Jane Addams Peace Association News

Woodson Honored with Southern Miss Medallion at Children’s Book Festival

Woodson was awarded the 49th annual Fay B. Kaigler Children?s Book Festival?s Southern Miss Medallion, the event?s top honor, on April 7 during the three-day event on the Hattiesburg campus. She also served as a keynote speaker for the festival.

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An interview with author Jacqueline Woodson

The national Young People’s Poet Laureate discusses voting and writing.

“My platform as Poet Laureate is about getting words and a love of words into communities that too often get ignored ? because of lack of money,” says Woodson. “So I’m traveling into underserved schools, community and juvenile detention centers to talk about my life as a writer, to give out books, to teach writing. These days I’m thinking about humanity ? how fragile we are all feeling, how afraid. I’m thinking, as I’ve always thought, about the struggles of people of color in this country. Of the poor. My work comes out of a deep sense of love for people and the hope of creating safe spaces through knowledge. I’ve always thought the lack of tolerance for any type of ‘other’ is about fear and my work hopes to take a deeper look at that fear,” she says. And with that look and understanding, there comes a price.

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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


Q & A with Deborah Hopkinson

Deborah Hopkinson has a lot to celebrate this year, with multiple new books being released, including her third novel, A Bandit?s Tale, a picaresque novel narrated by Rocco Zacarro, an Italian boy sold into slavery in 19th-century New York City, a period during which both children and animals were routinely abused. She spoke with Bookshelf from her home in Oregon about how she juggles her many projects.

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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 Deborah Hopkinson 2004 Awardee

A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired written by the Jubilee Singers by Deborah Hopkinson 2000 Awardee


Author Katherine Paterson, musician Grace Potter to receive honorary degrees at Champlain College Commencement May 14

Katherine Paterson, 83, is the author of more than 30 books, including 16 novels for children and young people. She has twice won the Newbery Medal, for ?Bridge to Terabithia? in 1978 and ?Jacob Have I Loved? in 1981. ?The Master Puppeteer? won the National Book Award in 1977 and ?The Great Gilly Hopkins? won the National Book Award in 1979 and was also a Newbery Honor Book. For the body of her work she received the Hans Christian Anderson Award in 1998, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2006, and in 2000 was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.

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The Great Gilly Hopkins written by Katherine Paterson 1979 Awardee


The 2016 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winners will be announced on Monday, April 25, 2016!

Keep an eye on this space for the announcement which will be cross-posted to social media, the JAPA website, and the emailing list.

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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.

Read more about the 2015 Awards.

Over 100 Writers Call on PEN American Center to Reject Israeli Government Sponsorship

In a letter made public today over 100 writers, including Naomi Shihab Nye and Louise Erdrich, have called on the PEN American Center “to reject support from the Embassy of Israel” for PEN’s annual World Voices Festival. PEN lists the Israeli Embassy as among the “Champions” of the Festival, and as a sponsor of one of the Festival’s panels.

Full List

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Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee

Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye 1995 Awardee

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 2000 Awardee


Bookworks and the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation Present ‘A Word With Writers’, 5/26

Bookworks and the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation are collaborating on their fourth installment of their fundraiser literary series, A Word With Writers, May 26, hosting Sherman Alexie on tour for his new children’s picture book, Thunder Boy Jr. (Little, Brown & Co.).

With illustrations from Caldecott Award-winning illustrator, Yuyi Morales, Thunder Boy Jr. is the story of a young boy who must find his own identity despite being named after his father. Morales’ vivid images bring to life Alexie’s endearing prose for a perfect Father’s Day gift for literary fans.

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


Author Naomi Shihab Nye to Visit Guilford College April 13-14

Renowned poet, novelist and internationally-recognized writing workshop leader Naomi Shihab Nye will come to campus for a two-day visit beginning on Wednesday, April 13, as the inaugural Sherwood Anderson Distinguished Visiting Writer at Guilford College.

During her visit, the award-winning writer, anthologist, activist and educator, known for her inspiring presentations and her commitment to “the literature of encouragement,” will be visiting classes and leading writing workshops.

