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BLACK WRITERS: ABIDING SPIRIT FOR YOUNG ADULTS AND ON THE SCREEN
Newsletter / December 2, 2018

LITERARY COLLECTIVE: CONSIDERING THE JAMES BALDWINS AND LANGSTON HUGHES’ OF OUR TIMES Young praises poet Lucille Clifton, calling her “an abiding spirit.” Clifton’s 1993 poem “won’t you celebrate with me” resonates with Young. The poem’s title also serves as its first line. The last lines are ‘Come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.’ READ MORE… 1978 SPECIAL RECOGNITION BROOKLYN AUTHOR COMPLIES YA BOOK ABOUT BEING BLACK IN AMERICA ….a star-studded collection of stories by award-winning, bestselling and emerging African-American young adult authors on what it’s like to be a black teen in America: “Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America,” The collection, curated and edited by Zoboi, features stories from 17 beloved YA authors: Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Jay Coles, Lamar Giles, Leah Henderson, Justina Ireland, Varian Johnson, Kekla Magoon, Tochi Onyebuchi, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Liara Tamani, Renee Watson, Rita Williams-Garcia and Zoboi. READ MORE… THESE ARE THE BLACK AUTHORS BARRY JENKINS, TERRY MCMILLIAN AND OTHERS SAY HOLLYWOOD SHOULDN’T IGNORE The list of stories, plays and novels by black writers primed for screen adaptation is vast. Works by Colson Whitehead, Octavia Butler, August Wilson, Richard…

2018 Jane Addams Honor Title Has a Sequel
Newsletter / November 25, 2018

BOOK PAGES INTERVIEWS LINDA WILLIAMS JACKSON Linda Williams Jackson follows up her critically acclaimed debut, Midnight Without a Moon (2018 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Title), with a new story starring 13-year-old Rose Lee Carter. A Sky Full of Stars opens in 1955 in racially divided Stillwater, Mississippi. “I consider it a privilege to put myself in a young person’s shoes and relive youth in the form of a story.” READ MORE…   ELIZABETH ACEVEDO WINS 2018 NBA FOR YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE She (Robin Benway) thanked her fellow judges—Lamar Giles, Grace Greene, Valerie Koehler, and Mitali Perkins—for “not only reading hundreds of books this year but for doing so with critical eyes, sensitive hearts, and incredible senses of humor.” The word that Benway said the judges kept coming back to was propulsion: “Is this a book that will propel and enrich the joyful experience of reading? Is this a title that will not only hold the reader’s attention as a youth, but also serve as a crucial step in the process of creating a curious and lifelong reader?” READ MORE…   THE 10 BEST YA AND CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF 2018 In her first middle grade novel since Brown Girl Dreaming, Woodson, a former National Book…

HISTORICAL FICTION THAT TAKES CHILDREN TO WAR ZONES AND INTERNMENT CAMPS
Newsletter / November 11, 2018

HISTORICAL FICTION THAT TAKES CHILDREN TO WAR ZONES AND INTERNMENT CAMPS The United States government created Indian boarding schools in the late 19th century to control Native Americans and eradicate their culture. Run on military lines with draconian rules and brutal punishments, they’re a stain on our national history — yet some Native American parents, given the complexity of their circumstances, willingly and with full understanding chose to place their own children there. That situation is sensitively dramatized in TWO ROADS, by the celebrated Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac. FINDING LANGSTON, the first middle-grade novel by the picture book writer Lesa Cline-Ransome (“Before She Was Harriet”), takes us into the years just after World War II. READ MORE…   DELVING INTO THE WORLD OF YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE Mitali Perkins As a child, a young Mitali had found her safe place in the fire escape, where she would often crawl out on to read and write. The adventurous, colourful and insightful prose of Mitali Perkins combines issues of diaspora, body image, identity and self-worth among young adults of varied roots. “Rickshaw Girl” deserves a special mention because in it Perkins has taken on the challenging task of portraying the changing face of a…

Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards at Eric Carle Museum
Newsletter / October 28, 2018

