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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…

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…

Yuyi Morales: To even try to be neutral in this time would be a disservice
Newsletter / August 19, 2018

IN CONVERSATION: YUYI MORALES AND NEAL PORTER Author-illustrator Yuyi Morales and editor Neal Porter have worked together on six books, but Morales’s newest, Dreamers, is her most personal work to date. It recounts, in poetic form, the story of her emigration in 1994 from Mexico to the United States, with her two-month-old son. “To even try to be neutral in this time would be a disservice. As a children’s book creator, I take on a huge responsibility in that I hope my book will raise consciousness and awareness in children.” READ MORE… _________________________________________ BOOKS FROM AUTHORS WITH LOCAL, REGIONAL TIES Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome are a husband and wife team who have collaborated on many nonfiction books. …their newest picture book tells the amazing story of the Williams sisters, who are considered two of the greatest tennis players ever. READ MORE…  _________________________________________ HOW TO BE A GOOD CREATURE, IN STORIES FOR OUR TIME Have you ever felt completely in sync with a pet or other animal? That you knew the animal and, more importantly, it knew you? Author Sy Montgomery writes about 13 animals with whom she has shared what she describes as that very special feeling. READ MORE…  _________________________________________…