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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…

Featuring Jane Addams Artist and 2017 Caldecott Winner Javaka Steptoe #JACBA Newsletter 15Jul2017
Newsletter / July 15, 2017

Profile of 2017 Caldecott Medal and CSK Illustrator Award winner Javaka Steptoe by Azure Thompson Javaka’s commitment to this truth is evident in his more-than-two-decade career of illustrating black faces and bodies in various settings and situations. His first book, In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, shows the diversity of relationships among black grandfathers, fathers, and children. The night after Javaka won the Caldecott Medal, he told a roomful of librarians in Seattle, Washington, that the award means his voice will be amplified. It will help ensure that he continues to tell stories about the black experience, as he is committed to expanding the boundaries of how we see people of color. And it ensures that we will listen to him more than ever before. Read More Caldecott Medal winner for best picture book visits Skokie It took illustrator and writer Javaka Steptoe five to six years to complete his multi-award winning picture book on the early life of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. It took an eager group of children less than an hour to recreate some of the book’s story of Basquiat in a playful version Monday at the Skokie Public Library. “Art is the street…

The Samantha Smith Challenge: Middle School Change Makers #JACBA Newsletter 17Jun2017
Newsletter / June 17, 2017

Becoming a Changemaker: 3rd Annual Samantha Smith Challenge [VIDEO] In 1983, a Manchester Elementary School fifth grader made history with a letter she wrote to a Soviet leader. Samantha Smith tragically died two years later in a plane crash, but she’s remembered through a yearly challenge that aims to inspire others to make a difference. The Maine native became an ambassador for peace, visiting the Soviet Union for two weeks, then sharing her peace keeping mission around the world. “So we’re asking you to do the same thing,” said Carter. “Take a look around you and your world and your community and see what issues are concerning you and then take action.” Smith’s legacy now lives on through these students. Read More Journey to the Soviet Union by Samantha Smith 1986 Awardee Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books by Michelle Markel | SLJ Review MARKEL, Michelle. Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children’s Books. illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Markel’s delightfully exuberant treatment follows Newbery’s lead and presents the facts of his life in a wholly original and absorbing way, mixing evocative and richly detailed cartoon artwork, a playful use of typography, and visual and…