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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…

Feminist Children’s Books & Explorations of Gender Stereotypes #JACBA Newsletter 24Nov2017
Newsletter / November 24, 2017

Book Highlight: part 3 This third 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 Jenice Mateo-Toledo for We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler, written by Russell Freedman, published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, named an Honor Book in the Books for Older Children category. Introduction by Jenice Mateo-Toledo Russell Freedman writes: The year was 1942 and World War II was in its third year, leaflets began to appear mysteriously in mailboxes all over Nazi Germany…. A person could not be too careful. Anyone caught with a seditious leaflet was marked as an enemy of the state and could land in a concentration camp, or worse… Neatly typed documents headed [with]… “Leaflets of the White Rose…” assailed the Nazi dictatorship as evil, denounced Adolf Hitler as a liar and blasphemer, and called on the German people to rise up and overthrow the Nazi regime.“ [but]… Who was the White Rose?… Russell Freedman expertly utilizes eloquent prose, first hand accounts, and carefully curated black and white images to transport the reader to…

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,…

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…