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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: diversity, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Modern First Library: more from Cyn, and from Books on the Nightstand

Modern First Library

Cynthia Leitich Smith has a second guest post for BookPeople’s new Modern First Library program, and it’s about the one negative experience she’s had in the store. Check it out.

And then check out the latest episode of the Books on the Nightstand podcast, in which hosts Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman discuss which picture books they’d include in their own Modern First Library. Thanks for featuring the program, Ann and Michael!

Besides, if you like books (and I’m pretty sure you do), and you like podcasts (I know I do), why wouldn’t you want to listen to a podcast about books? I just this moment subscribed to Books on the Nightstand, and I can’t wait to hear more.

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2. if we want to see more diversity in literature, we have to buy the books

school library journal graphic

School Library Journal came out with their Diversity Issue a few months ago and it’s been on my “to read” pile since then. Their lead article Children’s Books: Still an All-White World? tells a depressing tale of under-representation of black children in US children’s books (they are the only ethnic group mentioned, I am presuming this goes doubly so for groups with smaller representation in the US) and ends with a call to action for librarians to make sure they are creating a market for these titles to encourage more books by and about all kinds of people.

I grew up in a Free to Be You and Me sort of world where my mother actively selected books for me to read with a wide range of ethnicities represented. I had dolls representing many backgrounds. My mother wrote textbooks where there were strict rules about being inclusive and representative and, living in a small town, I assumed this was the way the rest of the world worked. Not so. Reading this article drove home the point that while I may have been a young person during a rare time of expansion of titles and characters of color, that expansion slowed and the situation is still stagnant even as the US is becoming more diverse than ever. Another article in the Diversity Issue highlights research which indicates that “the inclusion of these cross-group images encourages cross-group play“. Sounds like a good thing. We should be doing more.

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3. BOOM: And we are LIVE!

Registration is OPEN. Call for session proposals is OPEN. The 2014 Kidlit Con, BLOGGING DIVERSITY: WHAT'S NEXT?, to be held at the stunning Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento, California, October 10-11 is only EIGHTY-SEVEN DAYS AWAY.Rumor... Read the rest of this post

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4. ALA 2014 Recap: Diversity All Around

Another year, another fantastic ALA Annual, this time in Las Vegas! While “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” we thought it would be OK to break that code, just this one time, in order to share our experiences with you.

Even though the weather was hot (hello triple digits!), attendance was high and spirits were up! We teamed up with the folks of the #weneeddiversebooks campaign to hand out buttons, which were a huge hit! In fact, School Library Journal reported that, “If you ran into a youth services librarian at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Las Vegas, odds were good that they were sporting a colorful ‘We Need Diverse Books’ button.”

#weneeddiversebooks buttons

#weneeddiversebooks buttons!

We kept a white board in our booth, and got some great answers from librarians on why we need diverse books:

ALA whiteboard

We need diverse books because…

Quite a few of our authors and illustrators made it out to Las Vegas and our schedule was packed with signings! Don Tate, Glenda Armand, Frank Morrison, René Colato Lainez, Karen Sandler, Mira Reisberg, John Parra, Susan L. Roth, Cindy Trumbore, and Emily Jiang all stopped by the booth to sign books. In true Vegas style, we kept the party going at the LEE & LOW table!

lee and low staff and don tate

Don Tate stopped by to sign copies of It Jes’ Happened

We were also pleased to host our second Book Buzz panel, “Moving the Needle: Diversity in Children’s Books and How to Make a Difference.” It’s been one year since our successful Book Buzz with Cinco Puntos Press last year, so we wanted to check in again with librarians about what has changed, what hasn’t, and how to keep moving forward.

ala book buzz panel

Publisher Jason Low on ALA’s Book Buzz panel on increasing diversity in children’s books

During the panel, publisher Jason Low talked about some highlights from the diversity movement over the past year. He emphasized that Lee & Low has stuck to its original mission by continuing to make an effort to publish debut authors/illustrators as well as authors/illustrators of color. “Of our 2014 titles, three out of seven are by debut authors and five out of seven are by authors or illustrators of color,” Jason said.

He pointed out some some great milestones from the past year, including the success of the #weneeddiversebooks movement, Lee & Low’s infographics on diversity going viral, the First Book Stories for All project, and more diversity in the Marvel Universe.

Jason also announced that Kirkus Reviews will be seeking to diversify their reviewer pool, and said that several other major review publications have expressed an interest in doing the same. Diverse reviewer pools mean that books can be evaluated for cultural accuracy and that reviewers bring a wide range of perspectives to the table.

In the end, Jason said, we need to get from Diversity 101 stories—stories focused simply on the lack of diversity in children’s books, in very basic terms—to Diversity 102 stories, which address both the complexity of the problem and the range of possible solutions. He encouraged librarians to keep moving the conversation forward within their own communities, and to help parents and teachers build inclusive book collections by creating inclusive, diverse summer reading lists and other recommendations.

Two more big highlights this ALA were award ceremonies for a couple of our books! Cindy Trumbore and Susan L. Roth, the dynamic author/illustrator team of Parrots Over Puerto Rico, were honored at the Sibert Award Ceremony and we couldn’t have been prouder!

sibert ceremony

Cindy Trumbore and Susan L. Roth at the Sibert ceremony! They’re all smiles with LEE & LOW editor Louise May (left), Sibert committee chair, Cecilia P. McGowan (center), and LEE & LOW publisher, Jason Low (right)

Additionally, Killer of Enemies was honored at the American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Awards (AIYLA) ceremony. Tu Books publisher Stacy Whitman attended and shared these photos of children and teens from a local tribe who came to dance at the ceremony:

native american dancers

Native American dancers at the American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Awards ceremony

american indian youth literature award

American Indian Youth Literature Award for Killer of Enemies

While we won’t miss the 110-degree heat, we had a great time meeting so many wonderful people and we can’t wait for next year.

If you were at ALA, what were your highlights?


Filed under: Activities and Events, Dear Readers, Fairs/Conventions Tagged: ALA, ALA annual conference, american library association, diversity, las vegas, librarians, weneeddiversebooks

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5. Cynthia Leitich Smith and BookPeople’s Modern First Library

Modern First LibraryThis month, several of us Austin authors are guest-blogging for BookPeople’s new Modern First Library program. The latest to do so is Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of the Feral series and Tantalize series for young adults as well as several picture books, including Jingle Dancer.

Here’s a little of what Cyn has to say:

When we talk about diversity in books, we often mention the concept of “windows and mirrors.”

I ached for a mirror. Books, for all their blessings, had failed me in this regard. However, I saw Star Wars in the theater over 380 times.

For the rest, pop on over to BookPeople’s blog.

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6. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 11

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include authors, awards, book lists, diversity, growing bookworms, kidlitcon, blogging, ebooks, teaching, and summer reading.

