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‘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…

BOOKEXPO 2018: CHILDREN’S AUTHORS TELL BOOKSELLERS: “WE ARE ALL DREAMERS HERE”
Newsletter / June 10, 2018

BOOKEXPO 2018: CHILDREN’S AUTHORS TELL BOOKSELLERS: “WE ARE ALL DREAMERS HERE” This year’s Children’s Book and Author Breakfast featured (from l.) Meg Medina, Dave Eggers, Jacqueline Woodson, Yuyi Morales, and Viola Davis. Photo: stevekagan.com. Emcee Jacqueline Woodson set the tone right away for Friday morning’s children’s book and author breakfast at BookExpo, explaining, “We’re very intentional in the stories we are trying to tell. Through our narratives, we’re trying to change this crazy world.” Reading the text of the semi-autobiographical picture book she wrote and illustrated, Dreamers (Holiday House/Porter, Sept.), (Yuri)Morales said, “I have a story to tell. We are dreamers. We are love, amor, love. We are not done. We will be here to hear all the other stories.” READ MORE…   BOOK CON 2018: WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS: BEYOND DIVERSITY 101   We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) began, like so many things do these days, as a hashtag. After ReedPOP, the company that puts on BookCon, announced in April 2014 an all white and male author lineup for its inaugural BookCon “Blockbuster Reads” panel, a firestorm erupted on social media. #WeNeedDiverseBooks went viral during a three-day campaign in which people were urged to post online photos of themselves holding signs…