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16 Books about Refugees for Kids & Adults

For anyone trying to understand what it feels like to be driven from your home or your country, books-many first-person accounts, written by refugees themselves-are a good first step toward insight.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Vietnam to Alabama is a difficult journey, and Ha’s story (which echoes the author’s life) chronicles it in beautiful free verse. Easy to read even for a reluctant reader, these poems are a good way into one 10-year-old girl’s experience as a refugee.

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Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai 2012 Awardee


Getting to Know the Man of the Moment

Teri Kanefield, nonfiction author of such fine books as The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement (2014) … continues her well-researched book, illustrated with archival images, with a brisk account of the life Hamilton had led, from his 1755 birth and harsh boyhood in the Caribbean island of Nevis and on to his rise to becoming General George Washington’s indispensible aide during the Revolutionary War. Throughout, Ms. Kanefield includes samples of Hamilton’s writing, including his poetry.

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The Girl From the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield 2015 Awardee


Minneapolis writer Louise Erdrich finalist for prestigious $15,000 PEN/Faulkner award

The finalists for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner literary award were announced this morning. MInneapolis writer Louise Erdrich’s novel, “LaRose,” is among the finalists.

Louise Erdrich for LAROSE. This novel, the third in Erdrich’s Justice trilogy, is also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle fiction prize, which will be announced later this month.

Four of the five finalists are people of color, and two of the five are immigrants to the United States. The judges said, in a press statement, “Taken together, the five finalists represent something worth reiterating today: that American fiction cannot be defined or contained by any particular border, wall or edit.”

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The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 2000 Awardee


The perfect children’s book for kids who won’t be quiet

Carmen Agra Deedy’s The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! (Scholastic, ages 4-7) is perfect for a rowdy read-aloud. This tale of a bold gallito - a rooster - who brings music back to a tiny village will stir up plenty of audience giggles and participation.

Whether it’s a spirited child or a determined teen, every family has its own noisy rooster: insistent, persistent, exasperating at times, and with a song that must be sung - and should be heard.

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The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark written by Carmen Agra Deedy 2001 Awardee


13 Empowering Children’s Books For Young Readers To Enjoy On ‘A Day Without A Woman’

… if you’re trying to explain ['A Day Without A Woman’] to a little one, you might want to share these empowering children’s books with young readers on A Day Without a Woman. Featuring stories about activism, social justice, and political reform, these picture books will help readers, young and old, understand what it means to make a difference.

'Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation’ by Duncan Tonatiuh

Sylvia and her family organized the Hispanic community to take a stand against segregated education, and their bravery helped change the history of California.

'Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Markers’ Strike of 1909’ by Michelle Markel

Beautifully illustrated and powerfully written, this illustrated biography depicts exactly how hard some people are willing to work to bring about change.

'Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer’ by Carole Boston Weatherford

Voice of Freedom celebrates her life and accomplishments in vibrant collages and beautifully lyrical text, while reminding readers that with hope and determination, real change can happen.

'I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark’ by Debbie Levy

Using the inspirational judge’s own written dissents, this book explores the importance of arguing against unfairness and inequality and proves that when you stand up for what’s right, justice can prevail.

'The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist’ by Cynthia Levinson

A touching story about bravery, it’s the perfect read for kids who want to participate in the next protest with you.

'Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers’ by Sarah Warren

Told in sparing prose alongside breathtaking watercolor and pastel paintings, this book sends a powerful message about hope and the possibility for change.

'Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965’ by Jonah Winter

Compelling and empowering, Lillian’s Right to Vote is an wonderful picture book that will make kids fall in love with history and social justice.

'We March’ by Shane W. Evans

From the first steps at the Washington Monument to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, We March celebrates the civil rights contributions of the 1960s, and honors the continued efforts of today.

'We Came to America’ by Faith Ringgold

A beautiful collection of immigration stories, Faith Ringgold’s We Came to America celebrates the diversity that makes the United States so amazing.

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Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh 2015 Awardee

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909, written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet 2014 Awardee

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

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

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March written by Cynthia Levinson 2013 Awardee

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers, written by Sarah Warren and illustrated by Robert Casilla 2013 Awardee

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter 2016 Awardee

We March written and illustrated by Shane W. Evans 2013 Awardee

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


Noted Illustrator E. B. Lewis Visits YMCA Preschoolers

E.B. Lewis, an award-winning illustrator of more than 70 children books, spoke to 57 children from the YMCA’s preschool program. The children, aged three to five, were captivated by the speaker’s explanation of how books are made, how he illustrates them, and the stories they contain.

Lewis described three books to the young audience, including Preaching to the Chickens, a Japanese work about kindness; and the children’s literature classic, The Other Side. He showed some of the original paintings that are in these volumes and described the process of making a painting and a book.

Before the program began, Lewis noted that his intention is to use books as an antidote to some of society’s bigotry, hatred, and conflicts.

“A common thread in my work is compassion,” said Lewis. “I hope to help kids understand each other and the world they live in.”

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

Night Boat to Freedom, written by Margot Theis Raven with pictures by E. B. Lewis 2007 Awardee


Caldecott Medal winner Javaka Steptoe likens his writing to music

Speaking of style, what is your current writing style and how would you define it?
I would describe it as music. When you write a story, you’re creating a tone, you’re creating rhythm, you’re creating nuance with the way you tell it, and there’s music to that. It can be jazz music, it can be classical music, it could be hip-hop, it could be anything. But, I think of the way I write music. Also, I think about movies and theme music and how the music of the story is either creating excitement, or tension, or whatever it is that they want you to feel at that moment.

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


NSU Symposium on the American Indian - April 10-15

The Northeastern State University Center for Tribal Studies has announced its 45th Annual Symposium on the American Indian will be April 10-15 in the University Center on the Tahlequah campus. This symposium’s theme is “Indian Givers: Indigenous Inspirations,” and the event will include the return of the NSU Powwow.

