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By: Maryann Yin,
Blog: Galley Cat (Mediabistro)
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, Andrea Tsurumi
, Dean Haspiel
, Gregory Benton
, Jim Rugg
, Paul Pope
, Raul Gonzalez III
, Ronald Winberly
, Winsor McCay
, Yuko Shimizu
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The Society of Illustrators will host the “Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream” exhibit.
This program honors the work of the “Little Nemo in Slumberland” comic strip creator, Winsor McCay. The closing date has been scheduled for March 28th.
According to the organization’s website, this art show is “based on Locust Moon Press’ anthology Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, many of the world’s finest cartoonists pay tribute to the master and his masterpiece by creating 118 new ‘Little Nemo’ strips, following their own voices down paths lit by McCay. Contributors to the exhibit include Paul Pope, Gregory Benton, Dean Haspiel, Yuko Shimizu, Jim Rugg, Ronald Winberly, Andrea Tsurumi, Raul Gonzalez III, and more!” Click here to see samples from the book.
Like many of you, I’m feverishly planning for summer reading. My complete schedule is due at the end of this week and even here in the Deep South, everything has been thrown off by ice and snow and power outages and missed deadlines…as crazy as Summer Reading is in a public library, I’m definitely looking forward to summer.
My library isn’t large enough to have separate programming for tweens in the summer, so I encourage rising 6-12th graders to come to my teen programming. Which means I’ve had kids as young as 11 at teen programming. This can work. This is good for socialization and some of your kids will really enjoy it. Fun mentor-type relationships have sprung up among my group. You just have to remember a few things.
- Adult Supervision. I’ve never had any issues at teen programming among the actual teens, but y’all, there is a big age gap between 11 and 18 and we have to be responsible around that. Make sure your programs are staffed properly. Safety first.
- Participation, not humiliation. Try not to plan any programs that call anyone out specifically, but do encourage participation. Last year I talked about my photobooth program, which was well-attended and wildly popular. Kids were able to participate without feeling like I’m going to call on them at school.
- Casual forever. My tween/teen programming is MUUUUCH less structured than my kids programming. Part of this is numbers: I’m never going to get 100 kids at a teen program. But part of that is that junior high and high school kids have their lives structured down to every single second and having a place where they can come make a craft or watch a movie without having to ask permission to use the restroom.
- Have fun with them. My main problem in the summer is that while I’m trying to do multiple programs a week, I forget to sit down and actually enjoy myself. The teen and tween programs are an ideal place to do this, as they ARE less structured and require less of me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I try and take this hour every week during the summer to relax and have a chat with my kids. I love it.
Good luck on those summer plans, fellow public librarians! You can do it!
Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a youth services librarian in Mississippi, and has worked with ages birth-18 for the last 6 years.
The post Planning for Tweens appeared first on ALSC Blog.
We’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending February 22, 2015–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.
(Debuted at #4 in Hardcover Fiction) The Whites by Richard Price (writing as Harry Brandt): “Back in the run-and-gun days of the mid-90s, when Billy Graves worked in the South Bronx as part of an anti-crime unit known as the Wild Geese, he made headlines by accidentally shooting a 10-year-old boy while stopping an angel-dusted berserker in the street. Branded as a cowboy by his higher-ups, for the next eighteen years Billy endured one dead-end posting after another. Now in his early forties, he has somehow survived and become a sergeant in Manhattan Night Watch, a small team of detectives charged with responding to all night-time felonies from Wall Street to Harlem.” (February 2015)
(Debuted at #7 in Hardcover Nonfiction) H Is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald: “When Helen Macdonald’s father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she’d never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk’s fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own.” (March 2015)
(Debuted at #10 in Hardcover Fiction) Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King: “Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer: not an unlikely career choice for a man richer in social connections than in pounds sterling. And then there’s the lithe young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. Haruki Sato agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can’t shake the feeling that the young woman is not who she claims to be.” (February 2015)
How do you deal with sharing difficult stories? Writer Meaghan Ford (pictured, via) recited a poem called “We Don’t Tell These Stories For Fun” at the 2014 National Poetry Slam.
The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted a video (embedded above) featuring her performance and it has drawn more than 27,000 views. Click here to listen to another one of Ford’s pieces.
Jeff Kinney is the most popular writer among school kids in the UK this year, followed by Roald Dahl and Roderick Hunt.
According to the What Kids Are Reading report, which includes analysis of more than half a million kids, Julia Donaldson and Suzanne Collins remained popular this year. J.K. Rowling, while still quite popular among young readers, only had one book on the top list this year, down from previous years.
John Greene, Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, David McKee and Michael Rosen joined the list for the first time this year, as JRR Tolkien dropped off.
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
Congratulations to Nikki Loftin
on the release of Wish Girl
(Razorbill, 2015). From the promotional copy:
Annie Blythe is dying, but she can give Peter Stone the strength to live.