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Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee

Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye 1995 Awardee


Award winning storyteller Tim Tingle wins 2016 Colleen Salley Storytelling Award

On April 6, 2016, storyteller Tim Tingle received the Coleen Salley Storytelling Award as part of the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. The award honors “a storyteller whose mission reflects the ideals and dedication to the field that Ms. Salley personified,” according to the University website.

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Crossing Bok Chitto: told in written form by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges 2007 Awardee


Octopus Brains Are So Much Cooler Than You Think

“Their brain is so unlike ours, it’s almost difficult to describe it as a brain,” explains Sy Montgomery, a naturalist and author whose most recent book, The Soul of an Octopus, is a fascinating dive into cephalopod psychology.

Montgomery was interviewed by Inquiring Minds co-host Indre Viskontas; you can listen to the entire conversation below

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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery 2013 Awardee


We Came to America by Faith Ringgold | SLJ Review

As Americans wrestle with the moral and legal aspects of immigration, Ringgold offers a reminder of the country’s multifaceted lineage?and of the beauty to be discovered at cultural crossroads.

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


Mitali Perkins to Sign Books at San Francisco Opening of Rickshaw Girl on 4/16

Award-winning Bay Area author Mitali Perkins will sign books at the San Francisco opening of Rickshaw Girl, presented by the Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT), Saturday, April 16, at the Children’s Creativity Museum Theater, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Rickshaw Girl, based on Perkins’s book by the same name, plays weekends, April 16 - May 1.

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Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins,illustrations by Jamie Hogan 2008 Awardee

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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.

Read more about the 2015 Awards.

Authors Use Awards to Advocate for Diversity in Children’s Books

In a 2014 New York Times op-ed, children’s book author Walter Dean Myers reminded readers that literature transmits values and that the messages of oppression and misrepresentation in current children’s books are appalling.

Books for young people represent a unique space in publishing, Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park asserted in her 2015 TEDx Talk. “If books have the power to help us find ourselves,” she said, “then a children’s book has superpowers.”

Want more on diverse literature and award-winners? Check out the South Asia Book Award, Disability in Kidlit, Vamos a Leer, and SLJ’s Cultural Diversity Booklist. See our Q&A with Zareen Jaffrey, executive editor of Salaam Reads (a Simon & Schuster imprint that will publish children’s and YA books featuring Muslim characters), for more about diversity initiatives in the publishing world.

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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

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


Watch Bill Murray Read Empowering Poetry on ‘Kimmel’

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Bill Murray contributed a list of his favorite poems to a piece for the April issue of Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine.

“Listen, you a wonder,” Murray read. “You a city of a woman. You got a geography of your own. Listen, somebody need a map to understand you. Somebody need directions to move around you. Listen, woman: You not a no place, anonymous girl. Mister with his hands on you, he got his hands on some-damn-body.”

The resulting piece features annotations from the actor; for “What the Mirror Said,” he wrote, “Everybody needs an 'Attagirl!’ now and then.”

Clifton, a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, died in 2010. Murray previously read her poem at a December benefit for New York City’s Poets House.

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Amifika by Lucille Clifton 1978 Awardee


CSU Dominguez Hills Theatre Produces Alice Childress’ 'Wine In The Wilderness’

“Wine In The Wilderness” was first performed on WGHB-TV in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the series, “On Being Black.” Playwright Alice Childress is the first woman to receive an Obie Award for Best Original Off-Broadway Play in 1956 for “Trouble In Mind” (1955). Some of her controversial yet highly acclaimed works include “Florence” (1949), “Wedding Band” (1966), and a novel, “A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But A Sandwich.”

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A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But A Sandwich by Alice Childress 1974 Awardee


National Book Award-Winning Author Jacqueline Woodson to Speak April 5

Her talk, titled “Brown Girl Dreaming,” after her award winning memoir, is free and open to the public.

