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YA 2018 Booklist: The Revolution will be Anthologized
Newsletter / May 20, 2018

YA 2018 BOOKLIST: THE REVOLUTION WILL BE ANTHOLOGIZED Books focused on giving tools to aspiring activists and would-be protest leaders (especially directed at girls) or turning a spotlight on double standards, discrimination, or inequality are flooding the bookshelves. We’ve assembled a partial list: Among them: We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai (Little, Brown, Sept.). Nobel Peace Prize-winner Yousafzai tells her story of dislocation as an Internally Displaced Person to show what it means to lose your home, your community, and the only world you’ve ever known. Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone (Candlewick, 2017). This companion volume to the film of the same name chronicles the story of nine girls in the developing world who seek an education to rise out of poverty. We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices: Words and Images of Hope Ed. by Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson (Crown, Sept.). Fifty influential children’s book creators—including Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander—offer their own responses to the following prompt: “In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?” Read more UNDERGROUND RAILROAD MUSEUM OPENS IN THE FALLS Stories about the community’s connection to the Underground Railroad are brought to…

Black History Celebrated Through Biographies and Much More #JACBA Newsletter 9Feb2018
Newsletter / February 11, 2018

Children’s Books About Black History, Heavy on Biographies Among that genre’s newest arrivals are names familiar to adults, as in THE UNITED STATES V. JACKIE ROBINSON (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, ages 4 to 8), written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. This picture book is more interested in young Robinson’s less-known act of resistance during his Army days than in his later, trailblazing career as a baseball player. It’s nice to have an athlete celebrated for personal integrity over physical prowess, and R. Gregory Christie’s pictures bolster this, evoking a Robinson who is strong and sure, but also smiling, warm, and ultimately, triumphant. Sandra Neil Wallace’s BETWEEN THE LINES: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, ages 4 to 8), illustrated by Bryan Collier, is a beautiful testament to a quintessentially American life. Wallace and Collier celebrate both Barnes’s success on the gridiron and his subsequent reinvention as an artist. As in “The United States v. Jackie Robinson,” athleticism is a secondary concern; early on, we see the young Barnes in a museum, wondering where the black painters are, and the story ends with contemporary young museumgoers being shown Barnes’s art. This choice makes the…

If You Think Racism is Too Political (for Classroom Conversation), Think About What Your Silence Says #JACBA Newsletter 8Sept2017
Newsletter / September 11, 2017

If You Think Racism is Too Political For Your Classroom, Think About What Your Silence Says By: Sonja Cherry-Paul Sonja is a committee member for The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, which acknowledges the work of authors and illustrators who promote peace and equality. Hundreds of White supremacists marched in Charlottesville no longer hidden behind the hoods and robes of the past. In response, for the benefit of our students, our schools and our nation educators must answer the call to end racism and to begin in their classrooms starting on the very first day of school, and White educators should work, listen, plan and act. Our student deserve more than good intentions. Read More US literary figures renew call for freedom for Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour Prominent U.S. poets, writers, playwrights and publishers issued statements today in support of imprisoned Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour ahead of her upcoming trial verdict on October 17. The 12 literary figures whose statements are being issued today are among 300 writers, including 11 Pulitzer Prize-winners, who signed a 2016 letter calling for freedom for Tatour after she was first arrested. These statements of solidarity with Dareen Tatour come from: Susan Abulhawa, Ben Ehrenreich,…

Needed: multi-layered texts about about Muslim women, girls, and children #JACBA Newsletter 11Aug2017
Newsletter / August 13, 2017

Q&A: Kidlit scholar Heba Elsherief on the problematic representation of Muslim girls in children’s literature Q: When it comes to The Breadwinner, which is often found in North American classrooms and will soon to be an animated film, executive produced by Angelina Jolie, what would you say to teachers using the text? A: “My research on The Breadwinner is cursory, but I do know that if you’re a teacher who wants inclusivity [then] you get The Breadwinner [about an 11-year-old girl living in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan]. Others have done research on how it reinforces the care ethic and the plight narrative of Muslim girls in children’s literature. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be on the syllabus, but if you’re going to critique these books, you have to ask yourself how the book is working on you as a teacher and how you can demonstrate to your students a form of critical reading, questioning and problematizing the text – especially when it’s a narrative that is so popular and so taken up in non-interdisciplinary ways. You don’t have black women, poor women, intersectional feminism endorsing a book like that.” Read More Irish Movie To Get World Premiere At Prestigious Film Festival The…

Necessary New Exhibition Highlights the Activism of Black Female Artists #JACBA Newsletter 12May2017
Newsletter / May 13, 2017

This Necessary New Exhibition Highlights the Activism of Black Female Artists Q: Faith Ringgold is a cornerstone of the exhibition-several of her works appear, including ‘For the Women’s House.’ Can you talk about her role in and impact on black feminism? A: Beyond her incredible work and long career, one of the reasons for her strong presence in We Wanted a Revolution is her simultaneous commitment to art, feminism, and social justice. Ringgold is one of the few artists included in the exhibition who aligned herself with the mainstream feminist movement, though she, like other black women, often found it lacking, and identified more pointedly as a black feminist. For the Women’s House incorporates suggestions offered to Ringgold by the incarcerated women. It imagines a series of positive female role models of all races and economic backgrounds, including the first female president, professional women basketball players, and women working as doctors, engineers, and bus drivers, among other vocations not always open to women at the time-and still. Read More Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold 1993 Awardee Bicentennial commencement features music, history, awards During the ceremony, the university honored 10 alumni with Bicentennial Alumni Awards. The…