Peter Stone’s parents and siblings are extroverts, musicians, and yellers—and the louder they get, the less Peter talks, or even moves, until he practically fits his last name.
When his family moves to the Texas Hill Country, though, Peter finds a tranquil, natural valley where he can, at last, hear himself think. There, he meets a girl his age: Annie Blythe. Annie tells Peter she’s a “wish girl.” But Annie isn’t just any wish girl: she’s a “Make-A-Wish Girl.” And in two weeks she will begin a dangerous treatment to try and stop her cancer from spreading. Left alone, the disease will kill her. But the treatment may cause serious, lasting damage to her brain.
Annie and Peter hatch a plan to escape into the valley, which they begin to think is magical. But the pair soon discovers that the valley—and life—may have other plans for them. And sometimes wishes come true in ways they would never expect.Magical Places
by Nikki Loftin
from Nerdy Book Club. Peek: "I spent countless hours standing on the crumbling limestone cliffs on the sides of my valley, singing into the constant wind, watching the trees sway and move below while turkey vultures wheeled above. It was the safest place I knew, and the most dangerous."More News & GiveawaysLerner Publishing Group Acquires Egmont USA List
by Jim Milliot from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "According to Egmont Publishing, after it announced its plans to close the unit Lerner approached the company about buying Egmont USA’s remaining assets. Under the deal Lerner will fold the Egmont titles into different imprints including Carolrhoda Books, Carolrhoda Lab, Darby Creek, and Millbrook Press."Becoming a Student of Your Own Creative Process
by Dan Blank
from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "Hours, days, and even years are spent in a state of confusion or frustration regarding how to write better, how to best publish, how to best develop a readership and encourage sales. Each of these, in its own way, is a creative process. Each filled with its own emotional complexity."Stepping Over the Threshold: The First Children's Book Contract
by Carmen Oliver
from Donna Janell Bowman. Peek: "I used to think about how incredible it would feel to say I’m published. And I won’t lie; it feels great to get to this point where I’m stepping over the threshold! But not because of the reasons you might think. It’s because I’ve learned so much more about myself."Banish Stick-Figure Writing: How Concrete Sensory Details Make All the Difference in Fiction
by Katherine Catmull
from Yellow Bird. Peek: "In 1979, a revolutionary book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain pinpointed why so many adults and older children can’t draw. It’s because they aren’t drawing what they see—they’re drawing what they know. In other words, they’re drawing a category, rather than the thing itself."Talents & Skills Thesaurus Entry
by Becca Puglisi
from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: "When one thinks of an incredibly strong person, the image of a muscle-bound body builder comes to mind. But while many times that can be an accurate representation, strength can also come in smaller packages."No Boys Allowed: School Visits as a Woman Writer
from Shannon Hale. Peek: "Should I have refused? Embarrassed the bookstore, let down the girls who had been looking forward to my visit? I did the presentation. But I felt sick to my stomach. Later I asked what other authors had visited. They’d had a male writer. For his assembly, both boys and girls had been invited."Multitasking Is Death to Creative Writing
by Michael McDonagh from QueryTracker Blog. Peek: "Multitasking impacts the creative process more severely than analytic processes. Writing fiction also involves an element of multitasking in itself."Little, Brown Editor Alvina Ling: How I Got Into Publishing
from CBC Diversity. Peek: "I worked full-time at B&N while doing both internships, and worked seven days a week for a 3-4 month period. Grueling, but worth it."Interview with Cecil Castellucci
by Stephanie Kuehn from YA Highway. Peek: "...I am always writing about the exiled and outsiders, about finding your true tribe and following your heart and about how art can save you. And about real true long lasting life long love, in other words, not necessarily romantic, but the people that you keep forever as you travel along." Watch the trailer
Reminder: 28 Days Later
: "During the twenty-eight days of Black History Month, we profile a different children’s or young adult author and children’s illustrator, looking for the best new and unnoticed works by African-Americans. From picture books to novels, books fresh off the presses to those that have lurked in the background unsung for months or years." See Awards and Grants for Authors of Color
compiled by Lee & Low.Why Literacy Teachers Should Care About Math
by Jill Eisenberg from Lee & Low. Peek: "Reading teachers are also math teachers."Lerner Acquires Egmont USA Titles
by Jim Milliot from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "According to Egmont Publishing, after it announced its plans to close the unit Lerner approached the company about buying Egmont USA’s remaining assets. Under the deal Lerner will fold the Egmont titles into different imprints, including Carolrhoda Books, Carolrhoda Lab, Darby Creek, and Millbrook Press."Can We Talk About Ageism in Picture Books?
by Lindsey McDivitt
from A Is for Aging, B Is for Books. Peek: "...only 200 picture books still in print showing older adults in positive, meaningful roles—this over a span of 30 years."Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading In Print. Yes, You Read That Right
by Michael S. Rosen from The Washington Post. Peek: "Researchers say readers remember the location of information simply by page and text layout — that, say, the key piece of dialogue was on that page early in the book with that one long paragraph and a smudge on the corner. Researchers think this plays a key role in comprehension. But that is more difficult on screens...."Cynsational Giveaway
The winner of an ARC of Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
is Deena in New York.This Week at CynsationsMore Personally
Huzzah! The hardcover edition of Feral Pride
and paperback edition of Feral Curse
are now available in North America from Candlewick Press.