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Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee

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

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee


Don’t overlook the power of biographies

“Lives of the Explorers: Discoveries, Disasters (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull

The unorthodox portraits of these people accompanied by the text will convince you of their larger-than-life personalities. If you like this book, try other book by Kathleen Krull in the series "Lives of ?”

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Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull 2004 Awardee

Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull 1997 Awardee


Journey to the Emerald Isle in these satisfying reads

Where I Belong By Mary Downing Hahn, Clarion Books, 2014

Mary Downing Hahn, an exceptionally talented writer, presents this in a refreshingly realistic and personable manner, rendering a boy’s love of the outdoors and admiration of The Lord of the Rings wonderfully.

Green Shamrocks By Eve Bunting, Scholastic, 2011

With brightly colored illustrations that complement the widely spaced text, this story will entertain young ones, and it is ideal for activity extensions that invite children to grow their own plants.

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December Stillness by Mary Downing Hahn 1989 Awardee

The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting 1990 Awardee


Book Highlight: Part 7

The final installment of our seven part series on the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony features the introduction given by Heather Palmer for Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, written by Margarita Engle, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, named an Honor Book in the Books for Older Children.

Introduction by Heather Palmer

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal is a work of art. Written by Margarita Engle and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, this historic novel in verse transports readers to the Panamanian jungle in the first years of the 20th century. Entranced by the americano recruiter’s clinking coins and false promises, a 14-year old Cuban boy has lied his way to Panama with thousands of other islanders for the purpose of digging a canal to link the world’s two largest oceans. It takes only a few days before he is struck with regret, having been introduced to the realities of the back-breaking labor, deplorable living conditions, wholly segregated organization and unjust pay scale for workers in the Canal Zone. In this story, we bear witness to innocent people who have been caught in a dangerous situation over which they have no control, and to the flora and fauna that is disrupted by the digging of what is widely proclaimed as the world’s 8th Wonder.

Ms. Engle’s Cuban-American roots, her studies in biology and agronomy, her thorough research and masterful writing are the perfect blend for this story. Her vibrant verse provides an informative, detailed picture of the Panama Craze, yet leaves ample room for readers to imagine life deep in the jungle. Her poems offer readers an unimpeded view of:

  • the contrasting realities of this jungle, called the land of many butterflies by indigenous people, and known as the land of boiling mud, raging sun, and furious fevers to the islander workers.
  • the ease with which the delicate balance of an ecosystem can be completely and shamefully destroyed in the name of innovation.
  • the necessity to seek and proclaim multiple sides of every story

As a committee, we were moved both intellectually and emotionally by Ms. Engle’s work. First, we admire her masterful approach to treating perspective. She has dug deeper than the information shared in the typical American history book, basing characters on documented historical records and personal interviews with descendants of silver people, and sharing insight into the viewpoints of the native peoples who call the jungle their home, the imported workers, and the creatures of the rainforest.

We appreciate the way in which Silver People expands children’s awareness of social justice issues such as civil rights, race, ethnicity and class to other lands, peoples and cultures. We find the timing of this novel to be extraordinary - it not only marks the centenary of the completion of the original canal, but also raises awareness of what is to come with the current day canal expansions in Panama and additions in Nicaragua.

Of particular note is the way in which Ms. Engle has succeeded in leaving readers with a glimmer of hope while writing about this unarguably dismal episode in our history. Indeed, if we strive to send forth young people that are able to understand human needs with compassion, find creative solutions to social injustice, and accept responsibility for the future of all people, we must model the art of “offering hope” in devastating circumstances.

Thank you for tackling with such grace a calamitous and regrettable chapter of our history. Thank you for telling the largely uncelebrated story of the silver people, and for sharing it in a way that is engaging and accessible to readers of varying abilities. Our committee believes that Silver People will leave a lasting impression on young readers, and is delighted to name it an honor book for the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award.

This concludes our final installment of the seven part series of the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winners and Honorees leading up to the announcement of the 2016 award winners and honorees on April 25, 2016.

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 2015 Awards.