Keynote speakers presenting at the symposium include Tim Tingle (Choctaw), author and storyteller, and more.

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Crossing Bok Chitto: told in written form by nationally recognized Choctaw storyteller, Tim Tingle 2007 Awardee


At 2017 Convocation, TC Will Honor Jacqueline Woodson, Melissa Fleming, Madhav Chavan and Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Teachers College will award its Medal for Distinguished Service - the highest honor it bestows - to a National Book Award-winning author; a global advocate for refugee rights and services; one of India’s leading education entrepreneurs; and a world-renowned authority on African-American history.

One of the four medalists, each of whom will address TC’s graduating students, is Jacqueline Woodson, author of the memoir Brown Girl Dreaming and the young adult novel Feathers, about the only white student at an otherwise all-black school.

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

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

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 2016 Awards.

Books N Bros’ 11-year-old founder wants to help boys love reading at an age when they often don’t

11-year-old St. Louisan Sidney Keys III started a reading club for boys his age to band together in their love of books. He calls it Books N Bros, and the club has an emphasis on making reading fun while lifting up African American literature and culture.

In February, for Black History Month, the group read “A Song for Harlem: Scraps of Time,” by Patricia McKissack, a St. Louis-based children’s book author.

For now, the book club has plans to stay boys-only, but Caldwell said there’s another book club called Nerdy Girls, which is aimed at girls between ages 6-12 and has over 75 members. Caldwell and Keys plan on partnering with Nerdy Girls in the future.

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A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack 1990 Awardee


Books About Girl Power Just in Time for Women’s History Month

A Kid’s Guide to America’s First Ladies By Kathleen Krull; illustrated by Anna DiVito

Updated through 2016, A Kid’s Guide to America’s First Ladies distinguishes the women by time periods and classes, and flows throughout history swimmingly.

Kathleen Krull, a prolific award-winning author of many children’s books, pegs the women as much more than just hostesses - progressive thinkers, confidantes, role models, mothers, political advocates and supportive partners.

Young readers don’t often have access to much information about these hardworking, underappreciated women, and Krull makes sure to point out how demanding their jobs are and how they influenced the course of history with their unique values and ideas.

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


Children’s literature celebrated at University of Redlands

Yuyi Morales, illustrator and author of numerous award-winning children’s books, shared her story of growing up in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, coming to the United States and becoming an illustrator during the 21st annual Charlotte S. Huck Children’s Literature Festival Friday at the University of Redlands.

The festival celebrates children’s literature and gives educators, librarians, parents and students an opportunity to hear from notable authors, illustrators and editors in the industry.

Other speakers include Brian Floca, Patrick Lewis, Rebecca Davis, Pam Munoz Ryan, David M. Schwartz and Lisa Von Drasek.

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

Esperanza Rising written by Pam Muoz Ryan 2001 Awardee


St. Mary’s College names building after distinguished professor Lucille Clifton

St. Mary’s College of Maryland today announced that the longstanding one-story house formerly known as “The White House,” has been renamed after the College’s former distinguished professor of the humanities, Lucille Clifton. “The Lucille Clifton House” received an extensive renovation in recent months. Built from the timber of a temporary dormitory barracks in 1924, the little white house ? now cream ? sits along Trinity Church Road behind the Freedom of Conscience statue. It was originally a caretaker’s cottage.

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Amifika by Lucille Clifton 1978 Awardee


What Children’s Book Influenced You the Most? Authors’ and Educators’ Picks

Jacqueline Woodson has been traveling the country, bringing poetry to K-12 classrooms, juvenile detention centers, and libraries. In the process, she has “stressed that everyone has a story and has a right to tell that story,” she said.

What was one of the most influential books they read as young people and why?

Rashidah Ismaili AbuBakr, writer and mentor at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Penn.:

“Her Stories and The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton. She wrote so many books for children of African descent. She started the Council on Interracial Books for Children [founded in 1965] and should be on everyone’s list. She was a pioneer in black children’s literature.”

Jacqueline Woodson, young adult author and young people’s poet laureate:

“Stevie by John Steptoe. Not only were brown-skinned people on the cover, but [Steptoe] is speaking in a dialect. … The core of it was a mirror. It was the first time I saw people who looked like me and talked like me on the page. It provided a lifetime of learning that continues.”

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

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

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


?The Green Book,’ a modern Underground Railroad guide

The Green Book was a necessary part of road trips for many families, including mine; we traveled, the whole family every year to Florida to reunite with my father’s Southern roots.

In the midst of danger, the guide referred to the travel risks in a most interesting way as this excerpt from the introduction to the spring 1956 edition portrays:

“Millions of people hit the road each year, to get away from their old surroundings, to see and learn how people live, and meet new and old friends. … with the Negro it has been different. He, before the advent of a Negro travel guide, had to depend on word of mouth, and many times accommodations were not available. Now things are different. The Negro traveler can depend on The Green Book for all the information he wants, and has a wide selection to choose from. Hence this guide has made traveling more popular, without encountering embarrassing situations.”

The spring 1956 edition is available online as are nearly all of the editions available for free download at the Library of Congress. An award-winning book, “Ruth and the Green Book,” also by the author, is an excellent fictional introduction to “The Green Book” for children and is, or soon will be available at local libraries.

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

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


Hastings Reads explores Japanese culture

Hastings Reads is a community-wide reading program that seeks to encourage reading and discussion of books. The 2017 theme is the Japanese-American Experience.

The elementary grades book selection is “A Place Where Sunflowers Grow,” written by Amy Lee-Tai and illustrated by Felicia Hoshino.

