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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,…

History will be kinder to student organizers of walkout than their critics #JACBA Newsletter
Newsletter / March 13, 2018

History will be kinder to student organizers of walkout than their critics In Phillip Hoose’s book, “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” Colvin recounts her fear of reprisals for her activism, although it was the armed Klan she worried about, not a college rejection letter. Her words should inspire Georgia teens facing pressure to remain silent. “But worried or not, I felt proud. I had stood up for our rights. I had done something a lot of adults hadn’t done.” Read More Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose 1999 Awardee Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose 2010 Awardee She Walked the Walk: How Barbara Johns Continues to Inspire Us This Black History Month we remember the life, the courage, and the sacrifice of Barbara Rose Johns. Her actions inspire us to keep walking the walk, just like she did. Read More The Girl From the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield 2015 Awardee We Asked for Your Favorite Hidden Figures From Black History. Your Responses Were Powerful. “First she liberated herself by registering to vote, and then she helped to liberate others by spreading that message and recruiting others…

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…

Addams Author Eloise Greenfied is 2018 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award #JACBA Newsletter 23Feb2018
Newsletter / February 25, 2018

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Eloise Greenfield is the recipient of the 2018 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. “Eloise Greenfield is a trailblazer whose extraordinary books of poetry and prose have influenced many and continue to resonate with children today. Her rich body of work inspires and enriches readers,” said Award Committee Chair Deborah D. Taylor. Read More Paul Robeson by Eloise Greenfield 1976 Awardee UC San Diego exhibition features work by 7 leading international women The seven artists – Eleanor Antin, Barbara Kruger, Faith Ringgold, Martha Rosler, Miriam … Substantiate Our Horror” (1985), Faith Ringgold’s hand-stenciled quilt “Seven Passages to a Flight”… Presented together for the first time, seven internationally recognized artists are featured in the UC San Diego exhibition “Stories That We Tell: Art and Identity,” celebrating those who paved the way for greater inclusion by inventing new means to address issues of race and gender. The seven artists – Eleanor Antin, Barbara Kruger, Faith Ringgold, Martha Rosler, Miriam Schapiro, Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems – have all been honored with major exhibitions at leading museums, recognized with prestigious awards and are all representative of the university’s Department of Visual Arts. Read More…

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,…

In Washington DC: disrupting the notion of what public education and what black boys can do and be #JACBA Newsletter 2Feb2018
Newsletter / February 4, 2018

These kids started a book club for minority boys. It’s the most popular club in school. The club dates back to December, when a fifth-grader complained one morning that his lackluster results on a citywide English exam didn’t reflect his true reading abilities. The principal, Mary Ann Stinson, placed a book she had lying around – “Bad Boy: A Memoir,” by Walter Dean Myers – in his hands and told him to start reading. The boys quickly became engrossed in the 2001 book about Myers’s childhood in New York’s Harlem. The club’s sponsor and the boys meet once or twice a week at 8:15 a.m. – a half-hour before the first bell rings – and use the book to launch into conversations about their own experiences with race, identity and adolescence. “It’s a blessing to be in this predicament, to have kids who are becoming ravenous readers,” Redmond said. “We’re disrupting the notion of what public education can be and what little black boys can do and be.” Read More Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom by Walter Dean Myers 1992 Awardee Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam by Walter Dean Myers 2003 Awardee ‘Monster’ Review: Powerful…

“Because of them: we are,” Jacqueline Woodson National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature #JACBA Newsletter 26Jan2018
Newsletter / January 28, 2018

“What’s Your Equation?”: Jacqueline Woodson Inaugurated as Sixth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Through her platform, “READING = HOPE x CHANGE (What’s Your Equation?),” Woodson aims “to begin a conversation our country is hungry, but oftentimes afraid, to have.” After expressing gratitude to her editors and publishers, Woodson called on the audience to join her in thanking and remembering writers and activists who influenced and inspired them. “In the African-American tradition, there is the calling of names, where we call our ancestors back into the room; where we acknowledge that because of them, we are.” As the room filled with the quiet calling of names, from Virginia Hamilton to Walter Dean Myers, Woodson’s final words seemed to echo: “Because of them, we are.” Read More MLK Week 2017 to Focus on Environmental Racism The World of Children’s Literature is sponsoring an event featuring Jacqueline Woodson, an award-winning young adult and children’s author and the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming,” which also won the NAACP Image Award. Woodson will be speaking in the Gould Auditorium at the J. Willard Marriott Library on Jan. 23. Read More Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by…

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…