Authors and Books

The Rise Of Young Adult Authors On The Celebrity 100 List by @natrobe @forbes http://ow.ly/yVSB6 via @PWKidsBookshelf

Nice tidbits about author James Marshall, “Wicked Angel”, on the Wild Things blog http://ow.ly/yXQ4M @SevenImp @FuseEight

Thank You, @NerdyBookClub says @StudioJJK on dedication of new anthology w/ @jenni @mattholm + others http://ow.ly/yVA3v

Read J.K. Rowling's new short story about grown-up Harry Potter + friends @today http://ow.ly/yVyWK via @bkshelvesofdoom

Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline Celebrates a Milestone (happy 75th!) @NYTimes http://ow.ly/yVSGt  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Author Interview: Five questions for @varianjohnson from @HornBook http://ow.ly/yYlDd 

Book Lists and Awards

2014 South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature via @MitaliPerkins http://ow.ly/yIP71

Loved Ed DeCaria's answer to What are the best poems for kids? on Quora. He recommends the #Cybils lists http://ow.ly/yVSnQ @edecaria

Get On Board: SLJ Selects A Bevy of Board Books | @sljournal #kidlit http://ow.ly/yVxfQ

Top Ten Schneider Award Favorites of the 2014 Schneider Award Jury by Peg Glisson @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/yS3cf #kidlit

A Top Ten List: Book that Heal by @MsLReads @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/yOoR3 #kidlit #yalit

Read Me a Bedtime Story, recommended bedtime books from @growingbbb http://ow.ly/yRWgb #kidlit

A Tuesday Ten: Diverse Stories in Speculative Fiction | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/yN8qy #Diversity

UK Booktrust Best Book Awards announced, @tashrow has the list http://ow.ly/yKP72

3 family-tested read-aloud chapter books @SunlitPages | Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Magic, Runaway Ralph, Ramona the Pest http://ow.ly/yKQvF

Great selections! 18 Picture Books Guaranteed To Make You Laugh Out Loud Or At Least Smile @Loveofxena @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/z0xjS 

Diversity

How to Build a Bestseller with Non-White Characters | @chavelaque @sljournal on @varianjohnson + #diveristy http://ow.ly/yKNXn

Sure #WeNeedDiverseBooks but don’t forget #WeNeedMoreWalterDeanMyerses too, suggests @fuseeight http://ow.ly/yKRID

"diversity in fiction is about presenting the world through different viewpoints" Tanita Davis quotes @diversityinya http://ow.ly/yXRq9

Diversity Movement Gains Visibility at ALA Annual, wirtes Wendy Stephens | @sljournal #WeNeedDiverseBooks http://ow.ly/yVx2Z

Growing Bookworms

What do I get if I read this? A call against the use of external prizes in reading programs for kids from @HornBook http://ow.ly/yVxTr

Shanahan on #Literacy: Teaching My Daughters to Read: Part 2, Print Awareness (point at the words at least sometimes) http://ow.ly/yS0uv

How to Read Stories to a Very Active Child, tips from @Booksforchildrn http://ow.ly/yN8KO

Born Reading: An Interview with Jason Boog — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/z0y0Z  #GrowingBookworms #literacy

I liked this post on The #Literacy Benefits of Family Dinners @growingbbb | Some excellent points http://ow.ly/z0wQm 

Kidlitosphere

KidlitCon2014_cube#KidLitCon14 in Sacramento, California, why @semicolonblog wants to hitch a ride i your suitcase to go http://ow.ly/yN8uT

#KidLitCon14 Update: Call for Session Proposals is Up! reports @aquafortis (co-organizer) http://ow.ly/yKPbP

#KidlitCon14 | Call for Session Proposals @book_nut http://ow.ly/yKJPN | Blogging #diversity in YA and children's lit

Wild Things!: Website and Book Launch from @SevenImp + @FuseEight | #kidlit fans will want to check this out! http://ow.ly/yRV91

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Why digital vs. print reading should not be an either/or conversation, by @frankisibberson http://ow.ly/yS3Zo #eBooks

Insights from @catagator at Stacked: The Three C's of the Changing Book Blogging World, credits, comments, + crit http://ow.ly/yRYJa

Stacked: Reader Advocacy, Speaking Up + Ducking Out: On @catagator Quitting 2015 Printz committee. Go Kelly, I say! http://ow.ly/yKSXG

Schools and Libraries

Why Should Educators Blog? | @ReadByExample shares several reasons: http://ow.ly/yXQom

Should We Be Quantifying Our Students’ Reading Abilities? asks @ReadByExample @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/yKRlX

Too Soon for Technology?: The latest on digital use by preschoolers | @sljournal http://ow.ly/yVwRi #libraries

Summer Reading

Better than the title suggests: How to Trick Your Kids Into Reading All Summer Long @TheAtlantic via @librareanne http://ow.ly/yXOCj

Some experiences w/ #SummerReading programs from @SunlitPages + request for feedback from blog readers http://ow.ly/yVARq

Raising Summer Readers Tip #12: Schedule a few social gatherings that celebrate books and #SummerReading | @aliposner http://ow.ly/yKS38

This one very important! #SummerReading Tip #13: Read aloud to your kids, even if they are great readers! @aliposner http://ow.ly/yN8fr

Raising Summer Readers Tip #14: Remember to make reading aloud interactive! | @aliposner #SummerReading http://ow.ly/yOoM1

This sounds like fun! Tip #15 from @aliposner | Pair books with movies to add some fun into #SummerReading | http://ow.ly/yRXGU

#SummerReading Tip #16 @aliposner : TALK about your plans for reading while on vacation BEFORE your travel begins http://ow.ly/yRY0a

#SummerReading Tip #17 from @aliposner | Raise kids who view packing books as a traveling necessity http://ow.ly/yVAxa

#SummerReading Tip#18 @aliposner | For reluctant vacation readers, wrap a book to read aloud for each day of vacation http://ow.ly/yXPKy 

#SummerReading Tip #19 @aliposner | When en route to your vacation destination, take advantage of captive audience! http://ow.ly/z0yzc 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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7. Join Us Tomorrow in New York City for the Harlem Book Fair!

Tomorrow, Saturday, July 12th is the Harlem Book Fair. LEE & LOW BOOKS will be there from 11 a.m., selling some of your favorite titles. We’ll be at table C32!

harlem book fair

For a full list of tables and exhibitors, please click here.

LEE & LOW BOOKS, along with some other industry professionals, will be participating in a panel discussion on diversity in children’s books:

ABUNDANTLY RICH: HARVESTING THE WEALTH IN MULTICULTURAL BOOK PUBLISHING

  • Where: Langston Hughes Auditorium
  • Time: 12:00pm to 1:15pm
  • More information can be found here.

We hope to see you there!


Filed under: Activities and Events, Fairs/Conventions Tagged: book festivals, diversity, harlem, harlem book fair, representation

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8. Why Modern First Library is important to me

Modern First Library

This month and next, BookPeople’s blog will be publishing guest posts from other authors and illustrators — first from a few here in Austin, then from others across the country — discussing why they support Modern First Library.

The first guest post is up, and it’s from me.

I thought about the issues raised by the We Need Diverse Books campaign not as an author but as a dad — and, specifically, as the dad of kids who fall into some relatively privileged demographics. I don’t want any parents out there to feel that the discussion about the representation of diversity in children’s literature is someone else’s issue. We all have a stake in it, even those who are already getting represented just fine.

Here’s a bit of what I wrote:

I don’t want them — or anyone else in their demographic — to get the idea that they’re at the center of the universe just because they happened to get born as non-poor, white, American males. Growing up with such an idea fosters a sense of entitlement that I think we’re all better off without.

How can parents discourage that sort of privileged thinking in their offspring, especially in a culture that sends so many messages to the contrary? I believe that one good way is to immerse kids early on in great picture books offering a broad view of a population that’s full of loved, valued, unique people.

You can read the rest here.

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9. TURNING PAGES: HOOP DREAMS by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Hello, Sports Fans! It's the dog days of summer... well, the puppy days, anyway, and sports are what's on the telly. Sports are what's on the page, too. Despite my complete-klutz status, I love a good sports novel and this fab one comes to us from... Read the rest of this post

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10. Book and Activity Suggestions to Match Your Summer Adventure: Beaches!

Each week this summer, we are pairing Lee & Low titles to your favorite summer destinations with fun activities!

Our motto this summer: Love Books + Keep Cool + Learn Something New

Your summer outing: the BEACH

Book recommendations:

Surfer of the Century cover

Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku

Questions during reading:

  • What is this person’s relationship to the ocean? How does this person’s relationship to the ocean change from the beginning to the end of the story?
  • How does this person show appreciation for the ocean?
  • How is the ocean/beach a part of this person’s identity?
  • Look at a map of the world and locate the island this person is from. What is the capital? What ocean surrounds it? Infer what the climate is like based on the island’s location. What makes this island unique?
  • How does this person demonstrate pride in his/her culture?
  • How does this person remember home even when far away from home?

Seaside DreamActivity:

Create a beach ball collage!

Materials: poster paper, pencil, markers, colored pencils or crayons, assortment of magazines

  1. Using a pencil, draw a large circle on the poster paper.
  2. Inside the circle, draw a small circle about the size of a quarter somewhere off center.
  3. Draw a curved line from the small circle to the large circle. Repeat drawing lines until you have six lines and six spaces. Each curved line should face the same direction in a pinwheel formation. The lines will be different lengths and can be varying widths apart from each other (this will give it a 3-D effect).
  4. With a black marker, trace over the pencil so the beach ball stands out on the poster paper.
  5. Optional: lightly fill in each segment a different color using colored pencils or crayons.
  6. Select and cut out pictures and words from the assortment of magazines to answer the question: What makes the beach special to you?
  7. In each of the six beach ball segments, draw or glue pictures. In one section, think about what foods you eat while at the beach. What animals have you seen at the beach? What do you always make sure to pack before you head out? What activities do you like to do at the beach? Who do you play with while there?

For further reading:Seaside Dream

Jill_EisenbergJill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 


Filed under: Educator Resources, Holidays and Celebrations, Summer Tagged: children's books, close reading, diversity, Educators, holidays, Reading Aloud, reading comprehension, summer, summer reading

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11. The World is So Wide, by Jess Rush | Dedicated Review

The World is So Wide is an exploration of career possibilities in a picture book format with colorful illustrations. The author, Jess Rush, uses rhyme and follows the alphabet from A to Z to provide a list of jobs (Analyst to Zoo vet) meant to inspire young children and broaden their ideas of what the future could hold.

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12. The Call for Session Proposals for KidLitCon14 is Now Live!

I 2014KidLitConLogo am pleased to announce the call for proposals for the 2014 KidLitCon. The 8th annual KidLitCon will be held in Sacramento, CA on October 10th and 11th, with sessions held on both days. This year’s theme is Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next?

From the proposal submission form: 

“We are looking for presentations and panels that will inspire and edify Kidlitosphere bloggers. While we’re specifically interested in presentations that address what bloggers can do to make a meaningful difference in increasing and promoting diversity in children’s and young adult literature, sessions covering other topics such as reviewing critically, trends, social media, marketing, technology, and industry relationships are welcome.”

This year’s Program Coordinator is Charlotte Taylor, who blogs at Charlotte’s Library. Charlotte prepared this year’s submission form with assistance from last year’s Coordinator, Jackie Parker from Interactive Reader

The last day for proposal submissions is August 1st. I hope you'll consider participating. Click here for the Proposal Submission Form. The registration form will be available soon. 

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13. Introducing BookPeople’s Modern First Library

Modern First LibraryI wrote in my newsletter last week about my new project with BookPeople. “Our hope,” I wrote, “is that by leveraging the longstanding popularity of Margaret Wise Brown, for instance, Modern First Library will get more great new books representing an increasingly broad swath of our society into more homes and into more readers’ hands. If this grassroots approach works, we hope that other booksellers will emulate it in their own communities and that it will encourage publishers to create and support more books reflecting the diversity in our world.”

Today, I’m pleased to share the Austin indie bookseller’s blog post officially launching the initiative:

Under the banner of this program, we will be featuring a broad range of books, new and old, that we think belong on the shelves of the very youngest readers.

BookPeople is committed to helping all kids find books that broaden their idea of what’s possible, provide fresh perspectives, and open windows to new experiences: all the things that great children’s books always do. And because we live in the vibrant, global society of the 21st century, our book suggestions have been purposefully designed to reflect the diversity of that experience. After all, a child’s first library offers his or her first glimpses of the world outside the family’s immediate sphere, and we think that view needs to reflect a reality that’s broad, inclusive, and complex, just like the world we all live in.

Please have a look at what BookPeople’s children’s book buyer has to say about Modern First Library, and stay tuned for guest posts on the subject by Austin authors Cynthia Leitich Smith, Don Tate, Liz Scanlon, Varian Johnson, and me. In the meantime, check out the Modern First Library starter sets — the folks at BookPeople have worked hard to put those together, and it shows.

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14. Behind the scenes at the Pura Belpré Award Celebración #alaac14

yuyi

Medalist Yuyi Morales created this dress to match her award-winning book, Niño Wrestles the World.

The Pura Belpré Award Celebración is always my favorite event at ALA. The award is given to an illustrator and a writer whose work “best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.” I was a committee member back in 2010, and I try to help with the event each year because I love spending time with my friends from REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library And Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking)  and CAYASC (Children’s and Young Adult Services Committee). It’s always really fun to meet the award recipients, too, of course!

This year’s decorations were especially beautiful. Committee member Armando Ramirez provided bright purple papel picado which he had custom designed with Pura Belpré’s image on every sheet of the delicate paper. Armando also brought his collection of beautiful rebozos to adorn the tables.

Since it was the first event of the day to take place in the Caesar’s Palace Octavius Ballroom, the hotel workers were nice enough to let us take a sneak peek the night before the Celebración. After the event, the workers let a few of us leave via the secret freight elevator in the kitchen.

As always, the speeches were the best part of the event. The authors and illustrators shared heartbreaking and heartwarming stories about growing up Latino in the United States.

jose

José-Luis Orozco

As is the tradition, after the speeches we held hands and swayed while singing the folksong “De Colores.” This year we were lucky enough to have José-Luis Orozco perform for us. Since I am a huge fan, I gave him a special gift which he wore during the performance–a hand carved guitar pick holder on a leather string which was made by one of my library’s teen volunteers.

Medina, Meg. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press, 2013. Print.

Meg Medina’s Young Adult novel wins the medal.

I almost forgot to mention how much I loved this year’s winning titles: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina, and Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales. Please try to buy multiple copies of each for your library’s Children’s and Young Adult collections.

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Hickman, Youth Services Librarian, Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University.

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15. Ageism

Our children's books need diversity and non-stereotyping of older people. 

http://www.lindseymcdivitt.com/2014/05/16/we-need-diversity-in-aging-also/

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16. Book and Activity Suggestions to Match Your Summer Adventure: Ballparks!

Jill_EisenbergJill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

catchingthemoon022

Marcenia Toni Stone Lyle

Each week this summer, we are pairing Lee & Low titles to your favorite summer destinations with fun activities!

Your summer outing: the Ballpark, Baseball Hall of Fame, or Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Book recommendations:

William Hoy

William Hoy

Questions during reading:

  • What position does this ball player hold and what responsibilities are involved in that position?
  • Why does this person have a difficult time being allowed to play baseball?
  • How does this person demonstrate persistence?
  • What do you think this ball player accomplished for ball players of today?
  • How has baseball and who can play changed (or not changed) over time?
  • How does baseball encourage tolerance or acceptance?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the statement: Baseball is America’s favorite pastime? Why?


Activities
:

Louis Sockalexis

Louis Sockalexis

Create a baseball trading card!

Materials: a school individual-sized milk carton, white paper, glue stick, markers or crayons

  1. Using the book or the baseball museum websites, research the player’s full name, position, team(s), league(s), dates of career, any honors, batting average, and a fascinating fact.
  2. Cut the individual-sized milk carton with scissors so that you have one rectangle side panel. The rest of the carton can be discarded.
  3. Cover both sides of the side panel with white paper and secure with a glue stick.
  4. On one side, draw the player’s portrait or picture of the player in action. The picture is typically portrait orientation, but it can be landscape orientation.
  5. At the bottom of the picture, write the player’s name.
  6. On the other side of the trading card, write the player’s position, team(s), league(s), dates of career, any honors, batting average, and a fascinating fact (if there’s room!).

Write and think like a ball player!

Imagine you are the ball player you just read. As this person,

  • Write a diary entry about one or more of the events in the story: when you first found out you were selected to play on the team; how you felt the first time a fan, coach, or other player treated you poorly; or when you finally felt accepted by fans and other players for your abilities.
  • Write a letter or email to your parents about why you want to play baseball and what support you are or are not getting from fans and the other players.
  • Write a blog post or letter to the editor to your fans describing your abilities, what makes baseball rewarding for you, and how your role as a minority in baseball is important.
Marcenia Toni Stone Lyle

Marcenia Toni Stone Lyle

For further reading:


Filed under: Educator Resources Tagged: diversity, Educators, ELA common core standards, History, reading comprehension, summer, summer reading

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17. ALSC Celebrates #Diversity at #alaac14

ALSC invites you to celebrate diversity in children’s books and library programs at ALA Annual Conference.  Learn more about the Día initiative and how to incorporate diversity into your library programs and collections for children.

On Sunday, June 29th stop by the How do YOU Día?: An Interactive Showcase of Culturally Diverse Children’s Library Programsposter on the Exhibit Hall floor between 12:30-2pm PT. ALSC’s Public Awareness Committee members will be showcasing successful a variety of successful Día programs and will be sharing materials and ideas to help you get started in your own community.

Continue to learn more about how to incorporate Día into your programming at Dynamic Digital Día: Promoting Cultural Competence in Digital Storytimes. The program will be held at the Las Vegas Hotel in Pavilion 11 on Sunday, June 29th from 3-4pm. Speakers will discuss ways in which librarians can provide broader access to culturally responsive materials. The program will provide selection criteria and suggestions for using apps to promote cultural competence in children’s library programs.

Be sure to also celebrate this year’s Pura Belpré Medal winners and honorees at the 18th Annual Pura Belpré Award Celebración. Enjoy live entertainment and a book signing by the winning authors and illustrators on Sunday, June 29th from 1-3pm PT at Caesars Palace.

Learn more about this important topic by downloading ALSC’s The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children white paper. This white paper, written for the Association for Library Service to Children by Jamie Campbell Naidoo, PhD, was adopted by ALSC’s Board of Directors on April 5, 2014.

In addition, join the conversation at the ALSC Membership Meeting on the importance of diversity in children’s librarianship. The meeting will be held Monday, June 30th from 10:00am – 11:30am at LVCC-N252.

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18. Drift Blog Tour and Giveaway - INTL ends 7/3

Hey everyone! Today I'm featuring a book from Lee & Low's Tu Books imprint, a debut novel by M.K. Hutchins. I actually only got the book in the mail a few days ago, so I haven't finished reading enough to write a review yet. But that doesn't mean I can't share some info about it with you!

I like what I've read so far, so I've also decided to offer a giveaway of the hardcover (open internationally, ends 7/3/2014). Make sure you get all the way down to the end of the post and use the Rafflecopter widget to enter the giveaway.

On to the book!


Drift by M.K. Hutchins
Publication date: 15 June 2014 by Lee & Low/Tu Books
ISBN 10/13: 1620141450 | 9781620141458
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

About the book:

Tenjat lives on the shores of Hell, an ocean filled with ravenous naga monsters. His island, a massive Turtle, is slowed by the people living on its back. Only those poor enough to need children to support themselves in old age condescend to the shame of marriage. Tenjat is poor as poor gets, but he has a plan.

In the center of the island rises a giant Tree, where the Handlers—those who defend and rule the island—live. Against his sister’s wishes, Tenjat joins the Handlers. He couldn’t have picked a more dangerous time. The Turtle is nearing a coral reef where it desperately needs to feed, but the naga will swarm just before they reach it. Even novices like Tenjat are needed for the battle.

Can Tenjat discover his sister’s secrets in time? Will the possibility of love derail all his plans for a richer, marriage-free life? Long-held secrets will at last be revealed in this breathtaking debut from M. K. Hutchins.

About the author:

M.K. Hutchins's short fiction appears in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show and Daily Science Fiction.  She studied archaeology at BYU, which gave her the opportunity to compile histories from Maya glyphs, excavate in Belize, and work as a faunal analyst. Drift is her debut novel.





Are you intrigued?




Blog Tour Schedule


June 19: John Scalzi’s Whatever BlogM.K. Hutchins on worldbuilding and cultural ecology here
June 20: Supernatural Snark – M.K. Hutchins on being inspired by Maya mythology here.
June 23: It’s All About Books – M.K. Hutchins’ top 5 most influential books here.
June 25: Read Now Sleep Later
June 26: The Brain Lair - Check back for the link!

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open internationally.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  3. One set of entries per household please.
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here.
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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19. Ladies and gentlemen . . . the amazing Pat Cummings!

DSCN0088When I was in graduate school at SVA, I was able to choose an advisor during my thesis year. My choice was Pat Cummings. I asked Pat because I had been reading her books and admiring her art since “Just Us Women” appeared on Reading Rainbow in 1984. I went on to fall in love with C.L.O.U.D.S. and fueled my passion for breaking into the field with her “Talking with Artists” series. Not only has Pat been a great role model through her work and life, she has also been an amazing mentor and friend. I sent a few questions her way to host our conversation here on Living the Dream. Initially I hoped to do a video chat and post it to my Youtube channel, so in lieu of that live conversation, I will insert a few footnotes here and there, à la Junot Dìaz. Without further ado, Pat Cummings.

Pat, you have been illustrating books for over 30 years now. My first memory of your work was in the Reading Rainbow Book, Just Us Women. You were one of the only people of color on my radar who made books about children of color that were more whimsical and didn’t solely focus on history. Can you talk to me a bit about how you entered publishing and the motivation behind the books that you have created? 

I had been to see a bunch of publishers, not realizing that seeing one editor at a publishing house did not mean you’d really covered the whole house.  So it had been hit and miss.  There was a newsletter back then (this was the early/mid seventies) published by The Council on Interracial Books for Children.  They highlighted an illustrator or photographer on their back page.  When they ran my work, an editor at one of the publishing houses I thought I had covered called me and said she had a book for me. I had NO idea how to start but I didn’t want to let on that I was clueless.  So I did what seemed reasonable.  I knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who had once dated Tom Feelings.  So I called him up, explained my situation and he took the time to walk me through how he put a book together.  He was working on The Middle Passage.  It was 1975.  That book came out in 1995.  He was my hero when it came to deadlines.1  (Be kind, Shadra.)


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Has there been any time in your career where you wanted to stop writing and illustrating books? If so, what kept you going?
Nope.  There have been times I wanted to stop drawing and just write. But not permanently. I just wanted a change of pace.  There are too many stories I’d like to get to so I can’t imagine NOT wanting to tell them.

You work closely with SCBWI, The Highlights Foundation, and The Author’s Guild. How does this work inform your book making?
I was actually someone who was anti-groups when I was in college.  It took me a while to realize that others had invented the wheel already.  When I had thanked Tom Feelings profusely for helping me, Tom said, ‘Just help someone else when you can.’  I took that to heart.  I joined the Graphic Artists Guild and later, SCBWI.  I found that anytime I shared something I had learned about the business, I invariably learned more.  Every organization I work with, The Authors Guild, SCBWI, The Eric Carle Museum, Highlights, The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation…all of these groups…are immersed in the children’s book business in different ways.  So I’ve learned a lot about business, about the craft of making books and I get to constantly see the new work that is coming from puppies like yourself. (Please, Louise puts you about one book away from graduating from Puppy status).

You just published a gorgeous version of “Beauty and the Beast” written by your husband, Chuku Lee. I first met Chuku in C.L.O.U.D.S., how was it working with him as a model to working with him as an author?


Why, thank you ma’am for the kind words.  You know how long that book took to finish.  Chuku used to be a magazine editor when I met him and he was doing cover interviews with folks like Muhammad Ali and Andrew Young. Aside from being a writer and editor, he had served in the Foreign Service as a junior office in Paris. So, when I found an original French version of Beauty and the Beast I wanted him to translate it and do the retelling. He wrote up the story and sent it in to our editor, Barbara Lalicki at HarperCollins. I warned him that the way it worked in publishing, he would have to crawl across hell over broken glass to get to a final version because editors were very exacting. But Barbara only asked for one minor change and then said, “It’s great.”  I think the years of journalism paid off.  Writing lean, mean text is the way to go these days and his retelling was elegant and lyrical.  He has no idea how unusual his experience was.

As a model, he’s learned to be very patient and accommodating.  I’ve had him standing on furniture at 3am so I can get an angled shot. As the author of the book he was a cheerleader and kept me motivated when I thought I’d never finish.2  Because this wasn’t his usual endeavor, he didn’t seem to feel any pressure about seeing the book finished.  So he never mentioned that I was taking decades to get it done.

Can you talk a bit about the setting of the book? Why Africa and more specifically, Why Mali culture?
I’ve been fascinated by the Dogon for some time.  Their masks and traditional costumes are graphic and richly colored.  But, beyond any specific tribe, I’m attracted to the imagery of a host of cultures and West Africa was an ideal inspiration.  I remember seeing the opening scene of Coming to America with Eddie Murphy. 3 A mythic African kingdom is depicted, very opulent and very Hollywood and I loved the idea of combining African imagery with a fairy tale theme.  When I looked at the architecture of the Dogon, it held elements that I thought would be fitting for a castle where the Prince turned Beast might live.  Along with the African inspiration though, I wanted to capture some of the mystery in the Jean Cocteau film version of Beauty and the Beast.  I wanted to capture some of the magic in that film, with the watching faces in the architecture and waiting hands that provided whatever Beauty needed.

   B&B sisters b:w line174        B&B sisters b:w173

As a professor, you have mentored many successful illustrators, from David Ezra Stein, to Julian Hector, and myself, to name a few. You also take on a teaching role with SCBWI. How important is the work you do in the classroom? Do you consider teaching as much a part of your legacy as storytelling and being an artist?

You’re a teacher so you must know how satisfying it is to be able to help others bring their stories to fruition.  I think some people are genetically encoded to teach others and I recognize that in you. 4 When I told Tom that I would help others, I think I meant it sort of metaphorically.  But I found it so satisfying to see projects come together and to see people start their careers that it truly became a large part of what I do now.  I LOVE storytelling and I love just about every aspect of this business.  So, when I see others who have the same passion for it, it’s pretty easy to encourage and help them connect to publishers.  I feel proud of the folks I’ve worked with who have gone on to create wonderful books.  But I can only advise.  Their successes are all based on their unique talents.

With someone like yourself, and all of you phenoms out of SVA.Taeeun Yoo, Lauren Castillo, Anna Raff, You Byun, Lisa Anchin…the list goes on, I remember having the impression that the future was crystal clear and right around the corner for you. When you start out, the problem with being in the trenches, working like crazy, is that it’s hard to see what’s ahead and it might feel like it could take forever.  But to anyone like myself who has been in the business a while, talent glows in the dark. 5 So, I always remember how Tom Feelings helped me and I try to pass that on.

Can you talk a bit about your process? What are some of your favorite tools? What do you love the most about making art for picture books?

Eeeek.  My ‘process’ is pretty much a hot mess.  I doodle for days.  I collect the doodles, compose a slew of layouts, discard half and put together a smorgasbord of images to discuss with my editor.  Usually, I feel my way along a dark corridor, downloading images from dreams, things I’ve seen, music, travels….doodling and then, refining the doodles.  Eventually, I pick variations, stick them into mini dummies and then blow them up to refine further.  I go through about three or four dummies at least. 6 When I have layouts I like, I start final drawings in whatever order appeals.  Those final drawings are done by hand but in a photoshop, layer fashion:  a hand here, a horse there, a house on yet another piece of trace paper.  I assemble all of the scraps on my drawing table where I’ll have drawn an outline of the open book.  After I’ve arranged the various elements within that frame, I put a piece of trace paper over everything and make a final ink drawing.  That drawing I copy onto Fabriano Artistico hot press paper, the heavy stuff….300 pound I think.  I use paper that is forgiving because I tend to abuse it.
B&B sisters b168          B&B sisters c169      B&B sisters d170
B&B sisters 4166

With the drawing done in light pencil (usually 3 or 4H), I usually do washes of the background colors or any underpainting first.  Then I feel my way along in terms of color.  If I’ve put down an olive green, I might feel I need a rust next to it.  Even if I’ve done color studies, I tend to just go with my gut once I start painting.  It surprises me without fail, that after the book is done I’ll see there was a particular palette specific to the book.  Only rarely have I set out with an intentional palette.  I use watercolor and gouache pretty interchangeably, go in with color pencil, smooth things out with pastel, hit it with anything that seems called for and then spray the whole thing heavily.  I don’t recommend this.  What I do know is that I may start a page with every intention of being light and washy and loose and then things get brighter and juicier and tighter and I swear that the next book will be light and loose.7

B&B sisters 1163

B&B sisters 2164

B&B sisters 3165

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The #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign has been a hot topic for a few weeks now. As a maker of diverse books for children and a luminary in the field, what are some of your thoughts on this issue? 

The percentages haven’t changed since I’ve been doing books.  I came in after a wave that included Tom Feelings and Jerry Pinkney and Walter Dean Myers and Mildred Pitts Walter and others.  They were prolific new voices.  But back in the day, it seemed like I knew every single illustrator and writer of color and could call them up.  The field should not have been that small.  Today, there are more creators of color but the percentages of books featuring people of color has apparently diminished despite the wide range of work covering a wide range of topics, being created by a wide range of people of color.  The disparity can’t be corrected by people of color.  There still exists a mentality that a child will only appreciate a book with someone of his own race on the cover and that is what needs to change.

As a black woman, I think a lot about the lack of black women picture book artists working in our field. Do you have any thoughts on why African American women seemingly aren’t pursuing careers in picturebooks as much as their male counterparts? 

We could be at this for days.  I have this talk in class every semester. Not just about African American women though…about all women.  Here’s my thinking and it is unrefined and preliminary at best:  There seem to be a grillion-to-one women-to-men at every children’s book conference and in every class.  But the industry is heavily male when it comes to the talent.  What I see in class informs my thinking.  If you critique a woman she might take your advice, she might reject it.  But when challenged or critiqued, some decide it is not working for them, that this may not be the business for them.  Men don’t seem to get as easily discouraged.  This is a pretty amateur observation based, I think , on one dance I went to in high school where the guys never retreated to a corner or went home if a girl wouldn’t dance.  Men seem genetically encoded to pump themselves up and get back in the fray….even if a casual observer would consider them delusional about their gifts.  Women need a bit of that chutzpah.  What helped me, and the trait I see in the women I know who get published, is a no holds barred passion for the work.  I left school with the attitude that this is what I would do.  I heard all of the stories about folks who ‘got discovered’.  But what I’ve found over time is: male, female, black, white, whatever…you have to throw everything you have at this if you want to do it.8

I could ask many more questions, but I will end with one more. What advice do you have for illustrators working today who are trying to sustain a career as long and successful as yours has been?

It is as huge a cliche as you’ll ever hear:  Do what you love.  It won’t feel like work.  It won’t ever get boring.  You won’t ever retire.  If, bless you, you one day sell the worldwide film rights to your little picture book and make a grillion dollars, you’ll wake  up the next day and still want to tell another story.  And it will be fun.

Thank you Pat for all that you do and have done for us puppies!
I certainly would not have made it this far without you and your work.
To see more of Pat Cumming’s work visit her at www.patcummings.com.
You can also find her on facebook.

 

1. For those of you who want to become book illustrators, a book typically takes six months to a year to illustrate, but as I tell all of my students, it is a marathon, not a sprint. Do your very best work and if that means slowing down a tad to ensure your best work, then by all means, do so. Do be realistic about your working process and let your publisher know well in advance how long it will take you to finish. Tom Feelings’ The Middle Passage is an amazing work of art that transcends the label “picture book” by all accounts. You can see more of his work here. (Fast forward to 31:00 to hear Tom in his own words).

2. I speak to my students often about choosing a partner wisely. Male or female, choosing a partner who respects you and your work is crucial to living a long and artistic life. Being an artist is a long and lonely road for most, and there are times when the going will get tough. You will need people in your life, be it a mate, friend, family member, agent, editor, audience, -heck, even a loyal pet will work, to help build you up and remind you that this is work that needs to be done.

3. YES!!! She’s your queeeeeeen to beeeeee! One of the greatest movies of all time. Eddie Murphy and the Hudlin Brothers made black folk so beautiful in their films.

4. I grew up in a family of educators. My mom was an english teacher before becoming a guidance counselor. I also find it funny that many illustrators and authors that I have met over time were raised by teachers. Oh man, I want to make that a book now.

5. I am so thrilled you saw the talent in me then and helped nurture and support it. I was walking around in the dark back then, reaching for stars that I wouldn’t see. I have students like that now, who are amazing artists and storytellers. I drag many of them into the light, but like you, I can only push so much. At the end of the day, they have to find a way to kick the door in for themselves.

6. Again, marathon, not a sprint.

7. Ha! This is hilarious. There is nothing light and loose about your personality. You are bright and vivid in personality and it shines so clearly in the work that you make. It is stunning work, no matter how you arrived at it. Though, the work you did earlier, was lighter and looser. I bought a copy of My Mama Needs Me a while back and was interested to see how much your work has changed from that book and Just Us Women. It’s not a criticism, just an observation. Your use of color is amazing to me.

8. I have this talk too in all of my classes. I ask my students their thoughts about women in the field, people of color in the field, etc. For African American artists though, I wonder if because there aren’t many historically black universities that offer illustration courses. I am seeing more POC at MICA, where I teach, but the numbers are still pretty low. When I was looking at colleges, I didn’t even consider historically black universities because I didn’t know of any illustrators who were making books that graduated from Howard, Spelman, Florida A&M, etc.. As for women, yes, I see so many more in art school, at SCBWI conferences etc., but I tell my students all the time, they have to stand up and be seen. They have to be persistent, and they have to be super confident. As I said in an interview with Sam Weber earlier this year, “if you don’t know that I’m not awesome, I’m not gon’ tell you I’m not awesome”.

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20. The Great Greene Heist: Varian Johnson

Book: The Great Greene Heist
Author: Varian Johnson
Pages: 240
Age Range: 10-14

The Great Green Heist is a fun caper novel for middle school students, written by Varian Johnson. It features Jackson Greene, a semi-reformed prankster who sets out, with a talented crew, to ensure that his former almost-girlfriend wins the election for student council president. There are spy novel trappings such as disguises, hidden microphones, and custom gadgets. However, the real emphasis in The Great Greene Heist is on interpersonal dynamics, and the role that the various kids play in the drama.

The Great Green Heist features a diverse cast of characters (as one can see by looking closely at the cover), but it is about the heist (well, more of a scam), rather than being about the ethnicity of any one character. Johnson does a nice job of including small details that let the reader know that the characters come from different backgrounds, without distracting too much from the story. There is one minor character, an administrative assistant in the Principal's office, who is overtly racist, but skin colors are otherwise mainly a background matter. A bigger difference in how Jackson perceives other students involves whether or not they play basketball (and how good they are), rather than what they look like.

In truth, I had a bit of trouble sorting out all of the characters and their relationships at the beginning of the book. I had to go back and skim the first few chapters a couple of times. A relationship diagram / cast of characters might have been helpful. There is a glossary of Jackson's past capers included in the book's end materials, as well as a list of the 15 rules that make up the "Greene Code of Conduct." For example, "Stay cool under pressure. A rattled crew is a mistake-prone crew."

The Great Greene Heist has an intro sure to pull kids in: 

"As Jackson Greene sped past the Maplewood Middle School Cafeteria -- his trademark red tie skewed slightly to the left, a yellow No. 2 pencil balanced behind his hear, and a small spiral-bound notebook tucked in his right jacket pocket -- he found himself dangerously close to sliding back into the warm confines of scheming and pranking." (Page 1)

The story is a bit over the top, as is common in caper-type novels, featuring a candidate with basically no redeeming value, and a corrupt principal, not to mention a cooler-than-cool Jackson. I was reminded a bit of the Veronica Mars television series, in a good way. Kind of a quirkier, more interesting school than one might actually find in real life. 

I enjoyed The Great Greene Heist, and I think that kids will, too. I especially liked the character of Gaby, a strong girl running for Student Council President. Gaby at one point laments a female friend who prefers watching boys play sports over playing herself, and vows never to be like that herself. I think I would have liked to be friends with her. And I love the fact that Jackson makes it cool to be smart.

The Great Green Heist has become a bit of a poster-book for diversity, in light of the recent We Need Diverse Books campaign. But don't read it out of some sense of making a difference by reading diverse books. No, read it because it's a fun story about smart kids taking matters into their own hands, and bending the rules for a greater good. Recommended for middle school readers, boys or girls. 

Publisher: Scholastic (@Scholastic)
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

FTC Required Disclosure:

This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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21. #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Join the campaign to increase diversity in books. #WeNeedDiverseBooks 

http://latinosinkidlit.com/2014/05/05/make-the-weneeddiversebooks-campaign-a-movement-that-pushed-for-intentionality/

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22. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: June 6

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics covered this week include book lists and awards, diversity and gender, growing bookworms, the kidlitosphere, parenting, reading, writing, publishing, schools, libraries, and summer reading. 

Book Lists and Awards

Britain's best-loved children's book? Winnie-the-Pooh | @TelegraphArts reports on survey http://ow.ly/xD0ld via @tashrow

Stacked: Get Genrefied: Magical Realism in #yalit http://ow.ly/xAi0O @catagator

Barbro Lindgren Wins Lindgren Prize, reports @tashrow at Waking Brain Cells http://ow.ly/xD0Kb #kidlit

The 2014 Lambda Awards have been announced, via @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/xAhdg #yalit

Four-and-a-half books about the Rwandan Genocide, list from @bkshelvesofdoom who would like other suggestions http://ow.ly/xD0ST #kidlit

Predictions for the 2014 NYT Best Illustrated Children’s Books from @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/xxfyQ #kidlit

Stacked: Making a List & Checking it Twice: Bucket Lists and More in YA (a microtrend) http://ow.ly/xxf8c @catagator #yalit

A solid list | The Best of the Underrated Middle School Books from @fuseeight http://ow.ly/xAhPD #kidlit

The Top Ten Books I Never Wanted to Read (But I’m Glad I Did) by @emilypmiller3 @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/xtAzp #kidlit

2014 Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards | via @tashrow http://ow.ly/xx9Od @HornBook #kidlit

Everead: 10 Books to Read to a Kindergarten Class, plus some tips, from Alysa Stewart http://ow.ly/xxhf2 #GrowingBookworms

Who knew that there were 12 Picture Books about Theater for Kids? Erica @momandkiddo has the list! http://ow.ly/xxd6W

Lovely start to the week: Sink Your Teeth into a Sweet Read: Books about Candy, from SSHEL blog http://ow.ly/xx9Wh #kidlit

Diversity + Gender

At The Uncommon Corps, Marc Aronson addresses how we can help encourage girls in math + computer sicence http://ow.ly/xD2ki

Guest Post @CynLeitichSmith | Varsha Bajaj on Reading Across Borders & Cultures http://ow.ly/xD1AG #kidlit #diversity

For #WeNeedDiverseBooks @MsYingling shares a list of #kidlit since 2000 w/ focus on Hispanic culture http://ow.ly/xD1d9

#WeNeedDiverseBooks, The Panel & Musings on Diversity Discussions from Tanita Davis http://ow.ly/xAghx + #KidLitCon plug

Overview of #WeNeedDiverseBooks panel at BEA 2014 by @sdiaz101 in @sljournal http://ow.ly/xABg1

#WeNeedDiverseBooks Announces New Initiatives at BEA, reports @PWKidsBookshelf http://ow.ly/xASXN

Growing Bookworms

DadsReadHow and Why You Should Help with the #DadsRead Campaign — @ZoobeanForKids http://ow.ly/xDeEV  #literacy

Announcing the launch of @ReadingTub Recommendations newsletter - Just in Time for Summer | Family Bookshelf http://ow.ly/xD0xR #kidlit

Judy Blume: Parents worry too much about their kids are reading, @TelegraphArts http://ow.ly/xATfj via @PWKidsBookshelf

A quite useful addition to the @SunlitPages Raising Readers series: Nonfiction Early Readers http://ow.ly/xAAwp

Growing up in home w/ lots of books + being read to as a toddler have biggest impact on school readiness http://ow.ly/xx7mN @librareanne

The Reading Teacher by Emily Rozmus @rozmuse @nerdybookclub http://goo.gl/XN4Yeh  #growingbookworms

Kidlitosphere

Lots of #kidlit news at Morning Notes: Sit on a Book Edition — @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/xD2X1

Always full of interesting tidbits: Fusenews: The Bear grumbleth “mum mum” — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/xtAQf

48 Hour Book Challenge: A Call for Diversity from @MotherReader http://ow.ly/xAgt4 #48HBC

Good to see countdown to this weekend's 48 Hour Book Challenge @MotherReader | Who is participating? http://ow.ly/xxcvB #48HBC

Much deserved! Celebrating @MotherReader With a Donation to @FirstBook from @MaryLeeHahn + @frankisibberson http://ow.ly/xxfWI

Miscellaneous

Have a Productive Day! | @tashrow links to 2 recent articles about improving personal productivity

Fun! Disney Parks Are Hiding These 35 Secrets From Us...And You Probably Never Noticed! http://ow.ly/xtAlX via @escapeadulthood

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

Round Up of SLJ Day of Dialog 2014 at BEA from @roccoa @sljournal http://ow.ly/xAB4D

Words to live by! RT @donalynbooks "@rikkir77 @JensBookPage Just read every day and let the rest take care of itself!"

How Wordless Picture Books Empower Children | SLJ Day of Dialog 2014 | Sarah Bayliss @sljournal http://ow.ly/xABxJ

Interesting ideas for reinventing the bookshop to attract people to physical stores in @intlifemag http://ow.ly/xxegk via @medinger

On the autonomy that came with being given permission to read the once-forbidden Harry Potter books http://ow.ly/xx9lv @NPRBooks

12 Quotes From Roald Dahl for Book Lovers @mashable via @tashrow http://goo.gl/8ogjKN #kidlit

Parenting

I loved reading Ami's plan to give her kids a relaxing, time-filled summer vacation at bunkers down http://ow.ly/xxb7C

This post on Building Trust by @lochwouters in response to @NPRBooks piece, resonated with me http://ow.ly/xxhrb

Schools and Libraries

Helping if "kids can discover books that mean something to them, that sink in and stay with them" @MaryAnnScheuer http://ow.ly/xAhp9

On the importance of audiobooks for teachers + in the classroom by Kristin Becker @KirbyLarson http://ow.ly/xAh3v

I'm enjoying @MaryAnnScheuer series on #CommonCore IRL. Today: Life in Colonial America (grades 3-5) http://ow.ly/xxdxq #kidlit

Summer Reading

Age-selected, updated lists for Building a Home Library from @CBCBook @ALALibrary + @alscblog http://ow.ly/xDfNK  #SummerReading

Parents: Here are links to Free #SummerReading Resources for the Whole Family from @Scholastic http://ow.ly/xAdbf

SummerReading-LOGONice little roundup of #SummerReading Resources, including links to @Scholastic lists from @365GCB http://ow.ly/xxaln

How to Get Kids Hooked on Nonfiction Books This Summer | @MindShiftKQED http://ow.ly/xtBFJ via @tashrow #SummerReading

Things I wish people knew about #SummerReading from @greenbeanblog http://goo.gl/0OYULU

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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23. Gaijin: American Prisoner of War written and illustrated by Matt Faulkner

Koji Miyamoto, 13, his American mom and Japanese dad have been living a quiet life in San Francisco.  But when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 all that changes immediately.  Koji secretly fears his father may have been part of the attack since he was in Japan when it happened taking care of his sick father.  At school, he is picked on by a group of bullies, the trolley operator won't let him on the board and the government has taken away the family radio, insinuating that all Japanese are spies.

Finally, Koji's mom receives a letter saying that he is to be sent to a "relocation camp" which is nothing more than the Alameda Downs, a former racetrack.  His mother decides to go with him, but because she is white, not Japanese, she and the camp commander become friends.  Koji, who is called Gaijin (outsider) by the other Japanese boys finds himself getting bullied by them.  After getting caught fighting, an elderly old family friend man, Yoshi Asai,  takes Koji under his wing.  But after the two create a Victory Garden, the bullies go after it night after night.

Koji finds himself getting more and more angry as the days go by, at the government for putting them in horse stables and then treating them like they are all criminals; at the bullies for making him feel like he doesn't belong anywhere.  Pretty soon a rift develops between Koji and his mom, fueled by the bullies repeatedly calling her the camp floozy.

The bullies set up all kinds of dangerous tasks for Koji to do with the promise of belonging as his reward.  As the tasks get riskier, Koji faces the possibility of being sent to a very unpleasant correction facility alone.  Is his desire to belong or his anger so great that his is willing to risk that fate?  Or can the gentle elderly Mr. Yoshi Asai help keep Koji from getting into more trouble?

Gaijin: American Prisoner of War is based on a true story from author/illustrator Matt Faulkner's family, as he explains at the end of the story, making it personal and affecting.  Using the graphic novel format, allows the reader to see the anger, confusion, fear, all the understandable feelings of a young man forced to live the way the Miyamoto's were, and being treated like an enemy alien because of his race, not his citizenship.

The illustrations are done using watercolor and gouache in rich vibrant colors very reminiscent of the early 1940s.  Gouache is the perfect medium for this graphic novel, with its large bold energetic  images, sometimes only one to a pages, other times as many as five.  Much of the story comes through the illustrations, with little text but together they really capture every humiliating element of the internment of the Japanese in WWII.

The more I read graphic novels, the more I appreciate them.  When they are done well, as Gaijin is, they can be a way of introducing difficult topics to young readers and may serve as a way to interest reluctant readers.  

Another excellent book about this still not widely known about part of American history.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was bought for my personal library

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24. TURNING PAGES: DANGEROUS, by Shannon Hale

As an occasional lurker on Shannon Hale's blog, I'd read a bit about this novel before it came out -- a very little bit -- but was surprised when Hale revealed that her character had been differently-abled from birth. I read Mindy's review on... Read the rest of this post

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25. Investing for feline futures

By Rachael A. Bay


For tigers, visiting your neighbor is just not as easy as it used to be. Centuries ago, tigers roamed freely across the landscape from India to Indonesia and even as far north as Russia. Today, tigers inhabit is just 7% of that historical range. And that 7% is distributed in tiny patches across thousands of kilometers.

Habitat destruction and poaching has caused serious declines in tiger populations – only about 3,000 tigers remain from a historical estimate of 100,000 just a century ago. Several organizations are concerned with conserving this endangered species. Currently, however, all conservation plans focus increasing the number of tigers. Our study shows that, if we are managing for a future with healthy tiger populations, we need to look beyond the numbers. We need to consider genetic diversity.

Genetic diversity is the raw material for evolution. Populations with low genetic diversity can have lower health and reproduction due to ‘inbreeding effects’. This was the case with the Florida panther – in the early 1990s there were just 30 Florida panthers left. Populations with low genetic diversity are also vulnerable when faced with challenges such as disease or changes in the environment.

Photo by Rachael A. Bay

Photo by Rachael A. Bay

Luckily for tigers, they don’t have low genetic diversity. They have very high genetic diversity, in fact. But the problem for tigers is that losing genetic diversity happens more quickly in many small, disconnected populations than in one large population. The question is: how can we keep that genetic diversity so that tigers never suffer the consequences of inbreeding effects.

We used computer simulations to predict how many tigers we would need in the future to keep the genetic diversity they already have. Our study shows that without connecting the small populations, the number of tigers necessary to maintain that variation is biologically impossible. However, if we can connect some of these populations – between tiger reserves or even between subspecies – the number of tigers needed to harbor all the genetic variation becomes much smaller and more feasible. Case studies have shown that introducing genetic material from distantly related populations can hugely benefit the health of a population in decline. In the case of the Florida panther, when individuals from another subspecies were introduced into the breeding population, the numbers began to rise.

We do need to increase the number of tigers in the wild. If we can’t stop poaching and habitat destruction, we will lose all wild tigers before we have a chance to worry about genetic diversity. But in planning to conserve this majestic animal for future generations we should make sure those future populations can thrive – and that means trying to keep genetic variation.

Rachael A. Bay is a PhD candidate at Stanford University, and co-author of the paper ‘A call for tiger management using “reserves” of genetic diversity’, which appears in the Journal of Heredity.

Journal of Heredity covers organismal genetics: conservation genetics of endangered species, population structure and phylogeography, molecular evolution and speciation, molecular genetics of disease resistance in plants and animals, genetic biodiversity and relevant computer programs.

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Image credit: Tigers at San Francisco Zoo. Photo by Rachael A. Bay. Do not reproduce without permission.

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