On Feb. 24, the Hastings YMCA, hosted a family fun night for elementary children and their families. There will be pizza and fun family activities related to the book “A Place Where Sunflowers Grow.”

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A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, written by Amy Lee-Tai, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino 2007 Awardee


Here are 5 picture book biographies for Black History Month and beyond

The Youngest Marcher: the Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

This engaging new picture books tells her story - from her growing awareness of inequality to her participation in the march to her incarceration to the changes she personally witnessed as the lines created by segregation began to blur.

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal, illustrated by Laura Freeman

The refrain that runs through the text sums up the grit that lifted Lowe above circumstances designed to keep her down: “Ann thought about what she could do, not what she couldn’t change.”

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunan

Remembered by many for her silvery “Stormy Weather” voice and extraordinary beauty, Lena Horne was also an ardent supporter of the civil-rights movement.

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We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March written by Cynthia Levinson 2013 Awardee

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

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

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee


Women’s History Month Books for Kids of All Ages

Grades 1?3

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren, illustrated by Robert Casilla. Dolores Huerta went from being a teacher and mother to a fierce fighter for migrant worker rights in the 1950s.

Grades 4?6

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone. In 1960, 13 women started astronaut training and did better than some of their male counterparts. They never made it into space, but they set the bar for women like Sally Ride and Mae Jemison.

Wild Women of the Wild West by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Susan Guevara. We know about Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley, but there were plenty of feisty ethnically diverse women making their way out West in the mid-1800s.

Grades 9 and up

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist by Margarita Engle. Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda was a poet and rebel, and Engle shares her biography in verse.

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Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers, written by Sarah Warren and illustrated by Robert Casilla 2013 Awardee

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone 2010 Awardee

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter 2016 Awardee

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

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

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 2016 Awards.

Authors, Ann Bausum and Michael H. Cottman, Discuss African Americans’ Impact on the U.S. and Beyond

In continued celebration of Black History Month, National Geographic recently released books by authors, Ann Bausum and Michael H. Cottman, who have each devoted their careers to discovery, research, exploration and impact. These authors tell the unvarnished truth about African American history during the slave trade (Cottman’s Shackles From The Deep) and the Civil Rights Movement (Bausum’s The March Against Fear). While Black History Month is coming to a close, these books and the authors’ thoughts, below, remind us that black history is America’s history and celebrated every day.

What inspired you to write The March Against Fear?

Bausum: I’ve spent two decades exploring under told stories from our nation’s past, particularly ones about the quest for social justice. This story called out to be told for those reasons and because it shares essential history about the evolving nature of the civil rights movement during the 1960s. … As for untold stories, they are legion. The Hidden Figures books and film prove that-these stories tend to emerge vicariously, so it’s the job of authors and publishers to spot them and latch on.

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Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King Jr’s Final Hours, written by Ann Bausum 2013 Awardee


24 BOOKS TO TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Babble is a part of The Walt Disney Company.

Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson
So your little one is resistant to “educational” books at home? Good news, you can easily interest them in learning some history from this amazing book, based on true events. It’s the story of how a steamboat school was created so that a teacher could continue teaching his students despite a law banning African American education.

Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass by Doreen Rappaport
Part of the Big Words picture book series, Frederick’s Journey dives deep into the life of Frederick Douglass. Your kids will learn about slavery, the struggle for freedom, and the power of words through this easy read.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
Shouldn’t kids know why they get an extra day off of school in January? Use this picture book biography to explain the sacrifices made by Martin Luther King, Jr., and why they are still so important to us today.

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Pinkney
Want to jump-start your kids’ knowledge of African-American culture? Then this book is an excellent place to begin. Sharing stories of men like Jackie Robinson, Frederick Douglass, and even Barack Obama - you can’t lose with a jam-packed book like this.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
This book is a tribute to Harriet Tubman. It’s important that our children truly grasp how she led people to freedom through the Underground Railroad, and what it took for her to show such bravery.

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
The little leaguer in your house will love this story. Written by Kadir Nelson, it explains how the League came to be. It’s incredible tone of voice and oil paintings make it a guaranteed home run for the whole family!

We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song by Debbie Levy, Illus Vanessa Brantley-Newton
“We Shall Overcome” was the song of the Civil Rights Movement - and now it’s a book! The colorful picture book captures the essence of this important song, while still keeping kids turning the pages to see what happens next.

The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes, Illus. E.B. Lewis
The ever-eloquent Langston Hughes has always been know for his poetry. The poem depicted in this picture book was written when Hughes was only 17! While the words themselves will wow, the pictures are just as breathtaking.

Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Introduce your children to the story of Sojourner Truth with this beautiful book. It explains how she escaped slavery, bravely speaking out against what was wrong. You won’t regret adding this story to your shelves. Trust us.

Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford
This story features a young girl, Connie, and how the start of the Civil Rights Movement affected her. It takes place with her and her brother witnessing the beginning of the protests - and what it means to them. Not only is this book captivating, but its pages are also beautifully drawn.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Kids will not only relate to the initial plot line of this story - traveling to Grandma’s house. But they will also get the chance to learn all about Alabama in 1963, and the struggles many African-Americans faced during that time.

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull
Wilma Rudolph’s inspiring story will blow your kids’ minds. When she was 4, polio paralyzed her left leg and she was told that she would never walk again. This book explains how Wilma refused to give up, going on to win three gold medals in the Olympics.

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis Pinkney
This book covers many important and historical African-American women - from Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, to Ella Josephine Baker and Shirley Chisholm. After this read, both you and your kids will be inspired to change the world.

Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her by Amy Novesky, Illus Vanessa Brantley-Newton
While many know Billie Holiday for her music, she was also quite the dog lover! Your kids will enjoy learning about Billie’s life and the special relationship she had with her boxer, Mister.

Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim, Illus. E. B. Lewis
This book will teach your kids about Civil Rights leader, John Lewis. As a small boy, he wanted to be a preacher. So it was no surprise that when he was put in charge of his family’s chickens, he turned them into his own congregation!

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Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Terry Wideners, 2004 Awardee

Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924 by Deborah Hopkinson 2004 Awardee

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

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Doreen Rappaport with artwork by Bryan Collier 2002 Awardee

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

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

The Village That Vanished written by Ann Grifalconi and illustrated by Kadir Nelson 2003 Awardee

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson 2012 Awardee

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

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

Night Boat to Freedom, written by Margot Theis Raven with pictures by E. B. Lewis 2007 Awardee

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


Local Children’s Book Author Captures Refugees’ Journeys In Poetry, Wins Award

Jorge Argueta’s illustrated book about refugees, Somos como las nubes / We are like the clouds, published in Spanish and English and with illustrations by Alfonso Ruano, has been selected by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book for the 2017 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. The award is given every year for poetry for children published by American poets or anthologists.

“In Somos como las nubes /We are Like the Clouds, the reader is pulled into the story visually from the beautiful illustrations, and rhythmically, from the poetic language. The bilingual aspect adds authenticity to the story and connectivity for more children.

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The Composition written by Antonio Ska;rmeta and illustrated by Alfonso Ruano 2001 Awardee


On a New York Underground Railroad Tour, Lessons in Resistance by Jacqueline Woodson

There is something else going on. I watch my children beginning to understand the complexity of the city they’ve always known and loved deeply. They are coming to know that the history of their New York speaks to an even deeper history of their country, and to the fact that only a few subway stops away from our Brooklyn home, we can walk the same streets our ancestors walked - freely.

The history of New York’s Underground Railroad - the financial and physical ramifications of enslavement here, the streets we walk on every day and the bodies that built them - is a narrative we all need to know as we move toward this country’s future.

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

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


Mirrors and Windows: Finding Diversity at the Color of Children’s Literature Conference

I did feel welcome, for all around me I saw writers of color. I was here for the second annual Color of Children’s Literature Conference, sponsored by Kweli Journal, and as a Latina I have rarely walked into a writing conference feeling like I could recognize myself among other participants, never mind the panelists.

Edwidge Danticat delivers the keynote address in 2016. The energy in the room was palpable, and when Danticat stepped up to the podium to give the keynote, "Does Your Face Light Up?” everyone in the room applauded wildly. She shared her own path as an author, how when an editor from Soho Press called her to tell her that they wanted to publish her novel.

“And often when we read, especially when we’re younger, we are looking for a mirror, echoes of our voices, people who might look and sound like us.” She assured us that our stories matter and that the best time to tell them is now.

One Native American writer I spoke to attended the conference on a scholarship program organized by Joseph Bruchac, author of the YA novel Trail of the Dead (Tu Books, 2015). This writer’s goal for the conference was to meet other Native American authors. “Sherman Alexie is great, but he’s only one. There are over four hundred federally regulated tribes in the United States. We need more people telling our stories and from our point of view.”

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

The Heart of a Chief written by Joseph Bruchac 1999 Awardee


Kids Obsessed with HAMILTON? New Book for Young Readers Goes In-Depth on the Founding Father

Thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster Broadway musical, Hamilton-mania has taken the nation by storm. And now kids can read the story of one of America’s most influential founders.

This is the story that epitomizes the American dream - a poor immigrant who made good in America. In ALEXANDER HAMILTON: THE MAKING OF AMERICA, written by bestselling author Teri Kanfield, kids will learn how Hamilton rose from poverty through his intelligence and ability, and did more to shape our country than any of his contemporaries.

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The Girl From the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield 2015 Awardee


The New York Times was live. (Facebook): Feb 15

Our Black History Month celebration continues with illustrator Floyd Cooper, whose latest picture book is about Frederick Douglass. Cooper will show us some of his techniques and talk about sharing Douglass’s legacy with a new generation. Comment with your questions and NYT’ children’s books editor Maria Russo will ask some…

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


‘Monster’ the story of a teen filmmaker caught up in a crime

“Monster,” a justly beloved 1999 courtroom novel about an empathetic, middle-class African-American kid who becomes ensnared in a robbery that results in a murder, is one of Myers’ paintings with words.

The story of 16-year-old Steve Harmon - labeled a monster at trial but actually a complicated young man - “Monster” is the latest show to be part of the Steppenwolf for Young Adults program.

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

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


The PEN/Faulkner Podcast is back! Episode 53 ? Louise Erdrich

On May 10th, 2016, Erdrich joined PEN/Faulkner at an event co-hosted by the Library of Congress to read from her novel, LaRose.

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The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 2000 Awardee


The 'Green Book’ to be read at the NACC Friday

Calvin Ramsey’s two-act play, “The Green Book,” will be produced as a stage reading by seven local actors on Friday at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center.

The play is based on his research of “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” a manual directing blacks to “safe” restaurants, hotel and gas stations. The play he eventually wrote, is based on interviews with scores of elderly African Americans who recalled both joy and fear while traveling, which he sought to recapture in his play. “They’re not sad stories,” Ramsey said, adding “they are very uplifting stories.”

Following the performance, Ramsey will answer questions from the audience pertaining to his work as an author and playwright, his process in writing “The Green Book,” and will discuss some of his other works including a children’s book called “Ruth and The Green Book,” and the documentary he is working on called “The Green Book Chronicles.”

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

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


Tulsa Library to Honor Choctaw Writer Tim Tingle

Tim Tingle (Choctaw) will receive the Tulsa Library Trust’s “Festival of Words Writers Award” March 4, 10:30 a.m., at Hardesty Regional Library’s Connor’s Cove, 8316 E. 93rd St. His award presentation will be followed by a book signing and a day of educational American Indian family events.