‘Brothers of the Buffalo’: The Red River War

Brothers of the Buffalo: A Novel of the Red River War by Joseph Bruchac follows two young men, one a Cheyenne warrior, the other a former Black slave, as their paths repeatedly converge over a three-year period in the early 1870s.

Bruchac says he wanted to write about this particular moment in history because he had heard stories about it from his friend Lance Hanson, a Cheyenne poet and a member of the Dog Soldier Society, and many others, whom he describes as the inheritors of these events.

I found that there are perspectives that are not really reflected in those writings?the Native perspective of what happened, as well as the perspective of the men who were the Buffalo Soldiers, former slaves engaged in a campaign that was basically enslaving, or putting into something close to slavery, the Native population of the Southern Plains, because that’s what the chaining of the Native people to the reservation communities truly was at its height,“ Bruchac told ICTMN.

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The Heart of a Chief written by Joseph Bruchac 1999 Awardee


National Book Awards Conversation Dives Deep Into Emotions

Water ? blood-chilling 47-degree octopus tank water or the deepest place in the ocean ? was the start of a riveting conversation. Both Sy Montgomery’s "The Soul of an Octopus” and Neal Shusterman’s “Challenger Deep” begin with water, but quickly dive into emotional soul-searching topics.

Montgomery listed the great anthropologists Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birut Galdikas as her heroines and approaches her work with the same care for the natural world.

[She has a] new book coming out this year. Montgomery will delve into the world of the great white shark.

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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery 2013 Awardee


Coleen Salley Storytelling Session to feature Tim Tingle April 6

The 2016 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival will feature Tim Tingle, an Oklahoma Choctaw and award-winning author and storyteller.

Tingle’s first children’s book, Crossing Bok Chitto, garnered more than 20 state and national awards, and was an Editor’s Choice in the New York Times Book Review.

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Crossing Bok Chitto: told in written form by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges 2007 Awardee


Children’s book illustrator, author Brian Pinkney visits Springfield elementary schools

In a fast-paced, interactive presentation March 17, the acclaimed artist, illustrator and author of children’s books, explained how ideas come to him and the method behind his scratchboard art style.

Pinkney, seeking comments from the students about themselves, spoke about where his inspiration came from for various books, some of his well-known subjects, and how nonviolent protest against race discrimination during the civil rights movement connects with some of his works.

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

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


Our first live Cut &Paste podcast event explores storytelling through illustration

We recently invited three prominent local illustrators to tell stories about drawing for a living, in the first live recording of our Cut &Paste arts and culture podcast.

Washington University professor John Hendrix and two of his former students talk about the ups and downs of their profession.

Emerging themes included: persistence, patience and the fact that almost every failure has a funny side.

Listen at the link.

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Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix 2015 Awardee


Maine Observer: Beyond aficionado: Cubans adore baseball by Phillip Hoose

Image Credit

I couldn’t help but think of this, and many other youth games I saw and played in as I heard Presidents Obama and Castro talk of the future. My greatest hope is that 10 years from now these young Cuban ballplayers, lean, confident, healthy and engaged, won’t be bent over smartphones all day. Viva Cuba!

Phillip Hoose of Portland is the author of 11 books and winner of a National Book Award for “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.”

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Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose 2010 Awardee


NYFA Hall of Fame to Induct James Casebere, Anna Deavere Smith, Faith Ringgold &Zhou Long

The New York Foundation for the Arts honorees are James Casebere, Faith Ringgold, Anna Deavere Smith, and Zhou Long.

The NYFA Hall of Fame recognizes extraordinary artists, arts patrons and organizations who through their artistic vision and uncompromising integrity represent the best that NYFA has to offer.

Artist, writer and activist Faith Ringgold has received more than 75 awards, fellowships, citations and honors, including a NYFA Fellowship for Painting in 1988, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, and 23 honorary doctorates. Best known for her painted story quilts, her works are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

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


Bond and Ahlberg books announced at PRH showcase

At the Penguin Random House Children’s showcase, PRH announced their reissuing a series of classic books for teens. The series, titled 'The Originals’, will start with five books in August, including Z is for Zachariah by Robert C O'Brien.

