Women Vote and Serve In Public Office: Books for Young Readers JACBA Newsletter 28Oct2016

Book reviews: New releases look at women in politics

Doreen Rappaport celebrates trailblazing women and their legacies in “Elizabeth Started All the Trouble” (Disney Hyperion, ages 6-10). She begins with Abigail Adams’ frustration that women were overlooked during the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

From that starting point Ms. Rappaport details the course of the women’s rights movement chronologically. Her thorough overview of the birth of the women’s suffrage movement focuses on the efforts of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Matt Faulkner’s realistic illustrations provide a solid background to Ms. Rappaport’s text. Together the words and illustrations provide a concise and approachable introduction to the women’s rights movement.

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Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Doreen Rappaport with artwork by Bryan Collier 2002 Awardee


When students and authors collide

Over 250 students and over a hundred more of their librarians, teachers, parents, and siblings converged on the Shenendehowa Middle School campus for the third annual TeenReaderCon.

Students rubbed elbows with eight authors: Jennifer Armstrong, Joseph Bruchac, Eric Devine, Jackie Morse Kessler, Patricia McCormick, Lauren Oliver, James Preller, and Ryan Smithson.

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The Heart of a Chief written by Joseph Bruchac 1999 Awardee


John Steptoe Honored with Street Renaming

John Lewis Steptoe was born in Brooklyn on September 14, 1950. He began drawing as a young child. In 1969, at the age of 18, his first book “Stevie,” story based on his experiences growing up at 840 Monroe Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant received national attention when it was published in its entirety in Life magazine. It was hailed as “a new kind of book for Black children.”

John Lewis Steptoe, an award winning author and illustrator passed away 27 years ago, Monroe Street, on the corner of Ralph Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, N.Y., was co-named after him this year to John Lewis Steptoe Place.

During the street co-naming celebration, many award-winning authors and illustrators came to give their support and share their stories: Javaka Steptoe; Pat Cummings; Cheryl Hanna; Marshalla Ramos-Inde; and Wade and Cheryl Hudson from Just Us Books.

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Hot Day on Abbott Avenue by Karen English, with collage art of Javaka Steptoe 2005 Awardee


350th anniversary artist depicts Newark as ‘dynamic city’

Faith Ringgold – the 86-year-old activist and renowned artist perhaps best known for her story quilts and Oprah Winfrey-commissioned tribute to Maya Angelou – was tapped by the Newark Celebration 350 Committee to create a print to celebrate the city’s landmark birthday.

“It is my hope that this print will welcome everyone to gaze upon my impressions of Newark as a great land of beauty and hope with infinite possibilities,” she said in a statement.

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


Literature gives kids ‘other ways of seeing the world’

“When you look at our country, as a person of color, you get a lot of windows into the white world. I wanted more mirrors to the world I existed in. There is a need for both, but if you’re going to talk realistically about this country, the majority of books aren’t windows into the worlds of people of color.

"What books do is give people other ways of seeing the world. Windows into other ways people live, other ways that people think, other ways that people have family.

"People begin to realize that this way I’m existing isn’t my only option. I can change this world; it empowers them in that way.”

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Award-winning author places herself in the stories she writes

Woodson noted that she always contemplates her own place in the story. When she created a character of a victim, she was cautious about protecting the sentiment of readers who would relate. She also mentioned that it is her responsibility to get them, the people who suffer from victimization, out of that place.

“For me as a writer, it has always been a responsibility to make sure any reader coming to read my books see themselves in a positive life,” Woodson said.

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

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

Life According to Louise Erdrich

Take a moment to dive into Erdrich’s world through this roundup of quotes that reveal the author’s thoughts on life, her writing process, and more.

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The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 2000 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.

Click here to read more about the 2016 Awards.

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