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Crossing Bok Chitto: told in written form by nationally recognized Choctaw storyteller, Tim Tingle 2007 Awardee


Report reiterates reading importance

Scholastic just released its Kids & Family Reading Report.

Don’t forget adding books in your home library that showcase diverse story lines and characters. When looking for children’s books to read for fun, both kids (37 percent) and parents (42 percent) mostly agree they “just want a good story” and a similar percentage want books that make kids laugh. One in 10 kids ages 12 to 17 say they specifically look for books that have “culturally or ethnically diverse story lines, settings or characters.”

Some top picture books include “The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!” by Carmen Agra Deedy.

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The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark written by Carmen Agra Deedy 2001 Awardee

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 2016 Awards.

On Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s “Mind the Gaps: Books for ALL Young Readers” (from 2015)

In her article from the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson looks back at her bookish childhood and how it informs her work as a youth services librarian in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

To commemorate Black History Month, we are highlighting a series of articles, speeches, and reviews from The Horn Book archive that are by and/or about African American authors, illustrators, and luminaries in the field - one a day through the month of February, with a roundup on Fridays.

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


Bookshelf: Five Iconic African-American Biographies for Kids

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat Written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe

Basquiat left a vibrant legacy that Steptoe, painting and collaging on salvaged wood pieces from Basquiat’s own hunting grounds, conveys to a new generation. Steptoe’s words, too, go straight for the heart, redeeming often harsh facts of the artist’s life by focusing on how both his strength and his pain powered his art.

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne By Carole Boston Weatherford.

The veteran biographer Weatherford stirringly tells Lena Horne’s extraordinary story - her birth into a high-achieving black family; her itinerant childhood; the showbiz career she built while enduring Jim Crow and Hollywood racism; her place in the civil rights movement; the ways “music saved her” to the end.

The Youngest Marcher By Cynthia Levinson. Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton.

Levinson and Newton keep her story bright and snappy, emphasizing the girl’s eagerness to make a difference and her proud place in her community.

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History By Walter Dean Myers. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper.

Douglass’s life story has a magisterial glow in this posthumous work from the esteemed Myers. (It stands taller than most picture books, a fitting design decision.) Myers’s words pointedly convey the centrality of reading and “careful decisions” to Douglass’s struggle for freedom and his later public work, offering an anchor to children trying to comprehend the cruelties of American slavery. Cooper’s realistic, slightly smudged art feels equally consequential, balancing dignity and emotion.

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

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March written by Cynthia Levinson 2013 Awardee

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

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

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

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


A Comprehensive Syllabus for Solange’s ‘A Seat at the Table’
Solange’s album gave voice to the struggle to maintain black humanity and sanity. Here’s a list of books that do something similar.

Solange’s “I Got So Much Magic, You Can Have It” You did it from the get go, get go/ Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go look for magic, yeah/ They not gon’ get it from the get go, get go, get go, get go/ Don’t let, don’t let, don’t let anybody steal your magic, yeah/ But I got so much y'all You can have it Yeah

“What makes you magic?” Response from Marley Dias, Founder, 1000 Black Girl Books. Editor, “Marley Mag” on Elle.com:

“I am magic because of all the black women who have come before me, and because of their struggle and powerfulness that they share with me. And I am magic because of my hair, my strength, my intelligence, my family, and my history.”

Texts:
Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges
The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Curtis
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muoz Ryan
The Logan Family Series by Mildred Taylor
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

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Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges 2000 Awardee

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis 2008 Awardee

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

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata 2007 Awardee

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

Esperanza Rising written by Pam Muoz Ryan 2001 Awardee

The Well written by Mildred D. Taylor 1996 Awardee

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

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

Song of the Trees written by Mildred D. Taylor 1976 Awardee

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

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


Books on Film: Javaka Steptoe LIVE (video)

The New York Times invited our reigning Caldecott Medalist, Javaka Steptoe, to create some art on Facebook Live the other day.

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


7 books to help kids appreciate history of blacks in America

Answering the Cry for Freedom’ by Gretchen Woelfle, illustrations by R. Gregory Christie

The subtitle: “Stories of African Americans and the American Revolution.” Each of 13 chapters is devoted to a hardly known individual, perhaps a preacher, writer or enslaved worker. Woelfle’s storytelling clips nicely along. What elevates this effort are the saucy, old-timey ink illustrations by Christie, of Mableton.

'Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!’ collected by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Two longtime, award-winning talents have churned out a meaty collection of familiar African-American games, poems, “on the porch or by the fire” stories and more - even “Mama Sayings” and code words used in the Underground Railroad. Pinkney’s watercolor artwork dances joyfully all over the pages of this fine keepsake.

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

A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack 1990 Awardee

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


Beyond Patty-Cake: Patricia McKissack collects games, songs from childhood

The award-winning author writes about these traditions in “Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!,” a celebration and history of the stories and songs of African-American childhood. Although not all of the material is African in origin, she writes, “through the years, black children have learned games and folk tales from other cultures, and have then made them uniquely their own by adding Afro-Caribbean rhythms and movements and by changing lyrics.”

The book features the swirling, joyful illustrations of Brian Pinkney and begins with the clapping games and jump-rope rhymes of young children. It moves into fables, spirituals, parables and folktales and has a fascinating chapter on the songs inspired by the Underground Railroad.

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A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack 1990 Awardee

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


MURMURATIONS (video) “Cross That Line” BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

“Cross That Line” is an important poem to me because I loved Paul Robeson so much as a child. I loved his voice. We had a record of him singing. And you know, I wouldn’t read his biography until I was an adult and know about what he suffered as a so-called communist - and how his passport was taken away from him, and he was not allowed to leave the nation, though he had a huge fan club in Europe and elsewhere.

