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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…

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…

“Because of them: we are,” Jacqueline Woodson National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature #JACBA Newsletter 26Jan2018
Newsletter / January 28, 2018

“What’s Your Equation?”: Jacqueline Woodson Inaugurated as Sixth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Through her platform, “READING = HOPE x CHANGE (What’s Your Equation?),” Woodson aims “to begin a conversation our country is hungry, but oftentimes afraid, to have.” After expressing gratitude to her editors and publishers, Woodson called on the audience to join her in thanking and remembering writers and activists who influenced and inspired them. “In the African-American tradition, there is the calling of names, where we call our ancestors back into the room; where we acknowledge that because of them, we are.” As the room filled with the quiet calling of names, from Virginia Hamilton to Walter Dean Myers, Woodson’s final words seemed to echo: “Because of them, we are.” Read More MLK Week 2017 to Focus on Environmental Racism The World of Children’s Literature is sponsoring an event featuring Jacqueline Woodson, an award-winning young adult and children’s author and the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming,” which also won the NAACP Image Award. Woodson will be speaking in the Gould Auditorium at the J. Willard Marriott Library on Jan. 23. Read More Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by…

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…

Illustrated Books About Women Who Changed The World #JACBA Newsletter 28Jul2017
Newsletter / July 29, 2017

14 Illustrated Books About Women Who Changed The World ‘Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women’ by Catherine Thimmesh and Melissa Sweet (Illustrator) Women have invented some pretty amazing things throughout history – you just didn’t know it. Girls Think of Everything is a smart collection of stories, each with a compelling voice that makes you feel part of the stories themselves. ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight’ by Kathleen Krull and Amy June Bates (Illustrator) If you have a thing for books that tell the stories of inspiring female politicians, look no futher: Kathleen Krull and Amy June Bates’ account of Hillary Clinton’s life will take you on an inspired journey through her younger years. ‘Me, Frida’ by Amy Novesky and David Díaz (Illustrator) Connect with the life of Frida Kahlo with this playful, poetic and mesmerizing book, styled after Frida’s artwork. Written by Amy Novesky and illustrated by David Diaz, this book tells the tale of her early days in San Francisco with her husband, the artist Diego Rivera. Frida struggled to find a muse, speak a foreign language, and learn to live a life that didn’t yet belong to her, but once she did,…

Jane Addams Winner Lynda Blackmon Lowery’s Civil Rights Story Speaks to Syrian Refugees #JACBA Newsletter 14Apr2017
Newsletter / April 14, 2017

April 28th, 8:00am CST: 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! Civil rights marcher inspires Syrian refugee students in Bay Ridge Inspiring figure: Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest participant to march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., with Martin Luther King Jr., shared her story with students at Mary White Ovington elementary and middle school in Bay Ridge on March 27. And her story was particularly inspiring to Syrian refugees at the school, said one student whose family fled that war torn country. “The refugees need to live in a safe country just like Lynda Lowery,” said second-grader Rayan Alrahawan. “So I will fight for the refugees [so] the children can go to school and the families can go to work.” Students drew parallels to Lowery’s struggles and their own as refugees – with one student emphasizing the importance of basic human rights in an illustrated letter to Lowery. “Without freedom, I can’t do anything,” said second-grader Layan Nakawh, who is also a refugee. “In my country, Syria, the kids can not go to school. They have nothing. I hope…