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Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien 1976 Awardee


Book Highlight: Part 6

The sixth installment of our eight part series on the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony features the introduction given by Sonja Cherry Paul for Revolution, written by Deborah Wiles, published by Scholastic Press, named an Honor Book in the Books for Older Children.

Introduction by Sonja

With Revolution, Deborah Wiles provides a unique format for young readers ? one that seamlessly blends fiction and non-fiction to vividly present the complexity and context of one of the most tumultuous times in the history of the United States. Using photographs, quotes, speeches, and other primary sources, Wiles documents the Civil Rights Movement and provides a comprehensive foundation of the political, economic, and social climate for African-Americans and Whites during the 1960’s. These stunning and provocative documents are interspersed throughout the book providing readers with the historical context for the complex and compelling fictional story that Wiles crafts.

It is the summer of 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi and 12-year-old Sunny is head-over-heels for the Beatles. She and her best friend send messages to each other between their neighboring houses using a bucket and a pulley rope. They name a tree “George”, and it is their special place to meet and contemplate life. And life is complicated for Sunny. Her mother has left and her father has remarried. Her stepmother has a teenaged son, Gillette, and a young daughter. Meemaw, Uncle Parnell, and Uncle Vivian round out Sunny’s immediate family and play significant roles in her daily life.

When Sunny and Gillette are caught sneaking into the town’s swimming pool one night, they also cross paths with Raymond, a 15-year-old African?American boy. Their paths continue to cross throughout the novel, and it is Raymond who illuminates for Sunny the true meaning of separate and unequal. The activists that come to Greenwood that summer, who are referred to as the “invaders” by the White townspeople, inspire Raymond. He watches the adults around him organize and strategize for the movement and is compelled to action, despite his age. Although the majority of the novel is told from Sunny’s point of view, Raymond’s perspective is crucial. It is through Raymond’s eyes and heart that readers feel the frustration, anger, and fear of African-Americans in the town ? those who are afraid to take action, those who did, and the consequences for all.

Revolution is not a book that can be read passively; readers become researchers pouring through primary sources to put the pieces of a troubling puzzle together while being completely immersed in the lives of the characters. This multigenre approach brings the complexity of the civil rights movement directly to young readers’ fingertips and extends their understanding well beyond the oversimplified, uncontroversial narratives that attempt to obscure the realities of racism and White resistance. Revolution underscores the work and circumstances of individuals, activists, and groups such as Ella Baker, Medgar Evers, Bob Moses, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee as well as many others presented within the pages of this book. Readers discover how the act of voting was the fuel that propelled the movement.

Recently, issues of race and racism have been part of the national conversation due to numerous events that mirror those that occurred during the civil rights movements. Revolution positions readers to better understand our collective past and to make use of lessons learned as a mobilizing force to battle racism and discrimination today.

Revolution is published by Scholastic Press and it is my great pleasure to present the Jane Addams Children’s Book Honor Award in the category of Books for Older Children to author, Deborah Wiles.

Remarks by Deborah Wiles

Used with permission

Thank you so much. I am deeply honored to be here.

Before I knew there was a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, I knew there was a Jane Addams. I knew about Hull House. As a child, I had big dreams, and I wanted to do something useful in the world.

My first books were published in 2001, and I became the first children’s writer-in-residence at James Thurber’s childhood home in Columbus, Ohio. There was a work element attached to the residency, and – partly because I had admired Jane Addams for so long – I asked to work at the Southside Settlement House, teaching personal narrative writing to young people, their parents and caregivers, and the staff at Southside.

This was my first experience teaching in a settlement house. It connected me to the days of my teenaged life when my big dreams took drastic left turns and I became the mother of two small children, living in an old clunker of a car, and collecting bottles on the side of the road to return for the deposit, so I could buy milk for the baby.

There would be many years, many injustices, and many helping hands across many different cultures before I could turn my life around, give my children a safe and stable home, and turn to writing stories about the children who have big dreams and need safety, stability, forgiveness, understanding, compassion, and love.