This poem is excerpted with permission from Naomi Shihab Nye’s collection of poetry, You & Yours. For more poetry, visit our Poetry Radio Project.

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Habibi written by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee


Why are we still pushing first ladies as role models for our girls?

Mrs. Grace Coolidge: “I am rather proud of the fact … that my husband feels free to make his decisions and act upon them without consulting me,” she reports in “A Kids’ Guide to America’s First Ladies” by Kathleen Krull. Ah, Grace: so lovely, so feminine, so obedient! Who among us would not want such a role model for our nation’s little girls?

In an age when women can be secretary of state and very nearly president, I’m guessing a lot of us, and that’s a problem when it comes to modern children’s books about first ladies.

In Krull’s book, a series of sparkling bios for the 8-12 set, her first ladies are very different, quite complicated and not always all that admirable. Krull finds role models in the usual places: Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama. Krull is at her marvelous best when depicting underdogs and quirky originals.

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


A study in contrasts: The evolution of black art as social protest

“Art for art’s sake” never entered the equation for the former Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, who crafted a searing indictment of inequality in a language that even the most illiterate could understand. Art was harnessed in the march toward recognition, equality and self-realization.

Today, cultural historians view the Black Lives Matter movement as one of the most broad-based human rights coalitions formed since the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Yet artists tackling themes of structural racism or rampant police brutality have difficulty finding a market for their work, according to Faith Ringgold, an African-American artist best known for her narrative quilt paintings.

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


10 new children’s books for Black History Month

Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!
By Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
By Javaka Steptoe

Preaching to the Chickens
By Jabari Asim, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Steamboat School
By Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Ron Husband

Accompanied by crosshatch-style illustrations by Ron Husband, Disney’s first African-American animator, Steamboat School follows a fictional child whose courage leads him to Meachum’s “Floating Freedom School.”

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A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack 1990 Awardee

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

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

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

Night Boat to Freedom, written by Margot Theis Raven with pictures by E. B. Lewis 2007 Awardee

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Terry Wideners, 2004 Awardee

Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924 by Deborah Hopkinson 2004 Awardee

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


VIRGINIA TEEN PLAYED CRUCIAL ROLE IN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Column: Johns finally getting recognition she deserves

The story of Barbara Johns and Moton school remained largely untold in Farmville and Prince Edward County for decades. Those who lived there at the time don’t talk much about it.

Historians seem to link the civil rights movement’s birth to the Brown case in 1954. In fact, it began earlier with the courage of rural teenager Barbara Johns. Her legacy deserves a more prominent place in history.

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The Girl From the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield 2015 Awardee


Scott Reynolds Nelson discusses John Henry and the birth of Rock 'n’ Roll

On Thursday, Feb. 16, Scott Reynolds Nelson, UGA Athletic Association Professor of History at the University of Georgia, visited Carnegie Mellon as part of the Department of History and the University Lecture Series in conjunction with the Hiawatha Project. The award-winning author of Steel Drivin’ Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend and several other books, Nelson revisited the legend of John Henry and its roots in the evolution of music from the 19th century to today in his lecture, titled “Take this Hammer: The Death of John Henry and the Birth of Rock 'n’ Roll.”

The story of John Henry, Nelson said, changed from a story about death to a story of a legend, a story of heroism, embraced by workers and laborers against the perils of capitalism and advancing technology. Nelson is currently working on a history of Kansas wheat, Russian communists, and the end of World War I.

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Ain’t Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry, published by National Geographic by Scott Reynolds Nelson and Marc Aronson 2009 Awardee


Community events remembering the signing of Executive Order 9066

2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 of 1942. In remembrance of the impact this made on the Japanese American community, numerous events in Washington state will be take place throughout the year.

Sunday, April 9:
WHAT: “Conspiracy of Kindness: You’ve Given Me Life”
WHERE: Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church, 3001 24th Ave. S., Seattle
“Conspiracy of Kindness: You’ve Given Me Life” focuses on the legacy of Consul General Chiune Sugihara who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Dramatic performance and panel will feature Alton Takiyama Chung, Lori Tsugawa Whaley, Ken Mochizuki & Dee Simon.

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Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story by Ken Mochizuki 1998 Awardee


A OPRF pop-up museum of black history
Images of prominent African Americans accompany QR codes offering virtual history lessons

Jason Spoor-Harvey, OPRF’s history division chair, is working with students from his history classes and various extracurricular clubs to tape a total of 150 images “celebrating black excellence” on hallway walls at OPRF for the duration of Black History Month. “I teach African history, so we talk about how our history classes are white-washed and what that means and how that supports the racial hierarchy,” Spoor-Harvey said while standing near a poster of Claudette Colvin.

According to author Phillip Hoose, who wrote an award-winning book about Colvin called “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” black civil rights leaders at the time declined to press Colvin’s case through the courts because they “worried they couldn’t win with her,” Hoose told the New York Times in 2009.

“Words like 'mouthy,’ 'emotional’ and 'feisty’ were used to describe her,” Hoose said, adding that Parks was considered “stolid, calm, unflappable.”

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Hey, Little Ant written by Phillip and Hannah Hoose 1999 Awardee

Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose 2010 Awardee

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 2016 Awards.

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) names 2017 Notable Children’s Books

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“Rudas: Nino’s Horrendous Hermanitas.” By Yuyi Morales. Illus. by the author. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter.

“Thunder Boy Jr.” By Sherman Alexie. Illus. by Yuyi Morales. Little, Brown.

“I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark.” By Debbie Levy. Illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley. Simon & Schuster.

“A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day.” By Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illus. by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson. Viking.

“Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis.” By Jabari Asim. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen.

“The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes.” By Duncan Tonatiuh. Illus. by the author. Abrams.

“Steamboat School.” By Deborah Hopkinson. Illus. by Ron Husband. Disney/Jump at the Sun.

