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“BUT WE DO LANGUAGE….” AND ILLUSTRATIONS TOO!
Newsletter / August 11, 2019

TONI MORRISON WAS A ‘LITERARY MOTHER’ TO COUNTLESS WRITERS   Toni Morrison died this (past) week at age 88 and left behind countless writers for whom her characters were like close acquaintances and her stories like parables to guide them through their own lives. Edwidge Danticat, the prize-winning Haitian-American author, called her “a literary mother to generations of writers, especially black women writers like myself.” READ MORE… On Tuesday, (Jacqueline) Woodson tweeted, “Peace on the journey, Ms. Morrison. And Thank You.” Many posted Morrison quotes after learning of her death. This one was shared repeatedly: “We die. That may be the meaning of life,” Morrison said. “But we do language. That might be the measure of our lives.” READ MORE… GRETA THUNBERG’S CALL FOR ACTION FAST-TRCKS A PICTURE BOOK BIO The title of Winter’s book comes from a speech Thunberg gave at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year. “I don’t want you to be hopeful,” Thunberg told the audience of political leaders. “I want you to panic. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” READ MORE… THE PINKNEYS ARE A PICTURE BOOK PERFECT, AUTHOR-ILLUSTRATOR COUPLE The Pinkneys have now been…

EDUCATORS RECOMMEND BOOKS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED
Newsletter / June 2, 2019

FIRST BOOK RELEASES “TITLE RAVES” LIST: 1O BOOKS THAT MAKE AN IMPACT, ACCORDING TO EDUCATORS SERVING KIDS IN NEED Paired with First Book Bestseller List, Title Raves demonstrates educators’ use of books to meet unique needs of children from low-income families in book deserts…. First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise committed to equal access to quality education, today released the inaugural “First Book Title Raves,” a list of 10 newly-published books reviewed and recommended by educators exclusively serving children in need. (‘The Day You Begin’ is on the list!) ….said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO, and co-founder of First Book. “With these lists, we capture the recommendations of the educators who know kids in need better than anyone, in addition to examples of how they are using books to make a difference. READ MORE… BOOKEXPO 2019: A WIDE-RANGING KEYNOTE KICKS OFF PROGRAMMING Diverse stories are becoming more popular—but diversity in the publishing industry workforce remains scarce, (Jacqueline) Woodson noted. “Inside the publishing houses, small and large, we all know who’s inside. I know it comes out of comfort. You hire people you know, who went to the ‘right schools,’ who you’re comfortable around, who are able to afford to live in New…

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)…

CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
Newsletter / March 11, 2019

CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH WITH AUTHOR EMILY ARNOLD MCCULLY In celebration of Women’s History Month, we sat down with Caldecott award-winning author and illustrator, Emily Arnold McCully, via satellite to talk about her book “She Did It! 21 Women Who Changed The Way We Think” WATCH HERE… EDWIDGE DANTICAT’S NEW KID’S BOOK EXPLORES A MOTHER’S CARING TOUCH What’s a world without a mother’s love? Haitian-American author and writer Edwidge Danticat is releasing a new children’s book celebrating motherhood, and specifically how a mother cares for her child when he or she is ill. READ MORE… NICHOLASA MOHR’S “NILDA” IS IN THE RUNNING TO BE THE NEW YORK CITY’S SUMMER BOOK Nilda is one of five books selected for this year’s One Book, One New York program. Read an excerpt here. “Pushing open the door, Nilda yelled, ‘They are doing it; they’re going to open the hydrant! Hurry up before the cops come.’” READ MORE… 1974 JACBA Winning Title JACQUELINE WOODSON’S “ANOTHER BROOKLYN” IS IN THE RUNNING TO BE NEW YORK CITY’S SUMMER BOOK Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn is one of five books selected for this year’s One Book, One New York program.  Read an excerpt here. “For a long time, my mother wasn’t dead yet. Mine could have…

JACOB LAWRENCE’S NARRATIVE SERIES ABOUT BLACK PERSEVERANCE AND AMERICAN REBELLION INSPIRED A CACHE OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Newsletter / March 3, 2019

