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Newsletter / February 10, 2019

PICTURE BOOKS THAT BRING BLACK HEROES TO LIFE James E. Ransome’s THE BELL RANG beautifully captures several days in the life of an enslaved girl living with her family on a plantation. Plantation life is seen through the innocent yet fiercely observant eyes of the young, nameless narrator. Each day begins with the ringing of a bell… LET ’ER BUCK! George Fletcher, the People’s Champion, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (“Bad News for Outlaws”) and illustrated by the Newbery Honor winner Gordon C. James (“Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut”), tells the story of the black cowboy George Fletcher, whose journey began when his family set out on the Oregon Trail from their Kansas town. READ MORE… A PIONEERING BLACK RODEO COWBOY ENTERS THE PAGES OF HISTORY “Part of my goal is not only in sharing a good story but also showing important accomplishments of African-Americans. Regarding George Fletcher, he changed the views of a lot of people about African-Americans just by displaying his talent and determination. … His story was inspiring.” READ MORE… UCSB DEPARTMENT OF THEATER AND DANCE PRESENTS ‘THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM 1963 Based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis and adapted for the stage by…

Newsletter / September 9, 2018

CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS: TEACHING PEACE WITH JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD WINNERS Jump-start conversations about activism and social justice with these Jane Addams Children’s Book Award–winning titles. Like the Caldecott and Newbery committees, this committee is looking for literary and artistic excellence, but it also looks for books that can inspire dialogue and reflection about justice and peace in our society. READ MORE… ___________________________________ CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHORS ARE SELLING MORE THAN BOOKS. THEY’RE TAKING A STAND. Children’s books have always been political, of course — that’s why they are fixtures on lists of banned or censored books. And the welfare of children has long been at the forefront for authors who write for them. But current children’s book creators are finding new outlets for their concerns, often banding together, with the support of social media, to increase their impact. READ MORE…   CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR YUYI MORALES TELLS HER IMMIGRANT STORY IN ‘DREAMERS’ For 15 years, Yuyi Morales has been writing and illustrating magical, award-winning picture books about clever tricksters, monster-fighting niños and heroic historical figures such as Frida Kahlo. In all that time, it never occurred to her to tell her personal story. Now in the wake of attacks against immigrants, she’s decided to share…

Yuyi Morales: To even try to be neutral in this time would be a disservice
Newsletter / August 19, 2018

IN CONVERSATION: YUYI MORALES AND NEAL PORTER Author-illustrator Yuyi Morales and editor Neal Porter have worked together on six books, but Morales’s newest, Dreamers, is her most personal work to date. It recounts, in poetic form, the story of her emigration in 1994 from Mexico to the United States, with her two-month-old son. “To even try to be neutral in this time would be a disservice. As a children’s book creator, I take on a huge responsibility in that I hope my book will raise consciousness and awareness in children.” READ MORE… _________________________________________ BOOKS FROM AUTHORS WITH LOCAL, REGIONAL TIES Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome are a husband and wife team who have collaborated on many nonfiction books. …their newest picture book tells the amazing story of the Williams sisters, who are considered two of the greatest tennis players ever. READ MORE…  _________________________________________ HOW TO BE A GOOD CREATURE, IN STORIES FOR OUR TIME Have you ever felt completely in sync with a pet or other animal? That you knew the animal and, more importantly, it knew you? Author Sy Montgomery writes about 13 animals with whom she has shared what she describes as that very special feeling. READ MORE…  _________________________________________…