“We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler.” By Russell Freedman. illus. Clarion.

“You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen.” By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Jeffery Boston Weatherford. Atheneum.

“Freedom in Congo Square.” By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. little bee.

“Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest.” By Lulu Delacre. Illus. by the author. Lee & Low.

“Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.” By Javaka Steptoe. Illus. by the author. Little, Brown.

“Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White.” By Melissa Sweet. Illus. by the author. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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

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

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

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

Night Boat to Freedom, written by Margot Theis Raven with pictures by E. B. Lewis 2007 Awardee

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh 2015 Awardee

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Terry Wideners, 2004 Awardee

Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924 by Deborah Hopkinson 2004 Awardee

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

Freedom Walkers, written by Russell Freedman 2007 Awardee

Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor written by Russell Freedman 1995 Awardee

Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery written by Russell Freedman 1994 Awardee

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

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

The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos, Story by Cuento Luca Gonzlez, Illustrations/Illustraciones Lulu Delacre 2009 Awardee

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

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909, written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet 2014 Awardee


Reading to Remember

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The Legendary Miss Lena Horne
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
The Legendary Miss Lena Horne introduces young readers to one of the underappreciated heroes of the civil rights movement.

Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History
Written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Frederick Douglass is one of the most well-known figures in African-American history. In Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History, the late author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of how the former slave became educated and fought his way to freedom before dedicating his life to doing the same for others.

The Youngest Marcher
Written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
It’s not always easy to stand up for what is right, but it’s even harder as a kid. Audrey Faye Hendricks did just that as a 9-year-old in Birmingham, Alabama.

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe
Written by Deborah Blumenthal and illustrated by Laura Freeman
Ann Cole Lowe faced many obstacles on her quest to achieve her dreams. Some have called the talented African-American fashion designer “society’s best-kept secret.” While she is known for designing the dress that Jacqueline Kennedy wore at her wedding to future president John F. Kennedy in 1953, most of Lowe’s beautiful creations didn’t get much recognition during her lifetime.

Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!
Written by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Have you ever wondered about the origin of your favorite songs or games? In Patricia McKissack’s newest book, Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs & Stories from an African-American Childhood, she explains the origin of her childhood favorites.

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Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

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

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

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

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March written by Cynthia Levinson 2013 Awardee

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

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

A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack 1990 Awardee

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


Here are the books you need to read if you’re going to resist Donald Trump

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Forewarned is forearmed, as one of the novel’s folksy characters might say.

In the Heart of the Valley of Love, by Cynthia Kadohata
In the place of expectations about the world, which can breed complacency when those expectations are met and despair when they are not, the novel suggests it is possible to find power in imagining better alternatives to the present.

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Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata 2007 Awardee


Black Girl Magic! 12 Year Old To Publish Her Own Book

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12-YEAR-old Marley Dias is working on her own book about activism and social justice. The youngster, who’s hashtag #1000BlackGirlBooks is part of her mission to collect stories about women of colour, will publish her book with Scholastic, and is scheduled for a 2018 release.

“Marley’s energy and passion are electric!” said Andrea Davis Pinkney, vice president and executive editor of Scholastic. “Through her smarts and ingenuity, she’s delivered a jolt of inspiration that’s sent an unstoppable shock-wave to kids everywhere who’ve stood up with Marley to shout ‘Yes!’ to the power of positive action.”

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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 creation story of the atomic bomb told through a powerful and moving picture book

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“I had seen some of the interior art and text at that point, and I was intrigued by the way the tone of both Jeanette Winter’s illustrations and her son Jonah Winter’s text so thoroughly conveyed the almost frenzied, kinetic energy of the inventors and the eerily quiet secrecy of the The Secret Project. After reading the book, I realized that I had greatly underestimated the importance of the telling in its entirety, which is done so masterfully by the Winters.”

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Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter 2010 Awardee

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winte 2016 Awardee


Kindness is the key as Hampton students celebrate Black History Month

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A favorite project of Wyland Elementary third-grade art teacher Kate Powell is the creation of a large fabric and paper quilt inspired by the children’s novel “Tar Beach,” written by African-American artist Faith Ringgold.

The book centers around a young girl who lives in the city but dreams she can fly and about the places she would go. The character made quilts that demonstrated her dreams for herself and for the world, said Powell.

“I think they really understood the idea each one of us is capable of actions in making it a better world,” said Powell.

Koble said her students identified with the book’s character who is also 8 years old, like many of them. Koble stresses that she tries to incorporate lessons celebrating differences throughout the year, not just during Black History Month.

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


NIE Blog Black History Month profile: Lucille Clifton

Spotlight on Lucille Clifton

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Lucille Clifton’s career as a poet was off to a sensational start. In 1970 she began another career as an author of children’s books. Some of the Days of Everett Anderson was the first of a series about a boy growing up in the inner city. Clifton also wrote for children’s television. She shared an Emmy award as a co-writer of the TV special Free to Be You and Me in 1974.

Clifton was popular with academic critics as well as young readers. Her poetry was minimalist, featuring short, uncapitalized and unrhymed lines. It was powerful without being ornate, expressing in spare, direct language her life experiences and her imagination of history, mythology and politics.

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Amifika by Lucille Clifton 1978 Awardee


The Prolific Pen Of Naomi Shihab Nye

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It might be a challenging question to ask Naomi Shihab Nye where she’s from. Nye is a poet-novelist-essayist, born in St. Louis, but raised in both San Antonio and Jerusalem. Nye is Palestinian-American, and her large body of work reflects the many influences in her life, from West Texas to the Middle East.

She visits Ashland for a speaking engagement tonight (February 13th), and drops by the studio for an advance on the evening. We just try to fit a sampling of her skills and wisdom into a single hour.