OUR VOICE: ERIC CARLE MUSEUM SHOWCASES AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS The Coretta Scott King Book Awards seal was designed by artist Lev Mills in 1974. The emblem, with explanatory text, is part of “Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards”, a new exhibit in the east gallery of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst. Included in the exhibit are the works of Jane Addams illustrators and authors: Javaka Steptoe, Bryan Collier, Floyd Cooper, & Faith Ringgold and more. READ & SEE MORE…   MV PARENT U: FRANCISCO JIMENEZ, AUTHOR “THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF EDUCATION” Author and educator Dr. Francisco Jiménez has been an agent for change in academia and public education for the last thirty years. He emigrated with his family from Mexico to California and as a child worked alongside his parents in the fields of California. READ MORE… The Circuit Francisco Jimenez 1998 Honor Book   WHERE ARE DIVERSE VOICES IN CHILDREN’S BOOKS? AUTHORS EXPLORE WHY THAT MATTERS “There’s a lack of awareness of the number of black authors and illustrators who are creating literature for children,” said Kelly Starling Lyons, a Raleigh children’s book author and one of the organizers of…

WELL READ BLACK GIRL MAKES THE CASE FOR WHY REPRESENTATION IN LITERATURE CHANGES LIVES
Newsletter / October 7, 2018

JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD CEREMONY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2018 AT 2:30 PM 777 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA FL 2 (44TH & 1ST) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK A memorable afternoon of award presentation and responses by authors and illustrators. Meet and talk with the honored guests, including Award winners and honorees. Enjoy a reception and an opportunity for book signing after formal presentation of the awards. All the award books will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to all. Reservations are not needed. Can’t come to NYC? Follow the ceremony as it is live streamed from https://www.facebook.com/pg/janeaddamspeace/posts/ _________________________________________ THE 10 BOOKS TO READ IN OCTOBER Edim’s Well-Read Black Girl online community is one of the best arguments for social media that exists. In this essay collection she has edited, we can see that it’s also necessary, with some of today’s finest writers — including Jesmyn Ward, Jacqueline Woodson and Tayari Jones — making the case for why representation in literature changes lives. READ MORE…   JACQUELINE WOODSON’S REAL MAKE-BELIEVE VISIT TO OAKLAND The celebrated author of the memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming,” Woodson will engage with young book lovers at Chapter 510 & the Dept. of Make Believe, the…

CREATE DANGEROUSLY, FOR PEOPLE WHO READ DANGEROUSLY: EDWIDGE DANTICAT
Newsletter / September 30, 2018

JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD CEREMONY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2018 AT 2:30 PM 777 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA FL 2 (44TH & 1ST) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK A memorable afternoon of award presentation and responses by authors and illustrators. Meet and talk with the honored guests, including Award winners and honorees. Enjoy a reception and an opportunity for book signing after formal presentation of the awards. All the award books will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to all. Reservations are not needed. Can’t come to NYC? Follow the ceremony as it is live streamed from https://www.facebook.com/pg/janeaddamspeace/posts/ __________________________________ NEUSTADT LIT FEST BRINING AUTHOR EDWIDGE DANTICAT TO NORMAN Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat is heading to Norman next month to participate in the 2018 Neustadt Lit Fest at the University of Oklahoma. The festival, which is held by the literary publication World Literature Today, is an opportunity for Normanites and literary fans to celebrate the work of authors, both renowned and up-and-coming. Danticat won the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2017. READ MORE… __________________________________ TURNING PAGES: MY LIFE STORY—INTERVIEW WITH ILLUSTRATOR LULU DELACRE Interview with author and illustrator Lulu Delacre and discussion questions. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF……

SOMETIMES A CLOSER LOOK, A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING, A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW, IS BETTER THAN AN ESCAPE
Newsletter / September 23, 2018

JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD CEREMONY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2018 AT 2:30 PM 777 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA FL 2 (44TH & 1ST) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK A memorable afternoon of award presentation and responses by authors and illustrators. Meet and talk with the honored guests, including Award winners and honorees. Enjoy a reception and an opportunity for book signing after formal presentation of the awards. All the award books will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to all. Reservations are not needed. Can’t come to NYC? Follow the ceremony as it is live streamed from https://www.facebook.com/pg/janeaddamspeace/posts/ ________________________________________ NEW NOVELS FROM THREE OF TODAY’S MOST BELOVED CHILDREN’S AUTHORS “We think they took my Papi.” The first line of Jacqueline Woodson’s HARBOR ME (Nancy Paulsen/Penguin, 176 pp., $17.99; ages 10 and up) jolts the reader into the news cycle through the eyes of a child. There is no escape from the outside world in this book, from the political tempest swirling around us. But sometimes a closer look, a deeper understanding, a different point of view, is better than an escape — especially for kids trying to make sense of the time they were born into. READ MORE… ________________________________________ THE BEST…