Which, as we all know… is all children. All shapes, sizes, colors, persuasions, abilities, and lives. Including Sunny and Gillette and Raymond in REVOLUTION.

Thank you to the Jane Addams Book Committee for recognizing REVOLUTION, and thank you to Jane Addams herself, who was such an amazing pioneer of social justice in America.

I write about social justice as a way to understand what it is… and isn’t. As a way to come to terms with my life… and to challenge the world. As a way to have a voice in offering young readers – and their grown-ups – another way to look at their lives and the lives of others.

Writing is my activism. I write about social justice as a path to peace.

REVOLUTION – which is book two of a trilogy of novels about the 1960s for young readers (COUNTDOWN is book one) – is my attempt to understand the summer of 1964 – Freedom Summer – in the United States, and the civil rights movement, through the eyes of the children who lived it. I was one of those children, and I didn’t understand what was happening in my world. It scared me. And it excited me, too – I could feel the change that was coming, and I knew it was good.

I wanted children to see this world, taste it, touch it, feel it, hear it, and so I created a documentary novel – along with COUNTDOWN, the first of its kind – with photographs, song lyrics, newspaper clippings, poetry, advertisements, propaganda, and other ephemera of the time, in scrapbook sections that are interspersed within the narrative.

I wrote four opinionated biographies of the time – LBJ, Bob Moses (the architect of Freedom Summer), Dorothy Height and Polly Cowan (the architects of Wednesdays In Mississippi), and Cassius Clay, who became Muhammad Ali.

This mixing of fiction, non-fiction, and biography was a brand-new way of delivering story to young readers, and I’d like to thank my publisher, Scholastic; David Levithan, my editor; and Phil Falco, designer, for taking the risk with me to publish something new and different and ground-breaking, to reach young people, to ask them to think critically about their history, and to invite them to become part of the work ahead, part of the change we want to see in the world.

It is so gratifying to have REVOLUTION recognized by the Jane Addams Peace Association and Book Award Committee. My fondest goal is to live up to the ideal that Jane Addams herself set, for “faith in new possibilities and the courage to advocate for them.”

This concludes our sixth installment of the eight part series of the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winners and Honorees leading up to the announcement of the 2016 award winners and honorees on April 25, 2016.

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 2015 Awards.

Interview with Linda Sue Park

Join host Becky Anderson as she talks to Newbery Medal winning author Linda Sue Park about her new book, Forest of Wonders, Volume 1 of the “Wing and Claw” trilogy. Posted on March 14, 2016

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A Conversation with Salva Dut and Linda Sue Park

The Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Project invites the college community to hear the story of one of MCC’s most inspiring alumni, Salva Dut ‘00 and meet author Linda Sue Park.

Park’s New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water, published in 2010 by Clarion Books, is a based on Salva’s true story as one of 3,800 Sudanese “Lost Boys” airlifted to the United States beginning in the mid-1990s.

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A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park 2011 Awardee

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park 2003 Awardee


Greenville native to speak on growing up in Nicholtown

Jacqueline Woodson, the four time Newberry Award winning author grew up in the Nicholtown area in Greenville. She will speak at First Baptist Greenville about her experience growing up in Nicholtown at 7:30 p.m. on April 28. Woodson will also hold a book signing at M. Judson Booksellers.

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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


Kira and Hermann Vinke: Civic Courage 2.0, Champions for a Just Future

Hermann Vinke and his daughter Kira will introduce us to courageous people who are fighting against poverty, exploitation and destruction. Some of these champions are famous worldwide, such as Edward Snowden, Malala Yousafzai and Rupert Neudeck. And some of them you may never have heard of. But they all share a common bond: they are fighting for a fairer world and a better future. Each of their stories will be told from the perspective of two different generations.

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The Short Life of Sophie Scholl by Hermann Vinke 1985 Awardee


Let’s read, together
BIG READ: Three local libraries team up for community reading program focused on animals and the natural world

Author Sy Montgomery’s two most recent offerings, “Soul of an Octopus” and “The Octopus Scientists,” received national attention. Those two books ? “Soul” for adults and “Scientists” for the younger set ? are the focus of the Big Read; 100 copies have been distributed throughout the three libraries, in hopes that the community will read them, participate in one of several book discussions, and get more in touch with the natural world.

