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Announcing the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards 2018 Honored Titles #JACBA Newsletter
Newsletter / April 30, 2018

Congratulations to the 66th Jane Addams Children’s Book Awardees Malala Yousafzai, Kerascoët, Sara Holbrook, Lesa Cline-Ransome, James Ransome, Laura Atkins, Stan Yogi, Yutaka Houlette, Renée Watson, and Linda Williams Jackson. Read More NPR Poetry Month: Andrea Davis Pinkney NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with children’s book author and poet Andrea Davis Pinkney about her picks from the #NPRPoetry submissions. Read More   Love of storytelling: 32nd annual Richland Library Augusta Baker’s Dozen This year’s featured guest is Lois Lowry, an acclaimed children’s author whose bestselling and award-winning books include “Number the Stars” and “The Giver,” which was made into a feature film in 2014. Lowry told WIS she hopes each child takes away a sense of wonder from hearing stories. Read More Where I’m From In 1993, George Ella Lyon, an American author from Kentucky, wrote a poem entitled “Where I’m From.” She wrote it in response to a poem from Stories I Ain’t Told Nobody Yet by Jo Carson. Since its publication, her poem has become a very popular writing prompt and template for the writing of one’s own story. Read More ‘Bud, Not Buddy’ author to speak to Lansing kids When Christopher Paul Curtis comes to town this week,…

Faith Ringgold’s Art Frees Absent and Buried Voices #JACBA Newsletter
Newsletter / March 25, 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! Faith Ringgold Faith Ringgold’s famous ‘story quilts’ come to the Crocker Artist, activist and author Faith Ringgold works in many media – painting, drawing, prints, sculpture, masks and Tankas (painted fabrics inspired by Tibetan textiles) – but she is best known for her vibrant “story quilts” that deal with family life, jazz music, relationships, race and slavery in America. Read More POWER IN THE PAINTING: FAITH RINGGOLD AND HER STORY QUILTS Through this didactic retelling of history, Faith Ringgold uses her quilts to reframe the past, freeing absent and buried voices while offering new and stronger voices to future generations. Read More Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold 1993 Awardee Five questions for Winifred Conkling Like it or not, the women’s movement was divided by racism in the nineteenth century. The issue needs to be openly discussed because it happened. It’s also important that young readers learn to appreciate their heroines as flawed and complex human beings. Read More Sylvia & Aki by Winifred…

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…

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…

Children’s Books Can Shine Light on Difficult Emotions #JACBA Newsletter 12Jan2018
Newsletter / January 12, 2018

J. Woodson and others… Why We Shouldn’t Shield Children From Darkness We are currently in a golden age of picture books, with a tremendous range to choose from. Some of the best are funny. Or silly. Or informative. Or socially aware. Or just plain reassuring. But I’d like to think there’s a place for the emotionally complex picture book, too. Jacqueline Woodson’s amazing Each Kindness comes to mind, in which the protagonist misses the opportunity to be kind to a classmate. Margaret Wise Brown’s The Dead Bird is a beautiful exploration of mourning from the point of view of children. 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 illustrator Kadir Nelson to discuss his ‘search for truth’ Nelson shared a statement that discussed the strong African-American themes of his art. “It’s just a search for truth,” writes Nelson. “I think all of us have to find our own truths, and for me, this is part of it. When we learn about history in school or in books, we don’t always…

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…

Needed: multi-layered texts about about Muslim women, girls, and children #JACBA Newsletter 11Aug2017
Newsletter / August 13, 2017

Q&A: Kidlit scholar Heba Elsherief on the problematic representation of Muslim girls in children’s literature Q: When it comes to The Breadwinner, which is often found in North American classrooms and will soon to be an animated film, executive produced by Angelina Jolie, what would you say to teachers using the text? A: “My research on The Breadwinner is cursory, but I do know that if you’re a teacher who wants inclusivity [then] you get The Breadwinner [about an 11-year-old girl living in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan]. Others have done research on how it reinforces the care ethic and the plight narrative of Muslim girls in children’s literature. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be on the syllabus, but if you’re going to critique these books, you have to ask yourself how the book is working on you as a teacher and how you can demonstrate to your students a form of critical reading, questioning and problematizing the text – especially when it’s a narrative that is so popular and so taken up in non-interdisciplinary ways. You don’t have black women, poor women, intersectional feminism endorsing a book like that.” Read More Irish Movie To Get World Premiere At Prestigious Film Festival The…