Jane Addams Peace Association News

Is ‘Z For Zachariah’ Based On A Book? The Margot Robbie Sci-Fi Movie Has An Intriguing History

You could call Z a character-driven version of the same-old story, but in fact, the movie’s source material pre-dates most of the other post-apocalyptic media on the market, as Z For Zachariah is based on a novel (a sci-fi one, of course) that was published in 1974.

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

Napa Reads will feature 'American Dream’ stories

Napa County Reads has selected the autobiographic stories by Francisco Jimnez, an award-winning writer who chronicles his humble beginnings and struggles to complete his education as the son of migrant workers from Mexico.

Read More | The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimnez 1998 Awardee

Three Books, One Message: Educating For The American Future

Some of the best scenes in the book involve Jimnez’s early education. When his parents and older brother would go out to the fields, his “job” was to go to elementary school, where all too many days were defined by shame and anxiety because he was so far behind his peers. We may not think of little children suffering stress-related cramps and headaches in school, and The Circuit, a short memoir by Francisco Jimnez, shows what that looks like.

Read More | The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimnez 1998 Awardee

Do animals dream? By Sy Montgomery

At least since Aristotle, humans have pondered just what goes on in the minds of sleeping creatures. Researchers now have an idea.

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

Samantha Smith, Manchester’s messenger of peace, to be featured in Maine State Museum exhibit

An exhibit opening on Tuesday at the Maine State Museum seeks to pay tribute to Smith, whose letter prompted a reply and invitation from Andropov to come visit the Soviet Union, which she did in a two-week mission of peace in 1983 that drew worldwide attention.

Read More | Journey to the Soviet Union by Samantha Smith 1986 Awardee

Two cultures

Author Margarita Engle gives a talk on her work at the Pittsburg Library in Pittsburg on Aug. 6. Engle is a Cuban-American writer who became the first Latino awarded a Newberry Honor in 2009 for her book “The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom.” Engle gave talks at several libraries as part of Read to Rhythm Summer Reading Program.

Read More | 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

Children’s book by Maine islander explores challenges of remote life

A new children’s book explores life on remote Maine islands through the eyes of a little boy named Riley. “Island Birthday,” written by Eva Murray and illustrated by Jamie Hogan. “Everybody’s equal, everybody’s waiting for something, everybody’s inconvenienced,” Murray said. “I hope it comes across as a story of community, the value of community, the value of friendship.”

Read More | Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins,illustrations by Jamie Hogan 2008 Awardee

Ohioana Book Awards go to Anthony Doerr, Jacqueline Woodson, more

Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Jacqueline Woodson, “Brown Girl Dreaming.” Woodson, the author of books for children and young adults, won the 2014 National Book Award for “Brown Girl Dreaming” and is the current U.S. Young People’s Poet Laureate. She was born in Columbus and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read More | Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee
From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996 Awardee
I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson 1995 Awardee

Summer Book Club: ‘The Turtle of Oman’

A boy from the Middle East must move to Michigan; he also must learn to say goodbye.

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

A wonderful walk on Prince Edward Island.

Rachna Gilmore, who will launch her new children’s book, “Island Morning”, on Aug. 14, is shown in her garden with a previous book. The literary event will take at Confederation Centre Public Library in Charlottetown at 2 p.m.

Read More | A Group of One by Rachna Gilmore 2002 Awardee

Muoz Ryan hits it out of the park with 'Echo’

“Echo” contains both real magic and magical realism, yet it takes us on a tour of very real racist and classist outrages from Nazi Germany to the San Fernando valley.

Read More | Esperanza Rising by Pam Muoz Ryan 2001 Awardee

Ann McGovern, Author, Is Dead at 85; She Made 'Stone Soup’ a School Staple

Several of Ms. McGovern’s nonfiction books chronicled the lives of notable women, including “Runaway Slave: The Story of Harriet Tubman” (1965), illustrated by R. M. Powers, and “The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson” (1975), illustrated by Ann Grifalconi, the true tale of a woman who disguised herself as a man to fight with the Continental Army.

Read More | Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Ann Grifalconi 2003 Awardee
The Village That Vanished written by Ann Grifalconi and illustrated by Kadir Nelson 2003 Awardee

Angelina Jolie Pitt to exec produce animated film ‘The Breadwinner’ about Afghan girl


“Millions of young girls like Parvana are growing up today under oppression or conflict, and helping their families to survive in those conditions. This story is a reminder of the immense value of their contribution,” Jolie Pitt said. “I am delighted to be working with a talented team of artists who I know will do justice to the richness, creativity and strength of Afghan culture and to little girls like Parvana.”

