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BEYOND HOPE AND WHIMSY: COMPLEX THEMES IN KIDLIT
Newsletter / June 16, 2019

THE DAY THE WAR CAME – A POEM ABOUT UNACCOMPANIED CHILD REFUGEES Quoting Nikola Davies: A few weeks ago I heard a story about a child turning up at a school near a refugee camp and being turned away because there was no chair for her. She came back the next day with a broken chair and asked again. I can’t remember where I heard the story but it’s melded with all the other things I’ve heard over the last few months about refugee families and lone children. READ MORE… The Day the War Came by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb 2019 Honor Title for Younger Readers   10 BOOKS BESIDES “TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD” THAT TACKLE RACIAL INJUSTICE ”The Round House” by Louise Erdrich and “Give Me Some Truth” by Eric Gansworth These selections have particular urgency for me because they’re about Native American characters, who are underrepresented in a lot of high school literature classes, including my own. What I find really important about books on racial injustice is that they are written by people of color who can more accurately depict their own experiences and avoid the “white savior” stereotype. “Monster” by Walter Dean Myers The…

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…

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…

Native American Authors Build Empathy and Understanding
Newsletter / November 18, 2018

WHY THANKSGIVING ISN’T NECESSARILY A CELEBRATION: A NATIVE AMERICAN WRITER’S TAKE Louise Erdrich debuted with “Love Medicine” in 1984. The writing in this book, which follows many different people, families and experiences, is so strong and distinct. It walks the reader through so many kinds of voices in a world that, at the time it came out, so few people knew or understood. READ MORE… AUTHOR TOMMY ORANGE RETURNS TO TAOS In his (Orange’s) novel there are many cultural references and at one point, Native writer Louise Erdrich (Chippewa) is mentioned. In real life, Orange is fortunate enough to have a blurb by Erdrich on the book jacket… READ MORE… COLUMN: NATIVE AMERICAN AUTHORS TO READ A local here in Minneapolis, she (Louise Edrich) is considered a powerhouse in the Native American writing community. Her works have been up for the Pulitzer Award for Fiction and she has won many acclaimed literary awards. Erdrich’s novels range from fiction to local history to youth to adult and can be found almost anywhere A prolific young adult writer and master storyteller, Tim Tingle is the author for any adult or young adult who wants to learn more about Choctaw stories that are passed down…

ASSURING ACCESS TO LITERACY FOR INCARCERATED TEENS
Newsletter / July 15, 2018

LITERACY SPOTLIGHT: LITERACY FOR INCARCERATED TEENS From realistic YA fiction to memoirs and manga, students at Passages (a New York City Department of Education school network that serves youth ages 16 and younger in secure and non-secure detention) read what any other students would, with Walter Dean Myers and Coe Booth being two favorites. The organization’s Authors and Artists series was in part inspired by Walter Dean Myers, who was among the first to visit students in the Passages network: “[The students] just loved him,” Sick said. “And so we had the idea to get other authors.” READ MORE… __________________________________________ ROMANTIC OR RACIST? PERCEPTIONS SHIFT ON ‘LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE’ Known more for their cozy depictions of pioneer life, Ms. Wilder’s novels also include instances of racism and comparisons of Native people with animals. Many Native Americans have long felt uncomfortable with the books – with National Book Award winner Louise Erdrich writing her own series, “The Birchbark House,” in response. READ MORE…. __________________________________________ MAY YOU PATH BE BLESSED: LEGENDARY AUTHOR PAULO COELHO TO MALALA As Pakistan’s adored activist Malala Yousafzai tours Brazil, marking her first visit to Latin America, to kick off the expansion of her education charity, famed…