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YA 2018 Booklist: The Revolution will be Anthologized
Newsletter / May 20, 2018

YA 2018 BOOKLIST: THE REVOLUTION WILL BE ANTHOLOGIZED Books focused on giving tools to aspiring activists and would-be protest leaders (especially directed at girls) or turning a spotlight on double standards, discrimination, or inequality are flooding the bookshelves. We’ve assembled a partial list: Among them: We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai (Little, Brown, Sept.). Nobel Peace Prize-winner Yousafzai tells her story of dislocation as an Internally Displaced Person to show what it means to lose your home, your community, and the only world you’ve ever known. Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone (Candlewick, 2017). This companion volume to the film of the same name chronicles the story of nine girls in the developing world who seek an education to rise out of poverty. We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices: Words and Images of Hope Ed. by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson (Crown, Sept.). Fifty influential children’s book creators—including Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander—offer their own responses to the following prompt: “In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?” Read more UNDERGROUND RAILROAD MUSEUM OPENS IN THE FALLS Stories about the community’s connection to the Underground Railroad are brought to…

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…

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…

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…

Let’s think about how, why, and when we invite books into our classrooms #JACBA Newsletter 27Oct2017
Newsletter / October 28, 2017

Why Are We Still Teaching ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in Schools? Take, for instance, “Monster,” a 1999 novel by award-winning African-American novelist Walter Dean Myers that also takes place in a courtroom. Here, however, the focus is on the young black defendant and narrator, Steve Harmon; the white lawyer, on the other hand, plays a lesser, but still complex, part. Monster is a complex and powerful modern classic that does much of the same work – providing a portrait of a young artist budding ethical integrity while confronting racism – as “Mockingbird” but does it with arguably more complexity. We are often in practice censoring books like “Monster” from the curriculum to maintain a space for “Mockingbird.” Often, we maintain that the book’s inclusion is in fact necessary to prevent censorship. But what if keeping it in the curriculum maintains the status quo of the past as much as it illuminates it? 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 What Most Humans Don’t Know About Animal Intelligence: An Interview With Sy Montgomery We are now learning that there…

Children’s Immigration Story Project and Edwidge Danticat: Young Americans’ Dreams Deferred #JACBA Newsletter 22Sept2017
Newsletter / September 23, 2017

Save the Date! October 20, 2017 2:30PM Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony PDF | JPG   Children’s Immigration Story Project aims to ease anxieties Even before Drumpf’s repeal of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) added to the anxiety, Lerner and fellow RISE members Larry Bayer, Jaime Pullen and more, decided to take action to both comfort kids while also inspiring compassion in others. Through the RISE Children’s Immigration Story Project, the group has been donating a bundle of specially chosen children’s books on the topic to several neighborhood locations. “With DACA being repealed … it’s a time that’s so anxiety-laden and scary for kids that they do need a way to soothe themselves,” said Bayer. He also hopes that through reading the books, others will “Have some empathy for what people are going through now.” Welcoming immigrants and our country’s immigrant history are “a fundamental value that we need to preserve,” said Pullen. Lerner picked the six books and so far RISE has donated them to the library, Sumner school, ABCD Head Start, Casserly House and more. The books include:“Mama’s Nightingale,” by Edwidge Danticat; “We Came to America,” by Faith Ringold; and more. “Mama’s Nightingale” addresses the question:…

If You Think Racism is Too Political (for Classroom Conversation), Think About What Your Silence Says #JACBA Newsletter 8Sept2017
Newsletter / September 11, 2017

If You Think Racism is Too Political For Your Classroom, Think About What Your Silence Says By: Sonja Cherry-Paul Sonja is a committee member for The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, which acknowledges the work of authors and illustrators who promote peace and equality. Hundreds of White supremacists marched in Charlottesville no longer hidden behind the hoods and robes of the past. In response, for the benefit of our students, our schools and our nation educators must answer the call to end racism and to begin in their classrooms starting on the very first day of school, and White educators should work, listen, plan and act. Our student deserve more than good intentions. Read More US literary figures renew call for freedom for Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour Prominent U.S. poets, writers, playwrights and publishers issued statements today in support of imprisoned Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour ahead of her upcoming trial verdict on October 17. The 12 literary figures whose statements are being issued today are among 300 writers, including 11 Pulitzer Prize-winners, who signed a 2016 letter calling for freedom for Tatour after she was first arrested. These statements of solidarity with Dareen Tatour come from: Susan Abulhawa, Ben Ehrenreich,…

Jane Addams Author, Margarita Engle Named Young People’s Poet Laureate #JACBA Newsletter 19May2017
Newsletter / May 20, 2017

Margarita Engle Named Young People’s Poet Laureate The Poetry Foundation is honored to announce that Margarita Engle has been named the Young People’s Poet Laureate. Awarded every two years, the laureate title is given to a living writer in recognition of a career devoted to writing exceptional poetry for young readers. “Margarita Engle’s passion, knowledge of nature, and curiosity about the world make her work fascinating to children and adults alike,” says Henry Bienen, president of the Poetry Foundation. “We are delighted that Ms. Engle has accepted the position of Young People’s Poet Laureate and will now be a greater part of the Poetry Foundation community.” 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 Cinco de Mayo: Books that demonstrate the contributions of a talented, hardworking people This day, let America affirm the presence of Mexican-Americans – a people whose influence can be felt throughout the United States. Their contributions are many and are inspired by the possibilities of innovative expression in American arts. Therefore, with much appreciation and veneration, let America stand and salute Matt de la Pena, Margarita…