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Julie Hakim Azzam

About Julie Hakim Azzam

Julie Hakim Azzam teaches in the English department at the University of Pittsburgh. While her academic specialization is on literature from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, she has a passion for children’s literature and has been interviewing children’s authors for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for many years.

Review of That Is My Dream!

That Is My Dream! by Langston Hughes; illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp. 10/17    978-0-399-55017-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55018-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55019-5    $10.99 Langston Hughes’s 1924 poem “Dream Variation” tells of a wish “to fling my arms wide / In some place of the sun, / To whirl and to dance / Till […]

What are we laughing at? Children’s literature and ADHD

It’s been a hard day. You know—the kind of day when you go to pick your kid up from day camp only to be besieged by teachers and staff who each deliver reports of your kid’s terrible, no-good behavior. It’s the usual complaints. Not listening. Not following directions. Not paying attention. Not obeying a teacher’s […]

Confessions of a (Failed) Battle of the Books Coach

Dear Reader, I have a confession to make: I am a failed Battle of the Books coach. And I am in need of your help. It started out with good intentions, as many things do. In the empty days that follow the end of the school year, when our minds and sleeping schedules were still […]

Crossing Literacy Thresholds: When Kids Are “Stuck” Reading the Same Things

I take a democratic spirit with regard to my children’s reading. In my view, if I take them to the library every weekend and they’re reading something — anything! — then we’re good, right? Maybe not. Lately, my nine year-old has been apathetic about our library trips, preferring to wait in the car. When in […]

Books in the Home: “Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?”: Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books

When my son was five, he was watching TV when a commercial came on that showed a woman slathering her peach-colored arms with lotion. He glanced down at his own brown arm. After poking it with a finger, he asked: “Mommy, do I have white skin?” It was a moment that seemed straight out of […]