The film, which will be directed by Nora Towmey, is based on Deborah Ellis’ internationally acclaimed young adult novel of the same name. The story revolves around a young girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, who must disguise herself as a boy and become the breadwinner of the family when her father is unfairly imprisoned.

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

The ?Green Book’ Legacy, a Beacon for Black Travelers


A film crew led by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Becky Wible Searles will interview some of Mr. Green’s relatives for their documentary, “The Green Book Chronicles,” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

Read More | Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey 2011 Awardee
Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend written by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud 2012 Awardee

Page by Page column: Before school begins again


Teachers say over and over that they can tell which children have read over the summer. Here are some more suggestions to try:

“Clara and Davie” (Patricia Polacco) - From the legendary Patricia Polacco comes a story based on the life of Clara Barton growing up, and the relationship she had with her brother that encouraged her in the field of medicine. Please be sure to read the author’s note in the back to discover how the famous author is related to Clara Barton. (Ages 8-12)

“Brown Girl Dreaming” (Jacqueline Woodson) - This book might be the top book I have read this summer. Woodson’s words are always lyrical and rhythmical. Brown Girl Dreaming is the about the author as a child. When asked on her website why she wrote the book she said “I wanted to understand who my mom was before she was my mother and I wanted to understand exactly how I became a writer. So I started researching my life, asking relatives and talking to friends - and mostly, just letting myself remember.” The book written in verse makes it easy to read and beautiful to visualize. (Ages 10-15)

Read More | Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco 1993 Awardee
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson 2013 Awardee
From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 1996
I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson 1995

Cap your summer with several stage shows

“An Evening with Arna Bontemps” will be Aug. 9.

It will celebrate the life and literary works of Louisiana native and Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps. There are three kid-friendly, mini-stage plays:

“Meet Arna Bontemps”: This brief biographical sketch of Arna Bontemps’ life will depict his childhood in Alexandria, Louisiana and his personal journey to Harlem - a Louisiana son and pioneer of contemporary juvenile literature.


“Popo and Fifina”: This stage play brings the children’s book, “Popo and Fifina: Children of Haiti” (1932), to life. This lighthearted story is the shared writing project of Harlem Renaissance authors, Arna Bontemps and his best friend, Langston Hughes.


“Lonesome Boy”: This stage play features Arna Bontemps’ children’s tale, “Lonesome Boy” (1955). In this story, Mr. Bontemps features his home state of Louisiana. This fable is about a young jazz musician named Bubber, his passion for playing the trumpet and his adventures in New Orleans at Mardi Gras.

Read More | Story of the Negro by Arna Bontemps 1956 Awardee

A Jane Austen-esque novel for teens and other best books for young readers


A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America By Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Enriched by well-chosen period illustrations, the book offers a bracing look at the scientific practices and yellow journalism of a century ago, while offering valuable lessons for potential medical scares in the future.

Read More | Kids on Strike! by Susan Campbell Bartoletti 2000 Awardee
Growing Up In Coal County by Susan Campbell Bartoletti 1997 Awardee

Maya Angelou’s Art Collection With Unique Faith Ringgold Portrait Heads to Auction


Th[e] Ringgold work, a painted story quilt commissioned by Oprah Winfrey as a gift for the poet’s 60th birthday in 1989, is the anticipated top lot of the upcoming sale. The piece, which depicts the author as a young woman walking along a wooded path, incorporates handwritten texts quoting several of her writings, including the seminal I Know What the Caged Bird Sings.

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

Children’s book review: Tackling tough issues through pictures


“Yard Sale” was written by veteran children’s author Eve Bunting and illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Bunting, who is known for her children’s books about life issues, shines here. Almost everything in her family’s house is in the front yard now. Her family is moving to a small apartment. They cannot take all of their stuff, not even her red bicycle. Bunting does not shy away from the seriousness of the situation, but she tempers the seriousness with reassurance. Castillo’s watercolor illustrations are rendered in muted tones. This suits the tone of the story well.

Read More | The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting 1990 Awardee

Santa Maria’s newest school, Jimnez Elementary, inaugurated

In April the district’s board voted to name the school, which will be known as Jimnez Elementary, after the brothers, who were not only immigrant farm workers but also students in the district. The late Roberto Jimnez worked in the district for 40 years, and Francisco Jimnez is a notable author who has been a professor at Santa Clara University for 43 years.

Principal Richard Ruiz summed up the day’s events, and set the school’s future in motion.

“Jimnez Elementary is a place where students and staff will have ample opportunities to showcase talents, learn from one another, and value and respect each other’s differences,” he continued. “They will learn to love learning, seek out knowledge, love who they are, and appreciate where they came from.”

Read More | The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimnez 1998

© 2015 Jane Addams Peace Association

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