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Habibi written by Naomi Shihab Nye 1998 Awardee


These books encourage acceptance of self and others

“The books reviewed today take a look at the idea that we are different from one another, and that there is nothing wrong with that. Instilling this idea in children will help them see others with greater sensitivity and compassion, and I think we can all agree the world needs more of that attitude.”

“My Brother Sam is Dead” by James Lincoln Collier

“Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry.

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Number the Stars written by Lois Lowry 1990 Awardee

My Brother Sam Is Dead written by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier 1975 Awardee


An Open Letter to School Librarians: Silence Is not Golden

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Every day students of different races, nationalities, and sexual orientations walk through our doors. Our libraries must be safe spaces for them, since the outside world has become increasingly unsafe.

An elementary school librarian in Wisconsin is resisting through read-alouds featuring immigrants, biographies of inventors from other countries, and picture book biographies which mention protesters and women’s equality. Some of the books she recommends are Jairo Buitrago’s Two White Rabbits, Paula Yoo’s Twenty-Two Cents, and Duncan Tonatiuh’s Separate is Never Equal.

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Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh 2015 Awardee


Fall 2017 Children’s Sneak Previews

Danza!: Amalia Hernndez and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet by Duncan Tonatiuh, profiling the dancer, choreographer, and founder of the titular dance company

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride, 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner

42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero by Doreen Rappaport, chronicling the extraordinary life of the man who broke the “rules” of segregation in athletics and beyond

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!: It’s Shoe Time by Mo Willems and Bryan Collier, in which Sue is all set for the big day-except for which shoes she will choose to wear.

Ada Lovelace and the Computer by Tanya Lee Stone, illus. by Marjorie Priceman, celebrating the woman recognized as the first computer programmer

All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, illus. by Mike Curato, featuring a Cuban family’s road trip into the city of colorful buildings and iconic classic cars

Miguel’s Brave Knight: Young Miguel de Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote by Margarita Engle, illus. by Ral Coln, spotlighting the early life of one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language

Art! by Ral Coln, about a skateboarding boy’s transformative first visit to an art museum.

Dangerous Jane by Suzanne Slade, illus. by Alice Ratterree, profiling social activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams

Jada Jones: Rock Star by Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton, in which a fourth grader who loves science and rocks must figure out how to make new friends when her best friend moves away

A Night Out with Mama by Quvenzhan Walls, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton, featuring a girl celebrating a very special night with a special person

In Your Hands by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Brian Pinkney, a picture book that speaks of a black mother’s hopes and dreams for her child

Forest World by Margarita Engle, featuring a contemporary Cuban-American boy who visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time and meets a sister he didn’t know he had.

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Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh 2015 Awardee

We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin by Larry Dane Brimner 2008 Awardee

Birmingham Sunday by Larry Dane Brimner 2011 Awardee

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. written by Doreen Rappaport with artwork by Bryan Collier 2002 Awardee

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone 2010 Awardee

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

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

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

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

Birmingham, 1963 by Carole Boston Weatherford 2008 Awardee

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


9 Extraordinary African American Women In The Arts Who Changed US History

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1. Faith Ringgold
One of her most notable works is her series of paintings titled American People, “which portrayed the civil rights movement from a female perspective,” according to Biography. She was also heavily involved in activism, and made posters in support of the Black Panther Party.

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6. Edwidge Danticat
She has won many awards for her writing, including the American Book Award, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

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

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


Books offer insight to black history
Tales for young people that have won Coretta Scott King awards.

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Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
RADIANT CHILD: THE STORY OF YOUNG ARTIST JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT. Illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe.
Also the Randolph Caldecott Medal recipient for the most “distinguished American picture book for children,” this exquisitely illustrated narrative is about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Steptoe aspired to echo the unique collage style of Basquiat.

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Illustrator Honor Books
FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Written by Carol Boston Weatherford.
Also a Caldecott Honor book, Freedom’s poetic text honors those who “flocked to New Orleans’ Congo Square. Everyone celebrated the freedom of an afternoon when the harshness of the workweek could be temporarily suspended. The figures within Christie’s paintings capture the drudgery and pain of the work as well as the joy of music.

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

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


NAACP Image Award Nominees

The NAACP announced nominees for its 48th annual Image Awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in Television, Recording (Music), Literary (Books), Motion Picture, Documentary (film and television), Writing (for film and television), Directing (for film and television), and Animated/CGI (for film and television). Winners will be announced Saturday, February 11, 2017 during a ceremony airing live on TV One at 9PM EST.

LITERATURE

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Outstanding Literary Work - Fiction
"Another Brooklyn” - Jacqueline Woodson (HarperCollins /Amistad)

Outstanding Literary Work - Children

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“A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day” - Andrea Davis Pinkney (Author), Lou Fancher (Illustrator), Steve Johnson (Illustrator), (Viking Children’s Books)

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“Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” - Javaka Steptoe (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

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Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis 2013 Awardee

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee

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

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

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


Student board members defend not banning controversial book

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Jacob Walton, Tyler Little and Jenna Akers all defended inclusion of author Tanya Lee Stone’s 2006 novel, “A Bad Boy Can Be Good For a Girl,” in the library during Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Education. All three are non-voting student members of the Currituck Board of Education.

The three students gave their perspectives on the novel after school board member Will Crodick criticized school officials’ decision to keep the book available for check-out by high school students.

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Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone 2010 Awardee


The Amazing Girl Rising Documentary Is Now a Book

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Tanya Lee Stone, an acclaimed author of nonfiction books for kids and young adults, partnered with the filmmakers to adapt the film for print, taking advantage of the hours upon hours of taped interviews they collected during the reporting process. She added to that her own research on education, and wove it all together to tell the story of how educating girls can change lives, shape economies, and lift entire communities out of poverty.

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Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone 2010 Awardee

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 2016 Awards.


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