TEACHING PEACE WITH JANE ADDAMS
Newsletter / September 9, 2018

CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS: TEACHING PEACE WITH JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD WINNERS Jump-start conversations about activism and social justice with these Jane Addams Children’s Book Award–winning titles. Like the Caldecott and Newbery committees, this committee is looking for literary and artistic excellence, but it also looks for books that can inspire dialogue and reflection about justice and peace in our society. READ MORE… ___________________________________ CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHORS ARE SELLING MORE THAN BOOKS. THEY’RE TAKING A STAND. Children’s books have always been political, of course — that’s why they are fixtures on lists of banned or censored books. And the welfare of children has long been at the forefront for authors who write for them. But current children’s book creators are finding new outlets for their concerns, often banding together, with the support of social media, to increase their impact. READ MORE…   CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR YUYI MORALES TELLS HER IMMIGRANT STORY IN ‘DREAMERS’ For 15 years, Yuyi Morales has been writing and illustrating magical, award-winning picture books about clever tricksters, monster-fighting niños and heroic historical figures such as Frida Kahlo. In all that time, it never occurred to her to tell her personal story. Now in the wake of attacks against immigrants, she’s decided to share…

Lois Lowry sees childhood as exploratory, not idyllic.
Newsletter / September 2, 2018

LOIS LOWRY STILL THINKS KIDS NEED TO READ ABOUT TERRIBLE THINGS (AND SHE’S STILL RIGHT) There’s no heaviness, just certitude. Lois Lowry understands herself — a rare trait in a writer — which gives her an edge on understanding others…. She doesn’t think that the intrusion of ugly things — even death — ends childhood. She sees childhood as exploratory, not idyllic. READ MORE… _________________________________________ MOST DOWNLOADED PHOTOGRAPH IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ARCHIVE COMES TO THE PIEDMONT TRIAD, AS REYNOLDA OPENS ‘DORTHEA LANGE’S AMERICA’ SEPT. 14 In “Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression,” Carole Boston Weatherford captures the spirit of Dorothea Lange with lyrical prose intended for children. Weatherford will read from her picture book biography and join in discussion with the audience. Enjoy music and hands-on activities while learning about “Dorothea Lange’s America.” READ MORE… _________________________________________ HOMEWORK QUESTIONS ON RACE, DRUGS, AND GUNS DRAW IRE FROM PARENTS A spokesperson for the school said in a statement, “The AF Brownsville Middle homework assignment drew directly from the text of Seedfolks – a widely acclaimed novel written by Newbery Medal winning author Paul Fleischman – that focuses on a diverse cast of characters, discusses racial themes, and…

CAROLE BOSTON WEATHERFORD TELLS THE STORY OF AMAZING GRACE
Newsletter / August 12, 2018

JOHN NEWTON’S SONG OF PRAYER You’ve sung the words countless times. You’ve heard the song in many places. But did you know the true story of the classic hymn? Most people haven’t, but in “How Sweet the Sound,” author Carole Boston Weatherford tells it with couplets more powerful than a storm at sea; indeed, this book is little more than a poem written in descriptive style, but sparsely, which lends more weight to each careful word. READ MORE… ___________________________________________ NOTABLE AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF REPRESENTATION Many contemporary children’s books are both mirrors and windows, showing children the connections among all people.  (Andy Ryan / Getty Images) “Collaborating with Salva Dut to write ALong Walk to Water provided me with a window in a way that I never could have imagined — not just for me but for the young readers of the book, who have subsequently reached out to communities in South Sudan. Those readers have gone from looking in the window to leaping right through it!” — Linda Sue Park, Author of A Long Walk to Water READ MORE… ___________________________________________ ‘UNDOCUMENTED’ IS A PICTURE BOOK THAT’S NOT JUST FOR KIDS There are millions of undocumented workers in…