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Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery 2013 Awardee


From a single book cover, an author and activist is launched [Behind a Pay Wall]

Not every successful author can point to an “aha” moment that launched them on the path to writing. But Raleigh children’s book author Kelly Starling Lyons can.

In third grade, Lyons saw the cover of Mildred D. Taylor’s Newbery-award winning “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” in a book club catalog. “It spoke to me ? instantly,” recalls Lyons. In a catalog full of images of white faces, this one cover stood out, depicting a young African-American girl and her brothers. Lyons too was an African-American girl with brothers. In glimpsing the image on that book cover, Lyons had a shock of realization: If Mildred Taylor could share a story about a young girl of color and her family, there was room for Kelly to tell her stories too.

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The Well by Mildred D. Taylor 1996 Awardee

Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor 1982 Awardee

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor 1977 Awardee

Song of the Trees by Mildred D. Taylor 1976 Awardee


Faith Through The Struggles: Artist and author, Ringgold still inciting change

“Who was she, this literary agent,” Ringgold says with outrage still simmering, “to say she was not interested in publishing my story because she didn’t like the story I was telling about who I am and my life? I think that is the essence of inequality – that other people can decide who and what you are.”

“It’s gotten better for me, but I haven’t stopped struggling,” she says. “It’s not over. The situation continues. The freedom to be me. The freedom to tell my story. That to me is what it is to be an artist – that nobody can dictate to me who and what I am.”

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


Lois Lowry Discusses William Golding’s 'Lord of the Flies’
'The Giver’ author wraps up her second stint hosting the WSJ Book Club

Lois Lowry, finishing her round as host of the WSJ Book Club, indulged readers’ what-if questions in a Facebook Q&A Thursday afternoon. “No cellphone, no Internet, no Twitter?” she wrote. “Kids today would not even be able to imagine such a scenario.”

Edited from the full Q&A, which you can read online.

Read More | Number the Stars written by Lois Lowry 1989 Awardee


At Inaugural Walter Award Honorees Ask Industry To Make Change Happen And Encourage Diverse Readers

During their acceptance speeches Kiely asked the publishing industry, and everyone, to make change happen from within and not be bystanders. “It’s on us too,” Kiely said going on to end his speech by thanking WNDB “for pushing the world of publishing to be its best self.” Reynolds noted that his goal is to write books where all readers can see a bit of themselves in his material.

In her speech, fellow honoree for Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle, Engle became somewhat teary eyed when reflecting on President Obama reopening a U.S. embassy in Cuba as well as direct mail occurring for the first time in 50 years, two things she thought she’d never see happen again.

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

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


'A Song Of Gratitude’: Cuban-American Poet Hopeful Of Improved Relations

Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American poet and novelist.

“I wrote Enchanted Air, Two Cultures, Two Wings, at a time when there was no public glimmer of hope for renewed relations between my parents’ homelands, Cuba and the U.S. I wrote it believing that no American president would have the courage to make peace with Cuba, and that peace would have to wait until a future generation, after today’s children grew up and one of them became president.

During the same week when advanced review copies arrived on my doorstep, President Obama announced a thaw in Cold War hostilities, proving me wrong. My childhood memories, written as a plea for peace and reconciliation, were suddenly transformed into a song of gratitude.”

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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


South Bend Civic Theatre Announces New Children’s Plays

South Bend Civic Theatre announces the inaugural production of their new Children’s Theatre Series in the Warner Studio. The series, which concentrates on original children’s plays acted by adult actors, opens with a new adaptation of award winning author Emily Arnold McCully’s picture book “Little Kit or, The Industrious Flea Circus Girl.”

