We Need Diverse Books’s Flying Lessons and Other Stories #JACBA Newsletter 14Jan2017

‘We need diverse books,’ they said. And now a group’s dream is coming to fruition.

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This week marks an impressive new milestone for We Need Diverse Books. Oh, the group’s chief executive and president, has edited and published WNDB’s first anthology: “Flying Lessons and Other Stories,” published by Crown Books for Young Readers. The book, aimed at readers between ages 8 and 12, features 10 stories by a who’s-who of contemporary YA literature, including Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson and Matt de la Peña. The anthology also includes the winning entry of the 2015 WNDB short-story contest, by debut author Kelly J. Baptist. All of the stories, except one by the late Walter Dean Myers, are new, and all of the authors have donated any profit from the sale of “Flying Lessons” to WNDB.

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun written by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This written by Jacqueline Woodson 1995 Awardee

Crossing Bok Chitto: told in written form by nationally recognized Choctaw storyteller, Tim Tingle 2007 Awardee

Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom written by Walter Dean Myers 1992 Awardee

Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam written by Walter Dean Myers 2003 Awardee


21 Picture Books Even Adults Need To Read

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‘Freedom in Congo Square’ by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie

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‘Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education’ by Elizabeth Suneby

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‘This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration’ by Jacqueline Woodson

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Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie 2016 Awardee

Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education written by Elizabeth Suneby 2014 Awardee

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun written by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This written by Jacqueline Woodson 1995 Awardee


Remembering the Great War through the Frederick Lee Lectures in Madison

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The Madison Historical Society will present the Frederick Lee Lectures at the First Congregational Church of Madison beginning in January. The three-part lecture series, now in its 10th year, will focus on stories from the Great War.

Winner of the prestigious Children’s Book Guild Award for nonfiction literature, author Ann Bausum will tell the story of Sergeant Stubby at the second lecture on Feb. 12. Stubby, a short brindle bull terrier mutt, served with the 102nd Infantry of the American Expeditionary Forces and was officially a decorated hero of World War I.

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Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King Jr’s Final Hours, written by Ann Bausum 2013 Awardee

With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman’s Right to Vote, by Ann Bausum 2005 Awardee


Author Patricia Polacco’s good luck story

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Patricia Polacco was in her 40s when she took a trip to New York City, bankrolled by her mother, to try to sell her first children’s book. By day, she would meet with publishers. By night, she and her mother would walk to the stables in Central Park, touch the horses and even collect their manure – a Russian custom for good luck.

And in “Thank You, Mr. Falker,” she writes a tribute to the teacher who identified her learning disabilities, finally teaching her how to read after years of frustration. Mr. Falker also recognized her artistic talent, something she says she developed in part because the reading was so difficult.

“To learn differently does not equate to being dumb,” she said. “All children are gifted – we don’t open our gifts at exactly the same time. When some young people just can’t do it, they feel like failures.”

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Mrs. Katz and Tush written by Patricia Polacco 1993 Awardee


Nigerian writers compete with other African counterparts for literature prize

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Etisalat Prize for Literature is a pan-African prize that celebrates debut African writers of published book-length fiction. The winner of the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature will be announced in March 2017.

The judging panel includes Nigerian novelist and poet, Helon Habila (Chair), South African writer/activist Elinor Sisulu and Ivorian writer and Africa39 laureate Edwige Rene Dro.

Elinor Sisulu is a Zimbabwean-born South Africa writer and human rights activist. She is the author of the award-winning children’s book The Day Gogo Went to Vote.

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The Day Gogo Went to Vote written by Elinor Batezat Sisulu 1997 Awardee


The Archive Project – Louise Erdrich

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In this episode of The Archive Project, Louise Erdrich reflects on 16 years of owning her bookstore, Birchbark Books & Native Arts, including its rocky start, how it gained a foothold in the community. She goes on to discuss the differences in bookstore culture around the world, five reasons why independent bookstores have survived despite the odds, … and concludes her lecture with the poem she wrote that lives on the stone steps of the vegetable garden outside of her bookstore.

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The Birchbark House written by Louise Erdrich 2000 Awardee


EPISODE 35 – REVOLUTION BY DEBORAH WILES

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The Book Club for Kids is a podcast where young readers meet to talk about a book. The show includes a celebrity reading from the book. Plus, the author joins us to answer your questions.

We take a trip to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 – Freedom Summer. The second in writer Deborah Wiles’ 1960’s trilogy. “Revolution” is discussed by a trio of George Washington Middle Schoolers at the neighborhood bookstore Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, Virginia. Wiles talks about writing fiction from the facts of history.

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Revolution by Deborah Wiles 2015 Awardee


Edwidge Danticat To Offer Special Poem Dedication At Earthquake Vigil

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The City of Miami, Little Haiti Cultural Complex (LHCC) will be hosting a vigil on Thursday, January 12, 2017 to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010.

The dedication ceremony will feature a special dedicated poem, written and read by Edwidge Danticat, an award-winning novelist of Haitian descent.

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Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation written by Edwidge Danticat 2016 Awardee


Writers Resist: Hundreds to attend pre-inauguration protests

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On Sunday, Jan. 15, hundreds of writers and artists will gather at more than 50 events across the country and abroad – on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday – to “re-inaugurate” democracy, in their words.

Co-sponsored by PEN America, the gathering will feature authors reading from past and present works that address democratic ideals and freedom of expression.

Authors who will attend Writers Resist events on Jan. 15 include, from top left, Alexander Chee, Michael Cunningham, Rita Dove, Jeffrey Eugenides, Masha Gessen, Mary Karr, Colum McCann, Rick Moody, Beth Nguyen, Robert Pinsky, Francine Prose, Andrew Solomon, Art Spiegelman, Cheryl Strayed and Jacqueline Woodson.

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun written by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This written by Jacqueline Woodson 1995 Awardee


Library: Authors coming to speak at libraries

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Carole Boston Weatherford and her son, Jeffery Boston Weatherford, will talk about their recent joint project, the children’s book “You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen,” on April, 9 at 3 p.m. at a location to be announced. Weatherford, a professor of English at Fayetteville State University, won the 2016 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement for nonfiction for her book “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer.” In November, “You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen” was short-listed for the New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing. For the three weeks preceding the April 9 program, illustrations from the book, which were rendered by her son, will be on display at Headquarters Library.

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Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee


Library System Announces Programs Celebrating Black History

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Somerset County Library System of New Jersey’s Hillsborough Library branch

Hillsborough Elementary School’s first grade students, led by art teacher Laurel Suk, will be displaying their Story Quilt projects during the month of February. The creations are inspired by African American painter/writer Faith Ringgold.

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Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky written by Faith Ringgold 1993 Awardee

Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually acknowledges
books published in the U.S. during the previous year. Books commended by the
Award address themes of topics that engage children in thinking about peace,
justice, world community and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books
also must meet conventional standards of literacy and artistic excellence.

A national committee chooses winners and honor books for younger and older children.

Read more about the 2016 Awards.

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