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“Because Of Them: We Are,” Jacqueline Woodson National Ambassador For Young People’s Literature #JACBA Newsletter 26JAN2018

“What’s Your Equation?”: Jacqueline Woodson Inaugurated as Sixth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Through her platform, “READING = HOPE x CHANGE (What’s Your Equation?),” Woodson aims “to begin a conversation our country is hungry, but oftentimes afraid, to have.”

After expressing gratitude to her editors and publishers, Woodson called on the audience to join her in thanking and remembering writers and activists who influenced and inspired them. “In the African-American tradition, there is the calling of names, where we call our ancestors back into the room; where we acknowledge that because of them, we are.” As the room filled with the quiet calling of names, from Virginia Hamilton to Walter Dean Myers, Woodson’s final words seemed to echo: “Because of them, we are.”

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MLK Week 2017 to Focus on Environmental Racism

The World of Children’s Literature is sponsoring an event featuring Jacqueline Woodson, an award-winning young adult and children’s author and the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming,” which also won the NAACP Image Award. Woodson will be speaking in the Gould Auditorium at the J. Willard Marriott Library on Jan. 23.

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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

Random House Children’s Books and Just Us Books Collaborate to Publish Multicultural Middle-Grade Anthology to Inspire Young Activists

“We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices” will feature original works from such diverse authors and artists as Kwame Alexander, Sharon Draper, Ellen Oh, Andrea Pippins, Jason Reynolds, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Jacqueline Woodson and will publish on September 4, 2018.

In an increasingly polarized world, parents are looking for tools to discuss the difficult political and global challenges that their children will one day inherit. In WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES, the industry’s foremost children’s authors and illustrators share their perspective, encouragement, hope, and inspiration to help parents, educators, and young readers ignite lasting change in their communities.

The collection features a dynamic lineup of contributors: Arnold Adoff, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Joseph Bruchac, Floyd Cooper, Margarita Engle, Javaka Steptoe, Eric Velasquez, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Jacqueline Woodson, the 2018 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

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All the Colors of the Race by Arnold Adoff 1983 Awardee

We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song written by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton 2014 Awardee

The Heart of a Chief by Joseph Bruchac 1999 Awardee

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey with Gwen Strauss and illustrated by Floyd Cooper 2011 Awardee

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle 2015 Awardee

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle 2009 Awardee

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

New Shoes by Susan Lynn Meyer, illustrated by Eric Velasquez 2016 Awardee

We Can Do This! How Kindfulness Can Save the World

In her poem “Kindness,” Naomi Shihab Nye makes it clear that before we can really see how important kindness is, we must pay attention to how much sorrow there is. When we see this “then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore.”

We can do this. We can save the world with kindfulness. It begins by looking around as well as looking within. And then we can offer what we can as often as we can to those who need it. This is a practice that builds the skills we need more than ever.

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Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee

Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter 1995 Awardee

Author Edwidge Danticat On The Immigrant Experience

NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat about her experience as a Haitian immigrant after President Trump referred to her country using a vulgar term.

Danticat: “So we’re a country that’s always been somewhat marginalized and stigmatized, but that’s always made us stronger, want to try harder. We are certainly not the country that the president is describing. We’re a poor country. But we’re a country full of pride, proud and strong people who are simply, when they leave, looking for better opportunities elsewhere.”

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

Why do we celebrate MLK Day?

“Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You,” by Carole Boston Weatherford.

Featuring a dual narrative of the key moments of Dr. King’s life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him, Carole Weatherford’s poetic text encapsulates the moments that readers today can reenact in their own lives. See a class of young students as they begin a school project inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to follow his example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope that a future of equality and justice would soon be a reality.

As times change, Dr. King’s example remains, encouraging a new generation of children to take charge and change the world… to be a King. Preschool -3rd grade reading level.

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Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrated in street art across the United States

A series of photographs of street art across the United States featuring the legendary civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr. has emerged, as America celebrates the 32nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King fly over the Theresa Hotel, in a mural by Faith Ringgold, 1996, at West Side IRT Station, 125th Street, Harlem, New York.

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

Authors in the Schools brings smiles with reading

Award-winning author W. Nikola-Lisa visited Esmond Elementary School on Jan. 12 as part of the Authors in the Schools program that the Beverly Area Planning Association is introducing at local elementary schools this month. Nikola-Lisa, who also visited Vanderpoel Humanities Academy, read several of his children’s books, as well as gave away signed copies of his “How We Are Smart,” which explores psychologist Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence.

