering the Armenian Genocide Through Survivor Memoirs and Historical Novels A growing number of Diaspora writers sought to explore their roots and tell of their fellow Armenians’ tragic fate. David Kherdian outlines his mother’s life in The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl (1979). The different generations of memoirs and historical novels on the Armenian Genocide reveal the ongoing suffering of Armenians throughout the world. The genocide has become a key defining…