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Honoring The Life of Prolific Youth Nonfiction Writer Russell Freedman #JACBA Newsletter
Newsletter / April 6, 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! Celebrate The Life of Prolific Youth Nonfiction Writer Russell Freedman With His Books The youth literature world lost a giant last week. Russell Freedman, author of roughly 50 books for young readers, died on Friday, March 16, 2018, at the age of 88. “I write for anyone who can read…up to senility. A good book for kids is also a good book for their parents and grandparents. If my grown-up friends cannot read one of my books with interest and respect, then it’s not a good book for kids.” -Russell Freedman Read More We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman 2017 Awardee Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman 2007 Awardee Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor by Russell Freedman 1995 Awardee Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman 1994 Awardee This 1951 Student Strike Laid the Groundwork for Brown v. Board of Education Nearly 70 years before Emma González became one…

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…

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…

Children’s Books About Fascism and Racism Build Resilience and Understanding #JACBA Newsletter 25Aug2017
Newsletter / September 2, 2017

11 Kids’ Books That Will Help Them Understand the Struggle for Racial Equality “That’s why I was happy to come across this list of books to help kids understand the fight for racial equality from ReadBrightly. Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich offers 11 suggestions, divided by age, beginning with The Other Side, by Jacqueline Woodson, about segregation, and We March, by Shane W. Evans, about the 1963 March on Washington. I’m going to start with Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh, because my son and I have already been talking about school segregation, and Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Shane W. Evans, because we’ve also talked about voting and the Voting Rights Act. There are also books for older tweens and teens and a graphic novel by Congressman John Lewis.” 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 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….

Inspired Feminist Children’s Books On the Rise #JACBA Newsletter 1Jun2017
Newsletter / June 4, 2017

15 Feminist Children’s Books That Will Inspire Readers Of Any Age Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh and Melissa Sweet tells the stories of the women who invented everything from windshield wipers, to liquid paper white-out, to aircraft bumpers, to the chocolate chip cookie, and more. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley tells the (condensed, simplified) version of the amazing life and achievements of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while combating the idea that young girls and women should always be agreeable, accommodating, and non-confrontational – a lesson I know that at least I need to keep learning over and over. The Invisible Princess by Faith Ringgold is an African American fairy tale set during slavery, telling the story of one couple whose wishes for their child come true in ways they never could have imagined. That daughter becomes the Invisible Princess, who will one day liberate her parents from slavery, and bring freedom to all the slaves on the plantation. This one is a great reminder of the difference just one individual can make – invisible or not. Read More Brave Girl: Clara…

Necessary New Exhibition Highlights the Activism of Black Female Artists #JACBA Newsletter 12May2017
Newsletter / May 13, 2017

This Necessary New Exhibition Highlights the Activism of Black Female Artists Q: Faith Ringgold is a cornerstone of the exhibition-several of her works appear, including ‘For the Women’s House.’ Can you talk about her role in and impact on black feminism? A: Beyond her incredible work and long career, one of the reasons for her strong presence in We Wanted a Revolution is her simultaneous commitment to art, feminism, and social justice. Ringgold is one of the few artists included in the exhibition who aligned herself with the mainstream feminist movement, though she, like other black women, often found it lacking, and identified more pointedly as a black feminist. For the Women’s House incorporates suggestions offered to Ringgold by the incarcerated women. It imagines a series of positive female role models of all races and economic backgrounds, including the first female president, professional women basketball players, and women working as doctors, engineers, and bus drivers, among other vocations not always open to women at the time-and still. Read More Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold 1993 Awardee Bicentennial commencement features music, history, awards During the ceremony, the university honored 10 alumni with Bicentennial Alumni Awards. The…

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…