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The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington’s Slave Finds Freedom by Emily Arnold McCully 2008 Awardee


Book Highlight: Part 5

The fifth installment of our eight part series on the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony features the introduction given by Ann Carpenter for The Whispering Town, written by Jennifer Elvgren and illustrated by Fabio Santomauro, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, named an Honor Book in the Books for Younger Children.

Introduction by Ann

In a Nazi-occupied village young Anett quietly lets her neighbors know that there are “new friends” at her house ? a Jewish boy and his mother hiding from persecution from the menacing Nazi soldiers on every street. Despite the danger to everyone involved, this Danish village displays courage, and above all, compassion as they work together to secretly provide necessities for the refugees until they can be smuggled to Sweden. But on the night the boat arrives, clouds block the moon, and it is too dark to see. Anett quickly comes up with a plan and rallies the entire village to whisper from doorway to doorway, allowing the small Jewish family find their way to the boat and navigate to safety.

Keeping the focus of the story on the rescue efforts of the Danish resistance creates a perfect balance of danger and kindness for young readers first encountering this historical period. The Whispering Town is a first introduction to both the injustice of persecution and the strength of resistance, where compassion and altruism are able to triumph over intolerance. The exciting solution involves not just Anett and her family, but the entire village, showcasing both the value of individual initiative and the power of a community united for good.

Like the text, the illustrations, done with primarily with somber colors and red highlights finds the balance between creating a mood of foreboding, while also, ultimately, one of hope and optimism. Even the youngest readers and listeners can understand that there is real danger here ? and yet never be overwhelmed, for there is also hope as well.

For creating a book that revels in the power of collaboration, compassion and kindness, that showcases the altruism of a community, the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Committee awards the Honor Citation in the category of Books for Younger Readers to The Whispering Town, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, written by Jennifer Elvgren and illustrated by Fabio Santomauro.

Jennifer’s Remarks

I would like to thank the Jane Addams Peace Association, Ann Carpenter and the Jane Addams’ Children’s Book Award Selection Committee, and especially Marianne Baker for choosing The Whispering Town as a Jane Addams Honor Book. I am deeply honored. This book would not be possible without Kar Ben Publishing, Joni Sussman, Judye Groner, and Fabio Santomauro. To them, my deepest gratitude.

I would also like to thank my family for their unconditional support ?? my husband Erik, my daughters Lizzy and Sophie, and my son, Will, who could not join us today. He’s home in Virginia at school wrestling with some scary trigonometry problems this afternoon.

I usually get asked how I came to write about such a big topic in a picture book. Somewhere around late elementary, early middle school, my grandmother gave me her copy of The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, and my mother gave me a copy of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. From a young age, I pondered the bravery of those hidden and the bravery of those who protected the hidden.

I carried this interest in Holocaust literature as I grew. Around 2009, I read Ellen Levine’s nonfiction book Darkness over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews. One Jewish boy recollected his father trying to find the Gilleleje harbor on a moonless night while villagers stood in doorways whispering directions.

As I read this, a storyboard unfolded in my mind. The Whispering Town’s title came first, followed by the characters. Anett appeared, then Carl. As they began to move through the story also set in Gilleleje. I imagined a hiding place, bravery, friendship and hope.

It became imperative for Anett to bring comfort to Carl and his mama in their cellar hiding place in the form of visits, good food and books. When Anett came face to face with Nazi soldiers at her own door, I knew she had to dig deep and be calm and collected so that she did not give away her friends in the cellar.

Facing a moonless night, I wanted Anett to be part of the solution, arranging for a chain of whispering voices to guide Carl and his mama to the harbor. The hope of escape and reuniting Carl with his papa in Sweden sealed Anett’s and Carl’s friendship forever.

For these young readers, I wanted to portray danger, not horror. I intended this book to be the start of a lifelong discussion of the Holocaust, focusing initially on kindness and bravery. I am hopeful that this award will introduce this book to new readers who will start new conversations.

Once again, thank you.

This concludes our fifth installment of the eight part series of the 2015 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Winners and Honorees leading up to the announcement of the 2016 award winners and honorees on April 25, 2016.

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 2015 Awards.



© 2016 Jane Addams Peace Association

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