Jane Addams Peace Association News

Noted author visits SMS

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Author Deborah Hopkinson stopped by Sedalia Middle School on March 13 to speak to fifth and sixth grade students. The author of more than 45 books for young readers, many historical fiction works, was in the area for the Literature Festival hosted at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, so she was able to come to Sedalia to speak with young readers.

Read More | Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson 2004 Awardee
Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924 by Deborah Hopkinson 2004 Awardee
Band of Angels: A Story Inspired written by the Jubilee Singers by Deborah Hopkinson 2000 Awardee


Louise Erdrich on Wilma Mankiller, the First Female Cherokee Chief

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Let’s replace Andrew Jackson - who defied the Supreme Court and brutally evicted the long-farming Cherokee onto the Trail of Tears - with Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Read More | The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 2000 Awardee


8 Illuminating Quotes by Author Lois Lowry

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To celebrate the author’s 78th birthday today, we gathered eight illuminating quotes from her novels. We hope her words above will encourage and inspire you.

Read More | Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 1990 Awardee


Deep sea explorer Widder receives Andrews award

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Deep Sea Explorer Edith Widder (left) accepts the Roy Chapman Andrews Society’s Distinguished Explorer Award on Friday from Founding Board member and Andrews’ biographer Ann Bausum (right) while the Society’s President Carla Swain looks on.

Read More | Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King Jr?s Final Hours by Ann Bausum 2013 Awardee
With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman’s Right to Vote by Ann Bausum 2005 Awardee


Dear Poet: Naomi Shihab Nye reads “How Do I Know When a Poem Is Finished?”

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Today’s Dear Poet video features Academy of American Poets Chancellor Naomi Shihab Nye, author of numerous books of poems… and several books of poetry and fiction for children, including Habibi (Simon Pulse, 1997), for which she received the Jane Addams Children’s Book award in 1998.

Read More | Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee
Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye 1995 Awardee


Poetic Magic: Centre grad, former teacher George Ella Lyon named Kentucky Poet Laureate

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Lyon is highly awarded for her works, including the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award, a Jane Addams Honor, a Golden Kite and the Bluegrass Award.
She recalls teaching a group of kids during a workshop, hearing the loud groans when she said they were now moving on to poetry. “I told them, when you jump rope, your rhymes are poetry.” Then she told them, for every jump rope rhyme they can say, she would jump.
“It about killed me …”

Read More | You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon and Stephanie Anderson 2010 Awardee

The second installment of our six part series on the 2014 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony features the introduction given by Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Committee Member Heather Palmer for We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, and published by Jump at the Sun, an imprint of Disney-Hyperion, named an Honor Book for Younger Children.

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We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, is written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. It is published by Jump at the Sun Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

Many of us are familiar with the song, “We Shall Overcome,” which has come to represent the civil rights movement, but how many of us know its long history, the details about how and why it has evolved, or the extent of its global impact? This slim album interweaves the history of this song with the history of the struggle for justice in the United States, and demonstrates the power of individuals coming together to make change. The reasons this title rose to the top for our committee are numerous, but we particularly admired the attention Ms. Levy and Ms. Brantley-Newton lent to the age and emotional maturity of the young readers for whom the book was created. This attention begins with the the visual styling of the cover, continues with the brilliant pagination, and extends through the timeline that brings the book to a close. This care strengthens the book’s connections to the themes and ideals that are championed by the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award: solving problems courageously and nonviolently, overcoming prejudice, and approaching life with self confidence and strength.

Ms. Brantley-Newton has illustrated children’s books for a growing number of authors. In an interview, she mentioned that the most difficult part of illustrating We Shall Overcome was the fact that it made her remember and relive her experiences growing up in the 60’s. How fortunate we are that she participated in this project? her mixed media illustrations and use of collage bring life to this story. Of particular note is the way in which she has aligned her colorful and era specific illustrations with various verses of the song and with the text, thus enriching the storyline and aiding young readers’ comprehension. Ms. Brantley-Newton has expressed her hope that her artwork would leave people feeling “happy,” and her illustrations in this work have done just that. Our committee’s response to her images include descriptors such as “vibrant, joyful, exuberant, and upbeat.” Their vibrancy and flow expertly capture the song’s spirit and message of hope in a way that is appealing to children.

On behalf of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award committee, I am more than “happy” I am indeed most pleased, delighted, and overjoyed, to introduce Ms. Vanessa Brantley-Newton as the illustrator of a 2014 honor book for her illustrations in We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song.

