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Caribbean American Heritage Month 2018

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month — which celebrates “the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States” — and this week (June 18-22) is the twentieth annual Caribbean American Legislative Week in Washington, DC. You can find lots of great information, book recommendations, and resources at this […]

“Stories that build on a common humanity”

In “A Fine Bookshelf,” from the March/April 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, author and Haitian immigrant Ibi Zoboi talks about building a home library for her two daughters, now teenagers. As the girls were growing up, Zoboi sought out books that mirrored her children’s experience and that celebrated past generations. She begins her […]

“Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa.”

“We adults [Ed. note: ahem, ahem] know, of course, that Africa is a continent, not a country. Also that it is diverse, full of real people and places that are varied and distinct.” —Monica Edinger’s 2014 Horn Book Magazine article “Books About Africa“ “The Caribbean is one of the most culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse […]

“Change happens when enough people demand it.”

Debbie in 1998: “Native American folktales are beautiful.” Debbie in 2017: “WTF was I thinking in 1998?!” When the Horn Book asked if I’d be interested in writing something for their Family Reading blog, I looked back at a Field Notes column I had written for the Magazine, way back in 1998. I began “Mom, […]

Caribbean American Heritage Month 2017

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month, which celebrates “the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States.” Summer Edward, founder and editor in chief of Caribbean children’s literature magazine Anansesem, was kind enough to direct us to her recommendations of recent or forthcoming kids’ and YA books by […]

Review of American Street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    330 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-247304-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-247306-6     $9.99 Immediately after landing in New York from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. Immigration. Fabiola must continue the journey alone to her aunt and cousins in Detroit, specifically […]

On “The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics” (from 2017)

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been tracking the number of children’s books created by people of color since 1985. In an interview that will be published in the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, book review editor Martha V. Parravano talks with CCBC director Kathleen T. Horning […]

Review of Amina’s Voice

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan Intermediate, Middle School    Salaam/Simon    197 pp. 3/17    978-1-4814-9206-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9208-9    $10.99 Musically talented Amina struggles with shyness and, since she started middle school, with issues of assimilation. Her best friend Soojin, who is Korean American, is considering changing her name with […]

Review of When We Were Alone

When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson; illus. by Julie Flett Primary    HighWater Press    32 pp. 12/16    978-1-55379-673-2    $18.95    g This quiet story is one of love and resistance during the decades-long era of oppressive residential schools for First Nations children in Canada. While spending the day with her […]

When Google Translate Gives You Arroz con Mango: Erroneous Español and the Need for #ownvoices

I recently had a Twitter conversation with three writer and librarian colleagues, two of whom are native Spanish speakers, about the use of Spanish in primarily English-language children’s books. The conversation started after one of us wrote about finding incorrect Spanish in a book. Each of us chimed in, able to produce at least one […]