This means all the Tantalize-Feral universe series books are now available
Read an excerpt of Feral Pride
from Candlewick. Peek:
I won't be caged.
Not again. I tense at the crackle of the police radio. I check the side mirror. Not yet. I rub my eye-lids, look again. I’m not the only one who’s freaking out. The stink of shock and fear is weighty. I can hear my girl-friend Aimee’s heart thudding in her chest.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported the series and this last North America hardcover launch. Most appreciated!
"Kayla is only baby steps into recovering from the death of her first boyfriend and Yoshi, who has legendary experience with ladies, is suddenly faced with the first one with whom he could have a real relationship, a real future, if they both survive."
--Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Feral Pride, on Fans Inspiring a New Series
from Adventures in YA Publishing.Learn more & enter the giveaway
The SCBWI Austin 2015 Writers and Illustrators Working Conference
will take place March 7 and March 8 at Marriott Austin South. Note: Cynthia will be moderating a panel and offering both critiques and consultations.
|Now in Paperback!|
Cynthia will sign the Feral series
at 1 p.m. at Costo on March 14 in Selma, Texas.
Cynthia will appear from April 14 to April 17 at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Texas Library Association
Join Cynthia from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Saratoga Springs Public Library for a celebration in conjunction with Saratoga Reads!
at Saratoga Springs, New York. Note: Cynthia will be presenting Jingle Dancer (2000), Rain Is Not My Indian Name (2001) and Indian Shoes (2002)
(all published by HarperColllins).
Cynthia will serve as the master class faculty member from June 19 to June 21 May 2 at the VCFA Alumni Mini-Residency
in Montpelier, Vermont.
Cynthia will speak from June 25 to June 30 on a We Need Diverse Books panel at the 2015 Annual Conference of the American Library Association
in San Francisco.
He’s far more awesome than I realized.
When I went to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s website to get a little background info on him for this post, I discovered a man that has contributed more to our society than I believe most people are aware of. While I don’t have the space to recount all of his accomplishments here, I’ll bullet-point a fraction of them:
- NBA All-Time Leading Scorer
- US Cultural Ambassador, 2012
- California’s STEAM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) Afterschool Ambassador, 2012
- Cancer Research Advocate
- Columnist for TIME Magazine and LA & OC Registers
- Award-winning Filmaker
- New York Times Best Selling Author of 9 Titles (including 3 children’s books)
- Two-time NAACP Image Award Winner (What Color Is My World & On the Shoulders of Giants)
It is his for work as a children’s book author that we celebrate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on this final day of 28 Days Later. The three, well-reviewed children’s titles he has co-authored with Raymond Obstfeld (thus far) are:
Streetball Crew Series, Book Two: Stealing the Game
“Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld…team up for another exploration of the intersection of sports and life conduct. Chris is a good, quiet kid who likes to keep his head down. As he says, ‘I was friendly to everyone but friends with no one.’ Still, if the machinery of thought made much noise, Chris would be a one-man band. For a 13-year-old, he does considerable shrewd, high-ground thinking, as do his friends (‘You know,’ one says, ‘not talking about things doesn’t actually make them disappear’). Where it really shows itself is on the basketball court, where he plays a savvy, court-wise game. Enter his brother, Jax, a golden boy who appears to have fallen from the pedestal upon which his well-intentioned parents have placed him, and Chris’ still waters are about to feel a hefty stone break their surface. Add his classmate Brooke, a sharp girl with plenty of her own baggage, and a waterspout is in the making. The authors’ light hand allows readers to inhabit the characters; to taste the value of respect, dignity and vulnerability; and to embrace the elemental joy of sports-all without ever feeling like they are being tube fed. The shifting structure of the story and a clever series of blind alleys keep readers on tenterhooks. A deft, understated sports thriller with a solid moral compass.” —Kirkus
“In another exemplary mix of issues and action both on and off the court, the middle-school cast of Sasquatch in the Paint (2013) returns to take on a team of older, bigger, thuggish rivals amidst a rash of local burglaries. Thirteen-year-old Chris is stunned when his golden-boy big brother, Jax, suddenly shows up at home with gambling debts after (he claims) dropping out of law school. With extreme reluctance, Chris agrees to help Jax get out from under-both by enlisting his street-ball buddies against a club team to settle a bet and by helping his brother break into a pawnshop. At the same time, Chris asks his Sherlockian friend Theo to check out Jax’s story, and he also definitely beats the odds by finding common ground with brilliant, acid-tongued classmate Brooke. Along with vividly drawn characters, the coauthors craft a mystery with artfully placed clues that Jax might not be the loser he seems to be, and also inject plenty of exciting, hard-fought basketball in which speed, strategy, and heart play equally strong roles. Flashbacks crank up the tale-s suspense, flashes of humor brighten it, and the end brings both surprise twists and just deserts all round.” —Booklist Online
