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WHOSE LIFE STORIES ARE BEING NEGLECTED IN PICTURE BOOKS?
Newsletter / April 21, 2019

WHOSE LIFE STORIES ARE BEING NEGLECTED IN PICTURE BOOKS? – MAY 4   The event will tackle key issues related to diversity such as whose life stories are celebrated versus whose are often ignored and not told. The event will also take a look at how thoughtfully these life stories are written for young readers, and look at which authors are telling these stories. A deep-dive panel discussion about the making of award-winning picture book biography, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave. The panel will include the book’s author Laban Carrick Hill, illustrator Bryan Collier, and art director Patti Ann Harris. A panel discussion around the theme of diversity in picture book biographies. Panelists will include author and illustrator Javaka Steptoe… READ MORE… MARTIN’S BIG WORDS BY DOREEN RAPPAPORT & BRYAN COLLIER  ‘EVERY CHILD SHOULD FIND THEMSELVES IN A BOOK’ SPEAKING WITH ILLUSTRATOR MELISSA SWEET Her (Melissa Sweet’s) next book, due out in June, is a collaboration with Kwame Alexander, called How To Read A Book: A Focus on Non-Fiction. “Every child entering a library, entering school, is going to pick a different book. It’s imperative for them to find their book.” She says that not every kid is going to be attracted to the most popular or classic children’s…

INDEPENDENT BOOK STORES & INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS
Newsletter / April 14, 2019

INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY Birchbark Books (owned by Louise Erdrich — the internationally recognized author of many novels, poems, short stories and children’s books) carries books by Native authors along with a selection of other carefully selected titles, Native art and jewelry. READ MORE… INDEPENDENT BOOK PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION UNIVERSITY 2019: RACCAH SPILLS SECRETS TO INDIE PUBLISHING SUCCESS   W. Nikola-Lisa of Gyroscope Books, an author-publisher in Chicago, praised (Dominique) Raccah’s talk afterwards, describing her as “a visionary from day one who understood that she needed a niche and understood from the beginning that she had to stand out.” Citing her “energy and passion for what she does,” Nikola-Lisa noted, “It’s passion that inspires people…” READ MORE… 1995 Jane Addams Honor Title by W. Nikola-Lisa   AUTHOR TALK WITH MELISSA OTIS: RURAL INDIGENOUSNESS: A HISTORY OF IROQUOIAN AND ALGONQUIAN PEOPLES OF THE ADIRONDACKS (Panelists include) Joseph Bruchac – author, poet, novelist, storyteller and scholar of Native American culture. LISTEN HERE… HOW LIANE MORIARTY, KATE DICAMILLO AND JACQUELINE WOODSON GOT THEIR STARTS Jacqueline Woodson admits that she “wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when…

BOOKS TO ELECTRIFY, EDIFY, AND EXEMPLIFY
Newsletter / March 24, 2019

HMH BOOKS & MEDIA INTRODUCES KWAME ALEXANDER’S VERSIFY IMPRINT WITH MULTI-AUTHOR BUS TOUR Versify’s mission is present books to “electrify, edify, and exemplify” with accessible and powerful prose and poetry that celebrates the lives and reflects the possibilities of all children. Its debut list includes four books: The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles; ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by author/illustrator Raúl the Third; White Rose by Kip Wilson; and Alexander’s own picture book, The Undefeated, which is illustrated by Kadir Nelson, who will join the tour for select events. READ MORE… FAMILIES WANT MORE DIVERSITY IN CHILDREN’S BOOKS; HERE ARE 7 TITLES THAT DELIVER   Scholastic’s just-released Kids & Family Reading report found that nearly half of kids ages 9 to 17 (45 percent) and parents of kids 6 to 17 (52 percent) want more books with diversity. Eleven percent of children’s books published in the United States in 2018 featured Africans or African-Americans, 7 percent featured Hispanics, and 8 percent featured Asian characters, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Andrea Davis Pinkney, Scholastic’s executive editor and author of “A Poem for Peter,” said in the report that a lack of diversity fails to expand a child’s love of reading or sense of self. (Among the 7 books: “The Day You Begin” Author Jacqueline Woodson, illustrator Rafael Lóp)…

LUCILLE CLIFTON, DYNAMIC FORCE AND LITERARY TITAN
Newsletter / February 17, 2019

Q&A: HOW GLORY EDIM FOUND HER VOICE IN HER ANTHOLOGY ‘WELL-READ BLACK GIRL’ (Quoting Glory Edim) ‘There’s so much to be said about Lucille Clifton. She is such a dynamic force and literary titan. That poem, for me, spoke to the demand to be seen, to be visible in the work, to be taken seriously and not be compared to anyone else; simply be seen for who you are. I just love the power in her voice. Renée Watson, one of the [anthology] contributors, talks about Lucille’s work about how, being able to be physically seen, Lucille changed her idea of who she was and how she could become a poet…’ READ MORE… 1978 Award Winner by Lucille Clifton 2019 AFRICAN AMERICAN CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR IN PHOTOS Nikki Grimes (One Last Word, Bloomsbury) and Floyd Cooper (contributor, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, Crown). Bestselling authors Sharon Draper (Blended, Atheneum/Dlouhy) (l.) and Renée Watson (Watch Us Rise, Bloomsbury).  READ & SEE MORE… MPLS. WRITERS LOUISE ERDRICH AND MARLON JAMES DISCUSS HIS NEW BOOK, HIS NEXT BOOK AND BEING BLACK IN AMERICA               Not surprisingly, the questions were as thoughtful as the responses. Erdrich…