Debbie Levy has not always been a children’s author, but she has always been dedicated to storytelling. Her first career was that of a lawyer, her second a journalist, and today, she is the author of 20 published books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry written for children of all ages. How are each of these careers related? Each requires the use of careful research and selective word choice to tell a truthful, expressive, and compelling story. The committee was impressed with the way in which Ms. Levy combined her love of research and language to create this book. She has selected a tragic and painful aspect of our history to share with children, and has found a way to introduce it in a truthful and accessible way. The word choice, sentence structures, use of repetition and opposites create a text that is accessible to young readers. Simple and lyrical, the text allows readers to gain a very good sense of the struggles that different groups of people have faced.

On behalf of the Jane Addams book committee, it is my great honor to present Debbie Levy with the 2014 Jane Addams Children’s Book Honor. Thank you for reminding young readers of where we have been, celebrating how far we have come, and emphasizing the fact that there are people around the globe who need our voices to join with theirs as they continue to fight for a better world.

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Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Debbie Levy, Heather Palmer, Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards Committee Member

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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 2014 Awards. http://www.janeaddamspeace.org/jacba/2014summary.shtml

This concludes our second installment of the six part series leading up to the announcement of the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winners and Honorees.

Minneapolis writer Louise Erdrich wins Library of Congress American fiction prize

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The honor, announced Monday night, goes to the author of a string of critically acclaimed novels, most of which center on the Indian experience in contemporary and historic America.

Read More | The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 2000 Awardee

ASU journalism professor pens new book on Arthur legend

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Renzulli bumped into award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes, who is also the director of the Virginia C. Piper Creative Writing Center at ASU.
"We got on the subject of fiction writing and Jewell offered to read one of my novels," Renzulli said. "She read it and said, ‘You have potential…’"
Parker spent a full year with Renzulli, teaching him about plot, pace, tension and subtext. The result was “Caliburn: Merlin’s Tale,” which was published this month by Bagwyn Books, a program of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Read More | Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes 2014 Awardee
The Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes 2011 Awardee

Pupils at Debden Park High School visited by world famous authors for Book Week

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Award-winning author Beverley Naidoo introduced Year Eight pupils to her books including Journey to Jo’burg.

Read More | Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope by Beverley Naidoo 2004 Awardee
The Other Side of Truth by Beverley Naidoo 2002 Awardee

March Madness comes to Sturgis Elementary

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During the Sturgis Elementary tournament, which pits the eight picture books in a head-to-head competition, students will read or listen to all eight books and then vote for their favorite.
“Thank you, Mr. Falker” by Patricia Polacco vs. “My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother” by Patricia Polacco

Read More | Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco 1993 Awardee

St. Croix Valley ‘Big Read’ is Louise Erdrich’s ‘Love Medicine’

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The annual program, formerly called Valley Reads, will now be called “The Big Read in the St. Croix Valley.” This year’s book, announced Wednesday, is “Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich.

Read More | The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 2000 Awardee

'Let Me Play' author describes role of sport in women's movement

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Karen Blumenthal spoke as part of the Texas A&M University-Commerce library series on women?s history month. This was seen as a relative topic for the school because of the new softball team.

Read More | Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, the Law that Changed the Future of Girls in America by Karen Blumenthal 2006 Awardee

Because I’m Shappi: clap along as Shappi Khorsandi heads on tour

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A Beginner’s Guide to Acting English covers her bittersweet childhood in full while she also harbours ambitions to write novels for teens, having been inspired by the likes of Jacqueline Wilson and Robert C O’Brien’s posthumous 1974 post-apocalyptic drama, Z for Zachariah.

Z for Zachariah by Robert C O’Brien 1976 Awardee

Kentucky writer George Ella Lyon named Kentucky Poet Laureate

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George Ella Lyon, a Lexington-based writer and Harlan native, has been named Kentucky’s Poet Laureate for 2015-16.

Read More and More | You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon and Stephanie Anderson 2010 Awardee

Clover students Skype with author Jacqueline Woodson

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Crowders Creek Elementary School librarian hopes to set up more online chats
Woodson also talked about why black history is important.
“It’s important for people to know everybody’s history,” she said. “No matter who you are, you have a history.”

Read More | Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson 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

Celebrating the Legacy of Walter Dean Myers

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Friends, family members, colleagues, and those otherwise touched by the work of Walter Dean Myers gathered at Symphony Space in Manhattan on March 9 for an evening of rich and decidedly up-tempo readings, speeches, and performances to honor his life.

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

Great books on courage, compassion, and change

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Interestingly, these three things are often correlated: it takes courage to change, and sometimes the impetus for desiring change is born from compassion. Today?s reviewed books address these topics in different ways.

“Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry

Read More | Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 1990 Awardee

Art exhibit shows courage, innovation by African-American women

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"Interventions in Printmaking: Three Generations of African-American Women" features 50 works by 20 artists with roots in a historic period from the Civil Rights era through today.
Known for her “story quilts” and children’s books, [Faith Ringgold] became an activist for feminist causes, protesting the male dominance of New York’s art institutions, and a major proponent of Civil Rights.

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

Now for the first installment of our six part series on the 2014 Jane Addams Children?s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Jane Addams Children?s Book Award Committee Chair Ann Carpenter of Seeing Red, an Honor Book for Older Children, by Kathryn Erskine.

Seeing Red, by Katheryn Erskine and published by Scholastic Press is named an Honor Book for Older Children.

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In the early 1970?s, twelve year old Red struggles with the damage his actions have caused to his friendship with an older African American boy, while at the same time trying to right a centuries-old racial injustice connected to his beloved family. Realistically complicated characters and situations breathe life into this story of a young man creating change in both his community and himself.

Introduction by Ann Carpenter

?The past is never dead. It isn?t even past.? This quote from William Faulkner seems to go straight to the heart of Seeing Red. White sixth grader Red is distraught when he learns that his mother wants to sell their Virginian house and garage after his father passes away in the early 1970s. As he struggles to find a way to stay in the house that his family has lived in for generations, he is forced to make a series of hard choices. Succumbing to peer pressure in an attempt to gain allies for his protest, he reluctantly participates in a cross burning with other boys ? and damages an important friendship in the process.

Again and again it is brought home to Red that a single choice can have profound consequences, for good or ill. His strong relationship with an elderly black woman, and a contentious relationship with the family next door lead him down paths that force him to reconsider beloved family legends. Red has always considered family history to be an important aspect of his identity. With the events of the past constantly influencing and impacting the present, what can Red do to create a future he can be proud of?

Complex relationships and the interactions between intentions, actions, and public perception create a sophisticated work that remains accessible to young people. Red must continually update his understanding of himself and his community, even when the conclusions he comes to are personally painful, providing a positive role model for ways to accept and forgive the mistakes of the past without blinding oneself to the repercussions or pretending it simply never happened.

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For providing us with a story that tackles racism, identity, and gender equality, a book that does not shy away from the lasting impact prejudice and hate can have on a community, we name Seeing Red a Jane Addams Children?s Book Award for Older Readers Honor Book.

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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 2014 Awards. http://www.janeaddamspeace.org/jacba/2014summary.shtml

This concludes our first installment of an six part series leading up to the announcement of the 2015 children’s Book Award Winners and Honorees.

Children’s Books for Women’s History Month

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Women’s History Month celebrates the accomplishments of women like Amelia Earhart, Sojourner Truth, and Eleanor Roosevelt. The following recommended books for kids ages 0-9 will inspire boys and girls alike to dream and dare.

Read More | Sojourner Truth?s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Pinkney, Brian Pinkney 2010 Awardee


Author Deborah Ellis reads to students at library

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Ellis read some of her work to students from Cornerstone Christian Academy, and answered questions about the work she puts into writing her novels.

Read More and More | The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis 2005 Awardee
The Breadwinner Trilogy by Deborah Ellis 2004 Special Commendation
Parvana’s Journey by Deborah Ellis 2003 Awardee


Illustrator E. B. Lewis visits Hess Educational Complex

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Lewis’s visit was initiated by media specialists Kristen Mulraney and Janet Yunghans. The Hess library was already filled with many of the 75 books that E. B. Lewis has illustrated over the years. “I was thrilled when E.B. accepted our invitation and helped us to celebrate art, books and Black History Month.”

Read More | Each Kindness illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee
Night Boat to Freedom pictures by E. B. Lewis 2007 Awardee


Author Joseph Bruchac to receive Festival of Words Writer Award

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Award-winning author and storyteller Joseph Bruchac will be honored at the Tulsa City-County Library’s biennial Festival of Words, which showcases American Indian literature, culture and heritage.

Read More | The Heart of a Chief by Joseph Bruchac 1999 Awardee


MGM Options ‘Mrs. Frisby & The Rats Of NIMH’

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MGM has optioned Robert C. O’Brien’s classic Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH in hopes of developing a new family franchise. The novel Mrs. Frisby & The Rats of NIMH was first published in 1971.

Read More | Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien 1976 Awardee


Western hosts child literature conference in PAC

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The twelfth annual Children’s Literature Conference Saturday, Feb. 28, attracted attendees from all around the country and featured speakers Matt de la Pena, Kate DiCamillo, Yuyi Morales and Joyce Sidman. Each speaker highlighted aspects of their lives as authors and their muses - what inspires them the most.

Read More | Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez illustrated by Yuyi Morales 2004 Awardee



© 2015 Jane Addams Peace Association

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