We envision a future where people actively work to dismantle injustices and build a more peaceful, equitable world.

In Washington DC: Disrupting The Notion Of What Public Education And What Black Boys Can Do And Be #JACBA Newsletter 2Feb2018

These kids started a book club for minority boys. It’s the most popular club in school.

The club dates back to December, when a fifth-grader complained one morning that his lackluster results on a citywide English exam didn’t reflect his true reading abilities.

The principal, Mary Ann Stinson, placed a book she had lying around – “Bad Boy: A Memoir,” by Walter Dean Myers – in his hands and told him to start reading.

The boys quickly became engrossed in the 2001 book about Myers’s childhood in New York’s Harlem.

The club’s sponsor and the boys meet once or twice a week at 8:15 a.m. – a half-hour before the first bell rings – and use the book to launch into conversations about their own experiences with race, identity and adolescence.

“It’s a blessing to be in this predicament, to have kids who are becoming ravenous readers,” Redmond said. “We’re disrupting the notion of what public education can be and what little black boys can do and be.”

Read More

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

‘Monster’ Review: Powerful Crime Drama Finds the Intersection of Race, Justice, and Storytelling [Sundance]

Ever since its publication in 1999, author Walter Dean Myers’ award-winning novel Monster has be a favorite among young adults, providing them a glimpse into the world of Steve Harmon, a black teenager whose life is thrown into chaos when he is arrested and put on trial for taking part in a robbery gone wrong, resulting in the death of a Harlem bodega owner. The film adaptation from music video veteran and first-time filmmaker Anthony Madler is an ambitious, complex, and layered look at how the court system in America is virtually designed to keep defendants like Steve from every getting a chance at actual justice.

Read More

‘Monster’ Director Seeks To Explore The Larger Question Of How One Moment Can Define Your Life – Sundance Studio

“To crystalize the lens and look at mass incarceration and criminal justice and the ways our laws were written, as well as this incredible journey of a young artist,” said Mandler on his decision to take on the project. “Watching this kid from a great family goes to a great school seek out his take on the world and how that curiosity leads him to a place where he now has to defend his life against what happened, I was attracted to it on all those different levels.”

Read More

New Kids’ and YA Books: Week of January 29, 2018

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis. Scholastic Press, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-545-15666-0. Echoing themes found in Curtis’s Newbery Honor-winning Elijah of Buxton, this tense novel set in 1858 provides a very different perspective on the business of catching runaway slaves. The book earned a starred review from PW.

No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Kathleen Krull, illus. by Nancy Zhang. Harper, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-256011-7. In this addition to the growing body of Ruth Bader Ginsburg literature for children, Krull offers a detailed account of the Supreme Court justice’s intellectual and professional development.

Read More

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis 2008 Awardee

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis 1996 Awardee

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

Wilma Unlimited, written by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by David Diaz 1997 Awardee

Native American storytellers to perform at Morris

Morris Central School will present a “family-friendly” presentation by Native American author, musician, and storyteller Joseph Bruchac and his son, Jesse Bruchac, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15 in the school auditorium.

Read More

The Heart of a Chief by Joseph Bruchac 1999 Awardee

Bonnier Publishing USA’s Five Pillars of Positive Children’s Books

Bonnier Publishing USA has developed five pillars to guide its children’s imprints in publishing books that have a positive impact on kids and teens

During an all-hands planning meeting this past fall, the children’s team at Bonnier Publishing USA realized they’d hit a critical point. Their titles were coalescing around five themes, which they dubbed their “five pillars”: acceptance, anti-bullying, awareness, diversity, and empowerment. According to Sonali Fry, publisher of the children’s book group, “while we had already been publishing books connected to some of these themes,” such as Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and R. Gregory Christie, which received a 2017 Caldecott Medal and a Coretta Scott King Honor, “we wanted to refocus our lists so that we hit every one of them.”

“We feel that now, more than ever, it’s important to give kids stories that reflect the world they live in and encourage them to imagine how they could make it better,” says Fry. While, she says, the kids’ team doesn’t limit its acquisitions to books focused on one of the pillars, “there’s often a natural connection to at least one. These themes unite the types of books we’re passionate about, which helps shape our lists and, in turn, define who we are as a publisher,” she says.

Read More

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

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

Greenwich Academy quilts its commitment to MLK’s message

The colorful quilt squares are inked with words like unity, resilience, trust, hope and harmony. Crafted by the Greenwich Academy student body and staff, they are a patchwork representation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of equality and inclusion.

“In order to memorialize the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, each advisory was asked to create a square for the quilt,” said senior Elisha Osemobor. “This quilt represents our dedication as a school to follow the principles and behaviors of the beloved community in our everyday lives.”

Greenwich Academy’s quilt was inspired by the work of African-American artist Faith Ringgold who combined images and text in “story quilts,” among other projects. An outspoken civil rights supporter, she demonstrated against the exclusion of black and female artists by New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art from 1968 to 1970. Her work was later shown at the Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Read More

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

Children, Culture, Community: Muskegon Museum of Art celebrates diversity with a variety of events this winter

This year, the museum’s annual children’s book illustrator exhibition highlights a Hispanic artist and Native American author. Thunder Boy, Jr.: Illustrations by Yuyi Morales runs through May 20 and includes illustrations and sketches by Yuyi Morales for Sherman Alexie’s children’s book.

Morales herself has an inspiring story. Although she loved drawing as a child, she wasn’t a trained artist and studied physical education in Mexico, later working as a swim coach. She moved to America in 1994 with her husband and young son and felt isolated and alone without a job or friend, barely knowing English.

That all changed when she discovered children’s picture books in a San Francisco area public library, learning English by also reading the books to her son. Inspired by the vivid colors and visual stories, Morales took up painting and enrolled in a class on writing for children.

Morales since has written several original stories, including Viva Frida, which received the 2015 Pura Belpre Medal for illustration, as well as the 2015 Caldecott Award Honor.

Read More

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

This Is Just To Say: Naomi Shibab Nye

In this edition of This Is Just To Say, poet and novelist Carrie Fountain talks with Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

Nye reads her poem “Burning the Old Year,” and they continue to explore the idea of what we take with us and what we leave behind as we enter 2018 through W.S. Merwin’s To the Mistakes.

Read More

Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee

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

Governor’s reply to student’s letter is lost opportunity

Hope Osgood, a 16-year-old High School student, wrote to Maine Gov. Paul LePage to express her concern about the negative impact the pending repeal of internet “net neutrality” rules could have on her schoolwork. His response: “Hope. Pick up a book and read!”

The episode calls to mind a famous letter exchange between the Soviet leader Yuri Andropov and a Maine school child, Samantha Smith. Andropov, who became General Secretary of the Communist Party (in effect, leader of the Soviet Union) on Nov. 10, 1982, was hardly a gentle or sentimental man.

In November 1982, Samantha, then a 10-year-old elementary school student living in Manchester, Maine, wrote a famous letter to Andropov in which she expressed, with child-like sincerity and naiveté, her concern about the risk of nuclear war between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. during the Reagan era.

Samantha’s visit inspired other exchanges of child goodwill ambassadors and may even have signaled the start of a thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations.

It is ironic that the remarkable achievements of Samantha’s short life were inspired by the words of a political leader who had neither experience in nor sympathy for democracy. If Andropov could react appropriately to Samantha Smith, why couldn’t a democratically elected governor do at least as well with Hope Osgood?

Read More

Journey to the Soviet Union by Samantha Smith 1986 Awardee

Pam Muñoz Ryan To Receive The 2018 Anne V. Zarrow Award For Young Readers’ Literature

New York Times best-selling author Pam Muñoz Ryan is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust’s 2018 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers’ Literature.

Ryan is being recognized for writing more than 40 books to inspire imaginations, dreams and pride in all ages. From picture books, early readers and young adult novels, her writing encourages cultural awareness and the importance of believing in yourself.

Read More

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan 2001 Awardee

Orion Children’s to publish Ghost Boys

American author Jewell Parker Rhodes has signed her first UK publishing deal with Orion Children’s Books, part of the Hachette Children’s Group (HCG).

Ghost Boys is about a black boy who is killed by a white police officer. After his death, Jerome comes back to his neighbourhood as a ghost, where he starts to notice all the other ghost boys.

Read More

Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes 2014 Awardee

The Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes 2011 Awardee

Metro Theater Company And Jazz St. Louis present BUD NOT BUDDY

Based on the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winning book by Christopher Paul Curtis

Written by award-winning playwright Kirsten Greenidge and based on the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winning book by Christopher Paul Curtis, with a exhilarating score by five-time Grammy-winning jazz legend Terence Blanchard, “Bud, Not Buddy” follows 10-year-old Bud as he sets off on a journey to find his father who he believes is leading a traveling jazz band.

Read More

More Than Movies: Blues and books featured at the Dietrich Theater

This year we are thrilled that acclaimed children’s author Susan Campbell Bartoletti, who wrote “The Boy Who Dared,” made time in her busy schedule to speak to students at our middle school in two assemblies. She also met with a group of interested student writers for two writing workshops. Any adult would have benefited from her two-hour workshops, which she made so engaging for students that the time sped by.

How fortunate we are that Susan Campbell, publisher of 20 books for children, Newbery Honor Book author, shared her stories and writing secrets with 300 Tunkhannock middle school students. Thank you Rotary Club of Tunkhannock, Walmart, and Claverack for making this extraordinary experience possible.

Read More

Writer inspires students in craft

Susan Campbell Bartoletti offers one important piece of advice to those interested in writing.


“Only a reader can become a writer,” Bartoletti explained to 30 sixth and eighth grade students at Tunkhannock Area Middle School on Thursday.

Bartoletti is the featured writer this year at the ‘Reader Meets Writer’ program, a joint effort between the school district and the Dietrich Theater.

Read More

Kids on Strike! by Susan Campbell Bartoletti 2000 Awardee

Growing Up In Coal County by Susan Campbell Bartoletti 1997 Awardee

Film based on Simcoe author’s book gets Oscar nod

The Breadwinner, an animated movie based on the book by Simcoe author Deborah Ellis, has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Nominations for the 90th annual Oscars were announced Tuesday morning, with The Breadwinner getting the nod in the animated feature category.

“You always hope for the good things and today it happened,” Ellis said in a phone interview.

Ellis, who was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2016, won’t travel to Los Angeles for the March 4 event. In February of last year, Ellis announced publicly she would not travel south of the 49th after the U.S. government attempted to implement sanctions to restrict immigrants from predominantly Muslim nations.

Read More

Oscar-nominated film ‘The Breadwinner’ depicts daily danger in Afghanistan

It’s a delicate balancing act, bringing something like ­Canadian author Deborah ­Ellis’s novel – published in 2000 – to the big screen.

While aimed at children, the story directly confronts the misogyny and chauvinism of contemporary Afghanistan.

It may sound a little much for a children’s story but then perhaps that’s underestimating the book’s youthful audience. Saara Chaudry, the 13 year-old Canadian actress who voices Parvana, says it was “shocking” when she first read Ellis’s book and its two follow-ups. “I was ignorant,” she says. “Living in a First World country, I didn’t know. Having read the books and seen these different stories, it opened my eyes to a whole new world that I never really knew.”

Impressively, the team behind the film produced an online study guide, at www.thebreadwinner.com to complement the film. “If young people watch a film like The Breadwinner, they can start to explore answers,” says Twomey. “For me, the whole thing is about education. It’s not about easy answers … anything we can do to have young adults ask questions and understand the complexity of places like Afghanistan [is a good thing].”

Read More

Oscars 2018: Nearly every animated feature nominee spotlights women. Finally.

IN THE entire first decade of the Oscars’ animated feature category, which launched in 2001, only one woman – “Persepolis” creator Marjane Satrapi – received a nomination.

It’s a measure of just how much has changed that on Tuesday, women received nods for four of the five animated feature nominees.

“We’re delighted that Nora is in the limelight this year, of course,” “Breadwinner” producer Tomm Moore, a two-time Oscars nominee, tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs on Tuesday morning, “as well as her talented screenwriter Anita Doron and indeed, the book’s author, Deborah Ellis, and our executive producer Angelina Jolie.

Read More

The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis 2005 Awardee

The Breadwinner Trilogy, three books by Deborah Ellis 2004 Awardee

Parvana’s Journey by Deborah Ellis 2003 Awardee

LitWorld And Scholastic Announce World Read Aloud Day 2018 And A Special Collaboration With Harry Potter Book Night

On February 1, children, families, and educators around the globe will celebrate World Read Aloud Day with classroom and community events, an author video series, a U.S. educator sweepstakes, and a Facebook Live

In an ongoing effort to encourage reading aloud to kids of all ages, the global literacy non-profit LitWorld and title sponsor Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, today announced February 1, 2018 as this year’s World Read Aloud Day, an advocacy day that calls attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.

Scholastic has created a video series harnessing LitWorld’s 7 Strengths, as featured in Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell’s professional book Every Child a Super Reader. Each week leading up to World Read Aloud Day, we will share one video featuring a Scholastic author and/or literacy expert who will share their favorite read aloud book that highlights one of the 7 Strengths-Belonging, Kindness, Curiosity, Friendship, Confidence, Courage, and Hope.

Authors and literacy experts include:

Andrea Davis Pinkney (author and Coretta Scott King Award-winner),
Pam Muñoz Ryan (author and Newbery Honor-winner),
and more!

Read More

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney 2011 Awardee

Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride, by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney 2010 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