BLACK ART HISTORY: JACOB LAWRENCE’S NARRATIVE SERIES ABOUT BLACK PERSEVERANCE AND AMERICAN REBELLION INSPIRED A CACHE OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS Published in 1996, “Toussaint L’Ouverture: The Fight for Haiti’s Freedom” is a collaboration between Lawrence and celebrated children’s book author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). In the introduction to the book, Lawrence recalls the compelling stories he heard from Harlem street orators about black history figures such as L’Ouverture. READ MORE… 6 CANADIAN BOOKS FOR YOUNGER READERS TO CHECK OUT DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH The Journey of Little Charlie follows a 12-year-old boy who agrees to track down thieves in order to settle his debts with a cruel man named Cap’n Buck. But when Charlie discovers the thieves he’s hunting are people who escaped from slavery, his conscience intervenes. Why Christopher Paul Curtis writes best from a place of fear…. READ MORE… POEMS TELL THE STORY OF THE FIRST BLACK STUDENTS AT TENNESSE SCHOOL IN ‘THis PROMISE OF CHANGE’ “We had no idea that this would have a historical impact,” said Jo Ann Allen Boyce about that August morning in 1956 when she and 11 other teenagers first took their place as students in the formerly whites-only high school in their small Tennessee town. Boyce…

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…

JANE ADDAMS AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS HONORED BY AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
Newsletter / February 3, 2019

AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2019 YOUTH MEDIA AWARD WINNERS   Children’s Literature Legacy Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences. The 2019 winner is Walter Dean Myers, whose award-winning works include “Somewhere in the Darkness,” a 1993 Newbery Honor Book, and “Monster,” recipient of a 2000 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book. READ MORE…   “The Stuff of Stars,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is written by Marion Dane Bauer and published by Candlewick Press. READ MORE… 1984 JANE ADDAMS AWARD WINNER Three King Illustrator Honor Books were selected:… “Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop,” illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Alice Faye Duncan and published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights… READ MORE…   Three King Author Honor Books were selected: “Finding Langston,” written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and published by Holiday House; … READ MORE… MEG MEDINA WINS NEWBERY MEDAL AND SOPHIE BLACKALL IS AWARDED HER SECOND CALDECOTT The Pura Belpre Illustrator Award went to Yuyi Morales for “Dreamers,” her picture book recounting the journey she took with her young son…

BLACK CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHORS ARE CHANGING CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Newsletter / January 6, 2019

BLACK CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHORS WHO ARE CHANGING CHILDREN’S LITERATURE Walter Dean Myers grew up with a deep love of literature, but he quickly noticed the disappointing lack of diversity in children’s books. He was deeply concerned about how excluding Black children from literature might make them feel ‘otherized.’ He has written over 110 books in an attempt to legitimize Black identity, and he has also won more awards than any other author for young adults. Some of his most popular children’s books are We are America: A Tribute from the Heart, Looking Like Me, Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told, and Where Does the Day Go? Jacqueline Woodson featured as well. READ MORE… ALICE B. MCGINTY/TWO OF THE BEST STORIES FROM 2018   In acclaimed author and poet Jacqueline Woodson’s “The Day You Begin” (2018, Nancy Paulsen Books, written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez, ages 4-9), we see a close-up of a brown-skinned girl fretfully walking through the door of a classroom. “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you,” the text reads. “Maybe it will be your skin, your clothes, or the curl of your hair… or…

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…

Celebrating Connections With Children’s Literature
Newsletter / October 22, 2018

JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD CEREMONY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2018                                                                     Sara Holbrook author of  Winner for Older Readers: The Enemy: Detroit 1954 (upper photo) Laura Atkins & Stan Yogi authors of  Honor for Older Readers: Fred Korematsu Speaks Up with  Heather Palmer (center) selection committee chair (lower left photo) Susan Freiss (r) committee member with James E. Ransome illustrator & Lesa Cline-Ransome author of Honor for Younger Readers: Before She Was Harriet  (lower right photo) DIVERSITY AND DEEP CONNECTIONS FOR CHILDREN’S AUTHORS, EDITORS, AND BOOKSELLERS AT NAIBA 2018 Receiving both the Carla Cohen Free Speech Award and the Book of the Year Award, Ghost Boys author Rhodes captured the energy of the conference, harnessing it in a rousing 30-minute speech on racial violence in America that garnered a standing ovation. Rhodes shared the story of her own life, interwoven with descriptions of how she came to write the book. READ MORE… ANNOUNCING THE 2019 ONE BOOK, ONE PHILADELPHIA SELECTION The Free Library of Philadelphia and the Mayor’s Office today announced the novel Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn…