Jane Addams Peace Association News

This is our inaugural weekly newsletter of noteworthy items regarding our award winning authors, illustrators and children’s books. We hope you enjoy it!

Kennedy Center to Stage MOCKINGBIRD in the Family Theater in 2015 from BroadwayWorld.com


The Kennedy Center and VSA present the world premiere production of Mockingbird from January 17 to February 1, 2015 in the Family Theater. Commissioned by the Kennedy Center and VSA, the production is based on the National Book Award-winning novel by Kathryn Erskine, adapted by Julie Jensen and features direction by Tracy Callahan. This production for young audiences and their families is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Read More | Kathryn Erskine 2014 Awardee

National Book Award winners Sherman Alexie, Jacqueline Woodson among speakers at BookCon 2015 from School Library Journal


BookCon is teaming with the advocacy group We Need Diverse Books to host two gatherings that spotlight authors of various backgrounds, including National Book Award winners Sherman Alexie and Jacqueline Woodson, at BookCon 2015.

Read More | Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee

Bestselling Middle Grade and YA Authors Share Must-Read 2014 Picks! from Parade.com


Bestselling YA authors pick their 2014 faves and you’re not going to want to miss this list, from authors like Gayle Forman, Ally Condie, Tim Federle. From Jacqueline Woodson's brown girl dreaming to Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun, here are 20 can’t miss books to add to your holiday shopping cart!

Read More | Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee

So, How Do You Wrap an E-Book? from NY Times

Lois Lowry is the author of more than 45 books, including Number the Stars and The Giver, both of which won the Newbery Medal. She told me she’s seen a gradual decline in attention span among young readers. “Forty years ago there was not this speeded-up entertainment culture that kids have fallen victim to now,” she said. “It was easier to get kids reading because there weren’t so many diverting factors.”

Read More | Lois Lowry 1990 Awardee

Jacqueline Woodson On Growing Up, Coming Out And Saying Hi To Strangers from NPR Fresh Air

Woodson won the National Book Award for young people’s literature for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming. She says that growing up in South Carolina, she knew that the safest place was with her family.

Read More | Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee

See more about all of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards at www.janeaddamspeace.org/jacba.

On Jane Addams Day, we invite you to consider how to insert peaceful practices into your life and to cultivate justice into your community.

Join us in celebrating Jane Addams Day, established as a commemorative holiday in Illinois in 2006 to remind their citizens of Addams’ lifelong commitment to making the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois - and the entire world - a better place.


The signing of the bill making December 10 a State Holiday brought to fruition over two years of dedicated work by Dongola Unit School teacher Cindy Vines and a team of five eighth-grade students-John Cauble, Katie Forcht, Brittany Lannom, Jennifer Medlin and Chayse Swink. They made it their goal to advocate for a state holiday honoring Jane Addams after discovering there were no state or national holidays honoring women anywhere in the USA (from: The History of Jane Addams Day, A Presentation by Jan Lisa Huttner).

On Dec. 10, 1931, Jane Addams became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace, which primarily honored her work as the founder and leader of The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. When the prize was awarded, Halvdan Koht, a prominent Norwegian historian, declared Jane Addams to be “the leading woman in the nation, one might almost say its leading citizen.”

A prolific author and renowned speaker, Jane Addams, along with Ellen Gates Starr established Hull House in 1889, the first settlement house in the United States. The first to come were the children. Small ones, brought there by their mothers for the morning kindergarten. The older children quickly discovered the social clubs and afternoon classes in the arts. Addams stressed the role of children in the Americanization process of new immigrants, and fostered the play movement and the research and service fields of leisure, youth, and human services. Hull-House featured multiple programs in art and drama, kindergarten classes, boys’ and girls’ clubs, language classes, reading groups, college extension courses, along with public baths, a free-speech atmosphere, a gymnasium, a labor museum and playground. She helped pass the first model tenement code and the first factory laws prohibiting child labor.

"We may either smother the divine fire in youth or we may feed it."
Jane Addams, The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets


Today, the organizations she helped to found, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association (IWPA) are still fighting for the causes she believed in.

The Jane Addams Peace Associations is proud to promote the ideals of Jane Addams through our annual Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. See janeaddamspeace.org for details. We hope that people all across the world will be inspired by Jane Addams and her life, on Dec. 10 and every day.

Visit Hull House, 800 S Halsted, Chicago, from 5pm-9pm on December 10 for an exciting event, Care and Resistance: Stories, workshops and actions for peace. Explore historical and contemporary experiences of peace building in the Hull-House Museum. The program concludes in the Residents Dining Hall with a dinner and discussion.

Judith Joseph

It is with broken hearts and hope for the future that JAPA announces the opening of the Judith Joseph Living Fund. Judith’s love of books, children, literacy, peace and all things good, made this decision easy for us. We hope to honor Judith’s life by using donated funds to bring delight to the world’s children through our award winning books for decades to come.

Please share this information with all who were touched by this special woman we were fortunate enough to call her sister.

Ruth Chalmers

Ruth Chalmers
Photo credit: Leah Fasten
Smith Alumnae Quarterly Fall 2009

Ruth Chalmers
Executive Director JAPA
Board member JAPA

The Jane Addams Peace Association has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of shared memories we’ve received since the notice of Ruth’s passing was posted.

"She was a wonderful guide and model for so many of us, more importantly the hours-the years and the expertise she gave toward the work of JAPA is a contribution toward a world at peace that no one can calculate"

"To honor Ruth, the ‘heart of JAPA’; The heart’s beat keeps the body alive"

"The words that come to mind when I think of Ruth ~common sense, integrity, flexibility, generosity, wisdom a love of learning and the ability to the humorous side of almost everything"

"Our modest contribution is meant to emphasize the fact that whatever Ruth has ever done it has carried twice the weight and produced twice the fruit of any other’s endeavors."

"Ruth was such a positive woman, very clear in her mind, frank and honest, warm and had a most surprising and refreshing sense of humour."

"Ruth Chalmers, Presente"

We thank US WILPF’s many past presidents, International WILPF’s past and current Presidents, WILPF members, JAPA board members and presidents for their insightful words of our Ruth. May her memory be for a blessing.

Now for the final installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Sonja Cherry-Paul for Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.


Jacqueline Woodson uses clear understated language to capture the subtle ways in which cruelty and bullying appear in classrooms, schools, and in the lives of children. Each Kindness is a beautiful and poignant story that shines a light on what happens when children reject, rather than embrace, difference.

Maya is new to the school and when she is brought to her new classroom, Chloe and her friends stare at her. They shun her in class and at recess. They nickname her “Never New” and mock her clothes and shoes that appear old and worn. Whenever Maya attempts to play with them, they say no. And so, at recess Maya stands by the fence or jumps rope alone. Soon Chloe and her peers notice that Maya’s seat in the classroom is empty and after several days, they discover that Maya would not be returning to class. Chloe’s shame is palpable to readers. “That afternoon, I walked home alone. When I reached the pond, my throat filled with all the things I wished I would have said to Maya. Each kindness I had never shown.” Embedded in this emotional story are the missed opportunities to form friendships and the lasting effects of regret when indifference is chosen over kindness.


The serene elegance and beauty of the text and paintings in Each Kindness is juxtaposed with an intense message: Our actions matter and kindness makes a difference in the world. This message resonates long after Ms. Albert says, “This is what kindness does. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world;” long after Chloe watches “the water ripple as the sun set through the maples and the chance of a kindness with Maya became more and more forever gone;” long after readers turn the final page of this book.

It is my great pleasure to present the winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award in the category of Books for Younger Children to Jacqueline Woodson for Each Kindness, illustrated by E.B. Lewis and published by Nancy Paulsen Books a division of Penguin Books Young Readers Group.

© 2014 Jane Addams Peace Association