Streetball Crew Series, Book One: Sasquatch in the Paint
“The author team behind What Color Is My World? opens the Streetball Crew series with the story of Theo Rollins who, though only an eighth grader, is already more than six feet tall. A self-proclaimed nerd, Theo gets recruited for the school basketball team, even though he’s terrible at the sport. Additionally, Theo is puzzled by new girl Rain, who’s smart but being threatened by a guy on a motorcycle; his widowed father is unexpectedly interested in dating; and he might be kicked off the school’s Aca-lympics team if he can’t balance his responsibilities. The depth and realism Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld bring to the novel keep it from being a run-of-the-mill sports story. Rain, for instance, is Muslim, while Theo is one of only a few black kids at his school; their ostracism doesn’t overshadow the action, but it isn’t ignored, either. Perhaps most refreshing is the fact that the authors allow Theo to gain confidence in basketball without the predictable game-winning shot. Readers will feel a kinship with Theo as he maneuvers through tough but realistic choices.” —Publishers Weekly
“A crisp tale of sports, smarts and what it means to be your own man or woman-or boy or girl, if you happen to be 13. It seems to be an embarrassment of riches to be, say, one of the best basketball players in history and also write tightly entertaining novels for kids, but there you have Abdul-Jabbar. Surely Obstfeld added polish and framing, but this obviously is a work of someone intimate with sports and, by extension, how sports can serve as metaphor for a way of being in the world. Here, newly tall eighth-grader Theo Rollins is trying to find his way between the brainiacs and the basketball players. Along the way, he meets Rain-aka Crazy Girl-a sort of ‘girl with the dragon tattoo’ minus the heaviest baggage. Characters, both friend and foe, feel real; there is talk of abandonment as well as serious comments about the skewed vision Americans have of Islam. The deepest running narrative pivots around sports, but the story has much to give. Theo’s cousin’s taxonomy of basketball players is broadly applicable: There are the happy-go-lucky, the self-conscious and ‘those who never want the game to be over, because each minute is like living on some planet where you got no problems….[They are], for that brief time, in a place where everything they thought or did mattered.’ Fearless, caring sports fiction.” —Kirkus
What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors
“Making use of an unusual format, former NBA star Abdul-Jabbar and his On the Shoulders of Giants coauthor Obstfeld offer an upbeat history lesson set within a fictional narrative framework. Siblings the Shoulders of Giants coauthor Obstfeld offer an upbeat history lesson set within a fictional narrative framework. Siblings Ella and Herbie, whose story unfolds in typeset chapter booklike pages surrounded by warmly lit paintings of their adventures, are less than enthusiastic about their fixer-upper of a new house. But as eccentric handyman Mr. Mital unveils the house’s potential, he also teaches them about contributions made by African-American inventors (‘There’s more to our history than slavery, jazz, sports, and civil rights marches,’ he says). Flaps show lifelike portraits of individuals like Dr. Mark Dean, a v-p at IBM; Dr. Charles Drew, who developed the concept of blood banks; and nuclear engineer Lonnie Johnson, inventor of the Super Soaker squirt gun. Ella’s off-the-cuff notes appear inside the flaps, while several spreads provide detailed profiles of other inventors and graphic novel–style passages. The banter between the siblings and, in particular, Ella’s snarky zingers keep things from feeling didactic—it’s an entertaining and often surprising exploration of lesser-known innovators, past and present.” —Publishers Weekly
“A fictional story lies at the heart of this unusually formatted collective biography. Twins Herbie and Ella and their parents have just moved into a run-down older home; while they work to fix it up, Mr. R. E. Mital, an eccentric handyman hired by their parents, recounts the contributions of African American scientists and inventors. As the figures are introduced, foldouts on the sides of the pages contain Ella’s notes (full of humor, as well as facts) about each one. More detailed profiles of other inventors fill the spreads, and some are introduced in graphic-novel-style pages. Instead of famous inventors such as George Washington Carver and Benjamin Banneker, readers are introduced to lesser-known individuals, including Alfred L. Cralle (inventor of the ice-cream scoop), Dr. Henry T. Sampson (gamma electric cell), and nuclear engineer Lonnie Johnson (Super Soaker). Information about the subjects’ home, lives, and avocations is a welcome addition…the large trim size, numerous illustrations, and unusual format (not to mention the celebrity author) will certainly attract browsers. And a surprise discovery about Mr. Mital’s identity at the end will leave readers with something to ponder.” —School Library Journal
For more information on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his work, please visit his website.
BuzzFeed conducted a poll asking its readers to vote on this question: “Is Snape Actually A Hero?” More than 29,000 fans cast their votes as “yes.”
Arguably, the most enigmatic character in the Harry Potter universe is Professor Severus Snape. Many would actually describe him as an anti-hero.
What’s your opinion about the famed potions master? Click here to watch a fan-made video about the character’s life story.
"Have you ever had the feeling that you aren't the main character in the story of your life? That you fill a more minor role - supporting cast, maybe, comic relief, or even antagonist? If that is true - if you aren't the big deal in the story of... Read the rest of this post
What was your inspiration for writing SALT & STONE?
The Pandoras were my inspiration for this sequel. I wanted to give them ample opportunity to show just how able they are in assisting their Contenders. Until now, it's mostly been the Contenders who were challenged. In SALT & STONE, the Pandoras have to step up in a big way.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Know what your character's objective is, and make it crystal clear to readers within the first 30 pages. Keep that objective consistent, and remind readers of the goal a handful of times during the book. This keeps readers turning pages to find out whether the character ultimately succeeds.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a stand-alone YA thriller called TITANS. It's about a teen girl who rides a steel, mechanical horse in a Detroit derby to win prize money to save her family's home, and keep her best friend close. The races take place at midnight in the woods, and are attended by rowdy men who place bets on the robotic horses. TITANS releases spring 2016 from Scholastic.
ABOUT THE BOOKSalt & Stoneby Victoria ScottHardcoverScholastic PressReleased 2/24/2015
What would you do to save someone you love? In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race. But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another? The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.Purchase Salt & Stone at AmazonPurchase Salt & Stone at IndieBoundView Salt & Stone on Goodreads
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her first stand-alone young adult title, TITANS, will be published by Scholastic in spring 2016. Victoria’s books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. She currently lives in Dallas, and hearts cotton candy something fierce.
Digital startup Booktrope is trying to bring together the best of both worlds in publishing: the structure of traditional publishing with the high royalty rates of self-publishing tools.
The company is aimed at small publishers and indie authors who want to collaborate on a book and then share the income the project generates. The company’s site fosters a community of authors, editors, designers and marketing people. The idea is that these creative people can join forces and bring their skills to the table to help develop books. A good editor and a good book designer can really improve the quality of a manuscript that an author brings to the table.
When the project is complete, Brooktrope has the tools to publish the book in print or as an eBook directly to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There are no fees. Booktrope takes 30 percent and the team of creators keep 70 percent of the royalties.
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, Arts & Humanities
, 1960s girl pop
, 1960s girlhood
, Alexandra Apolloni
, It's My Party
, Kathleen Hanna
, Lesley Gore
, Quincy Jones
, You Don't Own Me
, Add a tag
In 2005, Ms magazine published a conversation between pop singer Lesley Gore and Kathleen Hanna of the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Hanna opened with a striking statement: “First time I heard your voice,” she said, “I went and bought everything of yours – trying to imitate you but find my own style.”
The post Rebel Girl: Lesley Gore’s voice appeared first on OUPblog.
A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.
Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between February 27 and March 6 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
A request for a blurb about a favorite book with a Native teen character prompted me to re-read Cynthia Leitich Smith's Rain Is Not My Indian Name
. I've recommended it several times, here on AICL and elsewhere, but I haven't done an in-depth review essay about it yet.
Smith is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation
. "Citizen" means that she is amongst the people the Muscogee Nation counts as a citizen. Their page on Citizenship
has a lot of useful information.
A lot of people don't know that each Native Nation has its own way of determining who its citizens or tribal members are. A lot of people claim they're Native but don't know what Nation. For them, it is more of a romantic idea based on a family story about an ancestor who someone in their family said was Indian. Often, that ancestor was "a princess." A common experience for me--indeed, for a lot of Native people--is the well-meaning person who approaches me at a lecture (or online) and tells me they are part Indian. If they reference an Indian princess, I--as gently as I can--tell them there was no such thing, that the idea itself is rooted in European's who erroneously viewed Native peoples with a European lens in which royalty was the rule. There's a lot to read about Native identity. I suggest Eva Marie Garroutte's Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America.
Quick! What comes to mind when you hear "American Indian" or "Native American"? Chances are, the image you have is one of Native peoples of the past, not present. And, that image in your mind is likely one that reflects a stereotype, not reality, in terms of who we were and who we are. Smith's book can interrupt that stereotypical imagery. Set in the present--not the past--it is a terrific story.
Let's take a look, together, at some parts of it that stand out to me.The Subtle
Cassidy Rain Berghoff is the main character in Rain Is Not My Indian Name.
When the story opens, it is New Year's Eve. Rain is minutes away from being 14. She's out with Galen--a childhood friend--but they're tentatively moving from friendship to a romantic relationship. He's got a birthday gift for her: a pouch that she immediately recognizes (p. 6):
I remembered seeing it last June, displayed on a Lakota trader's table at a powwow in Oklahoma City. Aunt Georgia had taken Galen and me on a road trip to visit family, and he had trailed after me down crowded aisle after aisle.
Later that day at the powwow, Galen had gone off to get popcorn, but clearly--he'd been observing Rain as they walked down those aisles and seen her linger over that pouch. Sweet! In her description of that pouch, Smith tells us it has seed beads. Most readers probably won't notice that detail, but Native ones do! There's a huge difference in a pouch made by a Lakota person and one you'd buy at a tourist shop that sells "Indian" beaded items. The one with seed beads is exquisite. The one from the tourist shop is tacky. Rain knows the difference; Native readers of Rain Is Not My Indian Name
will know the difference, too.
After Rain and Galen say goodnight and head for their homes, Galen is struck by a car and dies on his way home. Rain learns about it the next morning (her birthday). The phone rings, waking her. She stretches, beneath her star quilt. She's devastated when her grandpa tells her about Galen. Of course, she doesn't say more about the quilt, but it is another point that Native readers will notice. Star quilts figure prominently in Native culture. Here's one (to the right) made by a dear friend, Chantelle Blue Arm
I chose this one (Chantelle has done many) because she titled it Cotton Candy. In the moments before Galen gives Rain the pouch, she thinks back to second grade field trip when Galen had persuaded her to leave the group with him in search of turquoise cotton candy.The Explicit
Understandably, Galen's death is a blow to Rain. She pretty much retreats from life for six months, which moves the story to the end of June. Her aunt, Georgia, is coordinating an Indian Camp. Her brother, Fynn, has been hinting that he wants her to sign up for it (p. 12):
But Indian Camp? It sounded like the kind of thing where a bunch of probably suburban, probably rich, probably white kids tromped around a woodsy park, calling themselves "princesses," "braves," or "guides."
My guess is that many of you--especially if you are regular readers of AICL--are nodding your head. Indian-themed camps are a mainstay of American culture that feed stereotypes! Rain's aunt, however, is not doing a camp for white kids. This one is for Native kids. Rain speculates that her aunt is thinking about what Native kids learn in school (p. 13):
At school, the subject of Native Americans pretty much comes up just around Turkey Day, like those cardboard cutouts of the Pilgrims and the pumpkins and the squash taped to the windows at McDonald's. And the so-called Indians always look like bogeymen on the prairie, windblown cover boys selling paperback romances, or baby-faced refugees from the world of Precious Moments. I usually get through it by reading sci-fi fanzines behind my textbooks until we move on to Kwanza.
Rain's got some attitude--and I love it!
See the baby-faced refugee to the right?! Rain is obviously indignant at having to deal with this sort of thing year after year.
She has a way to cope, but let's step into reality for a moment. Native kids in today's schools have to deal with this every year. Why should they have to deal with that at all?!
What Rain did was check out. She disengaged. I'm using "disengaged" deliberately. The word is in a 2010 report
from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, about Native youth and their experiences in school.And the complexities of African American and American Indian history
Now let's take a look at a racial issue Rain struggles with.
The character, Queenie, is African American. Prior to the time of the story, Rain and Queenie were good friends. That started to shift when Rain learned that Galen and Queenie were interested in each other, romantically. In one of her journal entries (they open each chapter), Rain recounts a conversation she and Galen had about dating African Americans (p. 28):
Galen's bangs fell forward: "Would you go out with a black person?" he asked.
Somewhere in my memory, I'd been told it was okay to be friends with black people, but not more than friends. "I guess," I answered. "Worried about your mom?"
Later (but still in the time before the story opens), Rain and Queenie's friendship ends when Rain learns that Queenie has hurt Galen.
Rain ends up going to Indian Camp--not as a participant--but as a journalist. Her assignment is to take photos of the camp for a news story about the camp. She is surprised to see Queenie there. The reporter, Flash, asks Queenie a question (p. 69):
"What brings you here?"
Queenie squared her shoulders and asked, "Don't you mean 'Why is an African-American girl at a Native American program?"
"Sure," the Flash answered, pen perched, "that's exactly what I meant."
The three Native kids at the camp and Rain observe this interaction, which suggests they have the same--but unspoken--question (p. 70):
Queenie spoke clearly, like she wanted to make sure the Flash didn't misquote her--like she'd have a lot to say about it if he did. "My aunt Suzanne has been tracing our family tree for the reunion next month at her place in Miami," she explained, "and, come to find out, one of my great-grandfathers was a Native American."
The word cousin sneaked onto my tongue, and I didn't like the way it tasted. As if stealing Galen hadn't been enough, now Queenie was barging in on my cultural territory. Granted, she was no guru-seeking, crystal-wearing, long-lost descendent of an Indian "princess," but still...
Then, Flash asks her (p. 70):
"What tribe, Nation, or band?"
We'll come to find out that Queenie's great grandfather was Seminole. The Black Indian thread in Rain Is Not My Indian Name
is important. It speaks to Black readers with similar family stories, but it does so with integrity. Rain could so easily have been dismissive of Queenie, but Smith went elsewhere, smoothly describing what-to-do with that family story: research. Queenie's aunt is doing research.
More and more stories about Black Indians are appearing in the news media and taken up in museums and documentaries. Read, for example, Gyasi Ross's Black History Month, Indian Style: Natives and Black Folks in This Together Since 1492
. See, too, the National Museum of the American Indian's exhibition, Indivisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas
All of this makes the Black Indian thread in Smith's book especially important in today's society.
Coming out this year (2015) are two books in which writers take on Black Indians. I read--and love--Gone Crazy in Alabama--
by Rita Williams Garcia. I'm waiting for the published copy to review it.
Already out is The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage
by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls. I haven't read it yet, but what I can see online indicates that Mildred Jeter is identified as "part African-American, part Cherokee."
In my initial research about Jeter, I saw her described as Cherokee, but I also saw her described as Rappahannock. In my second round of research, I read a chapter about her in That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans, and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia
by Arica L. Coleman, an assistant professor in Black Studies at the University of Delaware. I'll say this for now: in that chapter, Coleman chronicles the way that race and racial identity are put forth, used, and manipulated by the justice system and the media. It is astonishing.
I opened this post by noting that someone's question prompted me to re-read Rain Is Not My Indian Name.
I read it when it came out in 2001. It won Smith distinction from Wordcraft Circle
as one of 2001 Writers of the Year in Children's Prose.
That same year, Smith wrote an article for Book Links
that offers incredible insights about developing Rain and Queenie, and about insider/outsider perspective. It is online at ALA: Native Now: Contemporary Indian Stories
. In 2011, Smith wrote a reflection on the books tenth anniversary: 10th Anniversary of Rain Is Not My Indian Name.
Rereading it now--14 years after I first read it--I want to shout from the rooftops to everyone about Rain Is Not My Indian Name.
If you don't already have it on your shelves, get a copy and read it. And share it. It is exquisite and has something in it for every reader.Updating to include books I'll use as I research this topic more:
- Chang, David. The Color of the Land
- Forbes, Jack. Africans & Native Americans
- Krauthamer, Barbara. Black Slaves, Indian Masters
- Littlefield, Daniel. The Cherokee Freedmen; Africans & Creeks; Africans & Seminoles
- Miles, Tiya. Ties that Bind
- Miles, Tiya and Sharon Patricia Holland (Eds). Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: Diaspora in Indian Country
- Naylor, Celia. Africans and Cherokees
- Purdue, Theda. Slavery & the Evolution of Society
- Saunt, Claudio. Black White & Indian
The Poetry Foundation is opening submissions for poetry fellows on March 1st.
The Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships will award 5 young U.S. poets with $25,800 each. The fellowship is open to writers between 21 and 31 years of age.
To apply you must share an introduction to your work, ten poems and a publication list. You can apply through April 30th. Finalists will be revealed on August 3rd and winners will be announced on September 1st. Follow this link to apply.
Happy Illustration Friday!
We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by David Lymburn, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of METROPOLIS. Thanks to everyone else for participating. We hope it was inspiring!
You can also see a gallery of all the other entries here.
And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:
Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).
Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.
Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).
Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!
Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!
By: Hannah Paget,
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, Arts & Humanities
, TV & Film
, bring up the bodies
, damien lewis
, hilary mantel
, Mark Rylance
, peter marshall
, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Reformation
, Wolf Hall
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Historians should be banned from watching movies or TV set in their area of expertise. We usually bore and irritate friends and family with pedantic interjections about minor factual errors and chronological mix-ups. With Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and the sumptuous BBC series based on them, this pleasure is denied us. The series is as ferociously well researched as it is superbly acted and directed. Cranmer probably didn’t have a beard in 1533, but, honestly, that’s about the best I can do.
The post Wolf Hall: count up the bodies appeared first on OUPblog.
Thinking of doing a PhD on Harry Potter? Bloomsbury Academic has just released the text you’ll need for your studies.
J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013 by Philip Errington is a complete bibliographic text on Rowling’s writing. It includes: “details of each edition of all her books, pamphlets and original contributions to published works, there is detailed information on the publishing history of her work, including fascinating extracts from correspondence.”
“As someone who respects comprehensive research, I am in awe of the level of detail and amount of time Philip Errington has dedicated to this slavishly thorough and somewhat mind-boggling bibliography,” Rowling commented on the book in a statement.
Sharing book excerpts online is a great way to connect with readers, especially if you are a lesser known author.
London-based startup iAuthor has a tool to help authors and publishers share excerpts. iAuthor is a site for book discovery where readers can search for potential books to read based on genre or keyword themes. Authors can share samples of their work on the site and make it sharable, so that readers can embed the excerpt around the Internet. Using the iAuthor dashboard, authors and publishers can track audience engagement with the text online to see how many people have read the passage and shared it and so forth.
The book sample includes retail links, so if a reader wants more, they can simply click through to the book retailer and buy the book.
Actress Stacey Dash (pictured, via) has signed a book deal with Regnery Publishing. Foundry Literary + Media agent Chris Park negotiated the terms of the contract on Dash’s behalf.
According to the press release, the idea for this project came from a 2012 post on Dash’s Twitter account. With this infamous tweet, she “‘came out’ as a conservative.”
Immediately after making this public confession, Dash received quite a bit of criticism for her political leanings. With There Goes My Social Life, Dash will talk about “how she became a conservative, sharing incredible stories of her rough upbringing in the South Bronx and her tumultuous Hollywood career to movingly illustrate her strong opinions about the value of a good education, the importance of family, the inanity of political correctness, and the power of personal responsibility.”
In his twenty-year career, Mr. Steptoe illustrated sixteen picture books, twelve of which he also wrote. The American Library Association named two of his books Caldecott Honor Books, a prestigious award for children’s book illustration: THE STORY OF JUMPING MOUSE in 1985 and MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS in 1988. Mr. Steptoe twice received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, for MOTHER CROCODILE (text by Rosa Guy) in 1982, and for MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS in 1988.
While all of Mr. Steptoe’s work deals with aspects of the African American experience, MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS was acknowledged by reviewers and critics as a breakthrough. Based on an African tale recorded in the 19th century, it required Mr. Steptoe for the first time to research African history and culture, awakening his pride in his African ancestry. Mr. Steptoe hoped that his books would lead children, especially African American children, to feel pride in their origins and in who they are. “I am not an exception to the rule among my race of people,” he said, accepting the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Illustration, “I am the rule. By that I mean there are a great many others like me where I come from.”
Mr. Steptoe frequently spoke to audiences of children and adults about his work. He was the 1989 winner of the Milner Award, voted by Atlanta schoolchildren for their favorite author.
John Steptoe died on August 28, 1989 at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan, following a long illness. He was 38 years old and lived in Brooklyn. Mr. Steptoe was among the handful of African American artists who have made a career in children’s books.
As the Maker Movement gains momentum across the country in schools and libraries, YALSA’s Cultural Competence Task Force is encouraging organizers to think about ways to expand the scope of maker programs to broaden their appeal to all kids. Making isn’t just about robots and Legos, and it’s not just for the “nerdy” boy. In fact there are many developments and initiatives that are changing the definition of makers and making that we want to highlight. From Black Girls Code, to Google’s Made with Code, and a number of other new projects (http://girlswhocode.com/, https://wecancodeit.org/), we are seeing a concerted effort to help girls and children of color envision a future for themselves in the tech world.
Another important direction for the maker movement is to step away from the robots and find opportunities to include maker activities that tap into a broader range of cultures and traditions. A research group at MIT called High Low Tech is a wonderful source of information about this topic and offers tutorials for some amazing and unique projects. We take particular inspiration from Leah Buechley, a designer, engineer, and educator who likes to create tools and programs that mix together cutting edge technology with traditional art forms (her inventions include the Lilypad Arduino).
If you’re brainstorming about how to incorporate the maker movement into your library programming, we ask that you take the time to explore some of these resources and find ways to appeal to kids who may not think technology is for them.
Submitted by Elizabeth Bast and Angelique Kopa, YALSA Cultural Competence Task Force
Here is a children's book that you will NOT want to miss! This is a riot that sitting down and sharing with your little ones will not disappoint.
Daredevil Duck by Charlie Alder is nothing but fun - it follows the story of D.D. - Daredevil Duck - as he goes out into the world and is literally afraid of EVERYTHING! He tries so hard to be brave - but his fears always seem to get the best of him. The story is humorous and told in a fun way as the layout of the book leads to some half pages, some foldout, etc. and it all just lends to the lovability of the story! You really must follow his sweet story as D.D. tries to find something that he can do that is BRAVE.
**I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher for an honest review.
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, Online products
, African American National Biography
, black history month
, Charles Caldwell
, Gladys Bentley
, henry louis gates jr.
, Marie Laveaux
, Steven J. Niven
, The Root
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Given the scope and the length of time I’ve been working on the African American National Biography (over 13 years and counting), selecting just a few biographies that were somehow “representative” of the overall project would have been an impossible task. Instead, working with The Root’s managing editor, Lyne Pitts, I chose four entries that showcased some of the diversity of the collection, but focused on hidden or barely remembered figures in black history.
The post Four remarkable figures in Black History appeared first on OUPblog.
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The winners of the 8th annual “Best Translated Book Award” will be revealed at this year’s BookExpo America (BEA) conference. This award honors works in translation that were released for the first time in the year 2014.
The winning titles will be selected from a diverse pool of more than 580 fiction and poetry books. They were originally published by 194 companies which are based in 73 different countries.
Here’s more from the press release: “Over the past few years, underwriting from Amazon.com has made it possible for the winning authors and translators to receive $5,000 in cash prizes, making this the largest award for literature in translation in the United States. Inaugurated in 2008, the award is conferred by Three Percent, the online literary magazine of Open Letter Books, which is the book translation press of the University of Rochester.”