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Bein’ with You This Way written by W. Nikola-Lisa, illustrated by Michael Bryant 1995 Awardee

Green Book’s Safe Passages Still Resonate

In 2010, Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Gwen Strauss wrote a children’s book, Ruth and the Green Book, about a girl named Ruth whose father uses the Green book on a car trip to see her grandmother. There was even a play produced about the Green Book. At the National Museum of African America History and Culture in Washington, D.C., there is an exhibit about The Negro Motorist Green-Book.

Although there is no longer a need for the Green-Book, the fight for equal civil rights for all continues.

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Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend written by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud, illustrated by John Holyfield 2012 Awardee

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey with Gwen Strauss and illustrated by Floyd Cooper 2011 Awardee

4 Steps to Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher
Leticia Skae is a literacy coach at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High School in Nashville, Tenn.

Here I was, an immigrant from Malawi, Africa, who grew up in the United States as an impoverished English-language learner student, now teaching other students in a manner I knew was not beneficial to them. It was all I could take-I had to do something different, not only for my students but also for myself. Other teachers had been teaching these same books because that was the way it had always been.

The classroom literature needed to better represent my students, to inspire them to connect to the texts. I changed the book list, finding works written by female authors or books that had female or minority protagonists. For the poetry unit, I taught Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. Students created their own poetry journals. Many students told me they hated poetry until they read that book. Some found the sequel to Locomotion and read it on their own. Not only did students’ negative perceptions about poetry change, but they also read another text, on their own, without my prompting.

I also added other culturally relevant texts that were popular with my students, including The Contender by Robert Lipsyte, The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine, Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, and The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. These books had diverse protagonists who were openly struggling with issues related to race, poverty, immigration, or behavioral disorders. These are complicated issues that students often face, and they needed to see characters persevering through these same struggles.

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Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine 2014 Awardee

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai 2012 Awardee

Survivor of childhood slavery speaks to Byram students
Simon Deng addresses 7th and 8th graders

Through a grant given by the Byram Township Education Foundation, the school welcomed speaker Simon Deng, a Sudanese refugee and survivor of child slavery.

“One of the goals of the seventh grade Language Arts curriculum is to expose students to a variety of multicultural experiences,” Taylor said. “After reading the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, students will have familiarized themselves with the diverse differences that exist between American and Sudanese cultures. It is important for all students to learn the lessons presented from this core novel, as well as having a first hand source that would be able to explain to the students what was already learned from the novel.”

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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park 2011 Awardee

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park 2003 Awardee


Kelvin Harrison Jr.: Monster is based on a book by Walter Dean Myers. It’s about a 17-year-old filmmaker and honors student who is on trial for a murder he may or may not have been part of. I play Steve Harmon, the 17-year-old filmmaker. Monsters and Men is told in three parts, loosely based on the Eric Garner story, the aftermath and how that affects three different people: a guy on the street who films the incident, a black cop and a baseball phenomenon. That’s who I play, this baseball player who is trying to figure out what his role is in society now being a black male in America. Then Assassination is this really fun movie with all these cool kids, kind of like the social media The Crucible. I play Mason, who is just one of the boys.

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

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

BookExpo Names 2018 Children’s Breakfast Authors

ReedPOP has announced the lineup for the 2018 Children’s Book & Author Breakfast, which will take place on Friday, June 1, at this year’s BookExpo in New York City.

Author Jacqueline Woodson, who was recently inaugurated as the sixth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will appear onstage to discuss her forthcoming books: The Dream of America (Penguin/Paulsen) and The Day You Begin (Penguin/Paulsen), illustrated by Rafael Lopez.

Joining Woodson are Caldecott Honor artist and five-time Pura Belpré Award winner Yuyi Morales, author of Dreamers (Holiday House/Porter), and more.

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Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, written by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Yuyi Morales 2004 Awardee

Hamilton honored as ‘Great Ohioan’

ocal children’s author Virginia Hamilton was selected on Thursday, Jan. 18, for the Great Ohioan Award by the Capital Square Review and Advisory Board of the Ohio Statehouse.

Hamilton, who died in 2002, was an award-winning author of children’s books, publishing 41 in her lifetime in multiple genres including picture books, folktales, mysteries, science fiction, realistic novels and biography, according to a news release announcing the award.

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Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave by Virginia Hamilton 1989 Awardee

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.

Read more about the 2017 Awards.

Jane Addams Peace Association