JAMES BALDWIN STORY OF CHILDHOOD ‘LITTLE MAN, LITTLE MAN’ REISSUED
Newsletter / August 26, 2018

A JAMES BALDWIN BOOK, FORGOTTEN AND OVERLOOKED FOR FOUR DECADES, GETS ANOTHER LIFE Some Baldwin fans and scholars hope that with the new edition, “Little Man, Little Man” will rightfully assume its place in the canon of African-American children’s literature, alongside works by Langston Hughes, Julius Lester, Walter Dean Myers and John Steptoe. READ MORE… ____________________________________________________ KADIR NELSON TELLS MEMORABLE STORIES ON VARIETY OF CANVASES “I think it’s a matter of trying to step into the shoes of the subject matter and learning enough about it so I can honestly portray or document the story,” he (Kadir Nelson) said. He doesn’t worry too much about talking over the heads of his young audience. “Children understand visual language from a very early age,” he said. “Before they can talk, that is their form of communication. It’s something we all innately understand.” READ MORE…  ____________________________________________________ IF YOU COULD ADD ONE BOOK TO THE HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Then, the summer before college I read GOOD WOMAN, by Lucille Clifton. It was the first collection of poetry I’d ever read all the way through, and it unlocked a love for a medium that is often poorly taught or avoided altogether. If I could…

Award Winning Author Sy Montgomery Writes Science that Excites
Newsletter / July 29, 2018

SCIENCE BOOKS THAT EXCITE I narrow that AP biology list down to my five favourite books….. The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery – This is one of my personal favourites on the list because it shows both the fascinating life of a sea creature that we once considered to be “low life.” READ MORE… _________________________________________ DAV PILKEY, RICK BRAGG HEADLINE 2018 BOOKMARKS LINEUP THAT EXCELS IN VARIETY, DIVERSITY Carole Boston Weatherford will read and discuss “Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression” in a family event with music and hands-on activities at Reynolda House Museum of American Art; READ MORE… _________________________________________ “WRITERS ON WRITING” RADIO SHOW: INTERVIEW WITH JACQUELINE WOODSON Dr. Greene and Woodson will discuss a range of issues, including Woodson’s latest book, themes in her books, young adult and children’s literature, social responsibility of the writer, the need for more diverse books and the need for teachers to promote books by writers of color in their classrooms and to specify to students the nature of such books. READ MORE… _________________________________________ BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET: KIRKUS REVIEW A memorable, lyrical reverse-chronological walk through the life of an American icon. In free verse, Cline-Ransome narrates the…

AWARD WINNING KADIR NELSON CREATES ‘SUMMERTIME CITY’ ILLUSTRATION FOR THE NEW YORKER
Newsletter / July 22, 2018

KADIR NELSON CREATES NEW ‘SUMMERTIME CITY’ ILLUSTRATION FOR ‘THE NEW YORKER’   Kadir Nelson: “I was poring over photographs of neighborhood kids playing in the street, and I found an old photo from the nineteen-sixties of a kid wearing goggles as he basked in the spray unleashed by a fire hydrant. It made perfect sense to me. If you can’t make it to the pool or the beach, why not still wear goggles? It was so imaginative and practical. For some kids, the fire hydrant is the pool or the ocean.” READ MORE… ________________________________________ ONLY 1% OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS HAVE B.A.M.E. MAIN CHARACTERS – UK STUDY Only 1% of British children’s books feature a main character who is black or minority ethnic, a investigation into representations of people of colour has found, with the director calling the findings “stark and shocking”. This compares to the 32.1% of schoolchildren of minority ethnic origins in England identified by the Department of Education last year. …the late American children’s author Walter Dean Myers (wrote in 2014 “Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? … Where are black children going…

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Name Removed From Book Award & Good Reads For This July 4th
Newsletter / July 1, 2018

Little House On The Controversy: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Name Removed From Book Award A division of the American Library Association voted unanimously Saturday to strip Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from a major children’s literature award over concerns about how the author referred to Native Americans and blacks. The author Jacqueline Woodson, known for award-winning books including Brown Girl Dreaming and Another Brooklyn, will be the first honoree of the newly named Children’s Literature Legacy Award. Read more… __________________________________________________ Alice B. McGinty | Good reads to celebrate America “Blue Sky White Stars” (2017, Dial Books for Young Readers, written by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, ages 2-7) combines a spare text with Kadir Nelson’s breathtaking, realistic illustrations to produce a truly powerful book. Each large, colorful spread repeats the same lines of text on both sides, but the words are set against different backgrounds. Read more… __________________________________________________ With poetry, kids’ authors find fresh ways to illuminate the world The poetry collection blends art, history and emotion, coaxing something special from each picture – “Magic and facts, woven/ and stacked,” as Naomi Shihab Nye writes in her wonder-filled poem about a 14th century Syrian drawing of an ornate, animal-covered clock. Read more… __________________________________________________ Chelsea Clinton’s new book explores girl power with…