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NAOMI SHIHAB NYE NAMED YOUNG PEOPLE’S POET LAUREATE
Newsletter / May 12, 2019

COMING VERY SOON 2019 JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT NAOMI SHIHAB NYE NAMED YOUNG PEOPLE’S POET LAUREATE The Poetry Foundation has named Naomi Shihab Nye the Young People’s Poet Laureate for 2019 to 2021.  It is yet another distinction for the acclaimed author, who becomes the first Arab-American to earn this honor. The Young People’s Poet Laureate aims to “raise awareness that young people have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.” Past recipients include Jacqueline Woodson and Margarita Engle. READ MORE… BRINGING HIDDEN STORIES TO LIGHT: A PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHY SYMPOSIUM   Whose stories deserve to be told in picture book biographies? Authors, illustrators, and editors gathered to discuss this question and others at a Saturday morning symposium called “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” Speaking on a panel about the process of writing and illustrating a picture book biography, were author Laban Carrick Hill, illustrator Bryan Collier, Scholastic art director Patti Ann Harris, and children’s book historian Leonard S. Marcus. The topic of their discussion was the book Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave (Little, Brown), written by Hills and illustrated by Collier. READ MORE… 2002 WINNER ILLUSTRATED BY BRYAN COLLIER POWERFUL BOOK FOR YOUNG…

ILA 2019 CHOICES READING LISTS HIGHLIGHT “OWN VOICES” TEXTS
Newsletter / May 5, 2019

INTERNATIONAL LITERACY ASSOCIATION’S(ILA) 2019 CHOICES READING LISTS HIGHLIGHT “OWN VOICES” TEXTS Each year, Choices empowers 25,000 children and young adults across the United States to enjoy newly published children’s and young adults’ trade books and vote for the ones they like best and that had an impact on them as readers. Teachers, in turn, identify high-quality books that enrich the curriculum and, most important, excite and interest students. This year’s lists exemplify the project’s continued commitment to diversity and representation in children’s literature. Books such as Finding Langston, Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice and Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag offer powerful launch points for discussion around the social justice issues of racial bias, police violence and the LGBTQ rights movement. READ MORE… CIVIL-RIGHTS ICON RUBY BRIDGES TO GIVE RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS In 1960, when she was 6, (Ruby)Bridges became one of the first black children to integrate the all-white New Orleans school system. She had to be accompanied by federal marshals throughout her entire first year at William Frantz Elementary School. The scene as she entered the school on her first day, as the marshals led her past a hostile mob, was depicted in Norman Rockwell’s…

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…

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…

American Association for the Advancement of Science Names Socially-Conscious ‘Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea’ Top Children’s Science Picture Book
Newsletter / January 27, 2019

WELLESLEY AUTHOR’S BOOK HAS KIDS COOKING WITH SOLAR POWER Wellesley author Elizabeth Suneby’s latest in a series of socially-conscious children’s book has just been recognized with an award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science as the top children’s science picture book. Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea: How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet, written by Elizabeth Suneby and illustrated by Rebecca Green, tells the story of a Bangladeshi boy who sets out to build a smoke-free solar cooker in light of the damage that cooking over indoor fire during the monsoon season is having on his family’s health. READ MORE… WILDLIFE COMES INSIDE FOR THIS YEAR’S EVERETT READS! PROGRAM “We have a solution,” she (Sy Montgomery) said. “It’s right in front of us. Each one of us can affect the solution — by what you buy, how you eat, what you drive, how you vote. “We owe those animals, to fight with every last bit of our strength for this glorious, green, vulnerable, sweet earth,” she said. READ MORE…   CHRISTOPHER MYERS’ MAKE ME A WORLD IMPRINT LAUNCHES THIS FALL “Discover a World Where Everything Is Possible,” the lead-in to the mission statement for Make…

‘WE ARE DISPLACED’ – MALALA CHAMPIONS GIRL REFUGEES EVERYWHERE
Newsletter / January 20, 2019

IN HER NEW BOOK, MALALA CHAMPIONS THE REFUGEE CAUSE Malala’s new book, We are Displaced, goes beyond just her story. She speaks about many others who are just as heroic as her, but will never know fame. She also touches upon an issue that may be unpopular, but which needs to be said: “Many people think refugees should feel only two things: gratitude to the countries that granted them asylum, and relief in safety. I don’t think most people understand the tangle of emotions that comes with leaving behind everything you know.” READ MORE… WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS JUST ANNOUNCED THE 2019 WALTER DEAN MYERS AWARD WINNERS FOR OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S LITERATURE The Walter Dean Myers Award, also known as “The Walter,” is named for prolific children’s and young adult author Walter Dean Myers — writer of classic children’s books including Monster — who was an early champion of diversity in children’s books. 2019 Walter Award, Teen Category: ‘The Poet X’ by Elizabeth Acevedo 2019 Walter Award, Younger Readers Category: ‘Ghost Boys’ by Jewell Parker Rhodes READ MORE…     ARTS REVIEW: CHILDREN’S BOOK ART RECALLS ROSA PARKS BUS INCIDENT IN ALABAMA In the dozens of children’s books he has illustrated, Floyd Cooper tells stories that are pertinent…

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…

JAMES BALDWIN STORY OF CHILDHOOD ‘LITTLE MAN, LITTLE MAN’ REISSUED
Newsletter / August 26, 2018

A JAMES BALDWIN BOOK, FORGOTTEN AND OVERLOOKED FOR FOUR DECADES, GETS ANOTHER LIFE Some Baldwin fans and scholars hope that with the new edition, “Little Man, Little Man” will rightfully assume its place in the canon of African-American children’s literature, alongside works by Langston Hughes, Julius Lester, Walter Dean Myers and John Steptoe. READ MORE… ____________________________________________________ KADIR NELSON TELLS MEMORABLE STORIES ON VARIETY OF CANVASES “I think it’s a matter of trying to step into the shoes of the subject matter and learning enough about it so I can honestly portray or document the story,” he (Kadir Nelson) said. He doesn’t worry too much about talking over the heads of his young audience. “Children understand visual language from a very early age,” he said. “Before they can talk, that is their form of communication. It’s something we all innately understand.” READ MORE…  ____________________________________________________ IF YOU COULD ADD ONE BOOK TO THE HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Then, the summer before college I read GOOD WOMAN, by Lucille Clifton. It was the first collection of poetry I’d ever read all the way through, and it unlocked a love for a medium that is often poorly taught or avoided altogether. If I could…

AWARD WINNING KADIR NELSON CREATES ‘SUMMERTIME CITY’ ILLUSTRATION FOR THE NEW YORKER
Newsletter / July 22, 2018

KADIR NELSON CREATES NEW ‘SUMMERTIME CITY’ ILLUSTRATION FOR ‘THE NEW YORKER’   Kadir Nelson: “I was poring over photographs of neighborhood kids playing in the street, and I found an old photo from the nineteen-sixties of a kid wearing goggles as he basked in the spray unleashed by a fire hydrant. It made perfect sense to me. If you can’t make it to the pool or the beach, why not still wear goggles? It was so imaginative and practical. For some kids, the fire hydrant is the pool or the ocean.” READ MORE… ________________________________________ ONLY 1% OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS HAVE B.A.M.E. MAIN CHARACTERS – UK STUDY Only 1% of British children’s books feature a main character who is black or minority ethnic, a investigation into representations of people of colour has found, with the director calling the findings “stark and shocking”. This compares to the 32.1% of schoolchildren of minority ethnic origins in England identified by the Department of Education last year. …the late American children’s author Walter Dean Myers (wrote in 2014 “Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? … Where are black children going…

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…