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Happy Anniversary: Stevie

Stevie by John Steptoe (1950–1989) was published by Life magazine and then by Harper & Row in 1969. It celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2019. I locate the beginning of what I’ve come to call #blackboylit — literature for children and young adults that centers the experiences of boys of African descent, written and illustrated […]

Jewish American Heritage Month 2019

May is Jewish American Heritage Month! The Boston Public Library has a good list of books to get you started exploring the (varied) Jewish experience in the U.S. Check out The Knish War on Rivington Street for a glimpse into the early-twentieth-century Lower East Side (and two knish recipes); or All Three Stooges for a […]

Versify at Harvard Book Store

Last night, we snagged press passes (thank you Spencer at Harvard Book Store!) for an event at First Church in Cambridge, MA, celebrating the launch of Versify, Kwame Alexander’s new imprint with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Alexander — along with Versify authors Lamar Giles, Raúl the Third, and Kip Wilson — are on a multicity bus […]

My Characters Don’t Wear Shoes in the House

This article is not meant as a judgment upon people who wear shoes in the house. Some of my closest friends wear shoes in the house. I fully support the rights of people to have different shoe-wearing practices in their own houses. That said, I don’t wear shoes in my house. My spouse doesn’t, my […]

“A Conversation with Ellen Oh” event at Simmons University

Earlier this week, Cindy and I attended a talk at Simmons University by author and anthologist Ellen Oh, cofounder, president, and CEO of We Need Diverse Books. She started her presentation with some of the reasons why We Need Diverse Books, both broad (statistics about POC representation and lack thereof; how exposing all children to […]

We Need Diverse Books…in elementary schools

Am I the last person to know about the partnership between Scholastic Book Club and We Need Diverse Books? From what I can tell, the two organizations have been collaborating since 2015, though I’m pretty sure our school hasn’t sent home any designated WNDB flyers until last month. Or maybe they have — I don’t […]

Why Stop at Windows and Mirrors?: Children’s Book Prisms

It has been twenty-nine years since Rudine Sims Bishop’s seminal essay “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” was published. Speaking to the lack of children’s books with African American characters and themes, the essay called for books to act as windows and mirrors that would allow all children to see themselves and the experiences of […]

“Love Your Neighbor” booklist series from the Association of Jewish Libraries

Following the October 2018 gun murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and in response to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries began compiling a series of themed booklists for children, families, and communities. The “Love Your Neighbor” series includes four lists: List #1 Standing Up for Each […]

The Writer’s Page: “Speak with Us, Not for Us”

KidLitWomen* was co-founded by Grace Lin and Karen Blumenthal in March 2018, with the mission of “calling attention to the gender inequities of our industry, uplifting the women who have not received their due, and finding solutions to reach equality.” The following article expands on a KidLitWomen* social media post by Lin. Many of my […]

Francie at Frugal

On Saturday, I went to Frugal Bookstore for Francie Latour‘s “Auntie Luce Holiday Book Event.” Francie is the author of Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings, illustrated by Ken Daley (Groundwood), inspired by Haitian artist Luce Turnier (1924-1994). She’s also one half of Wee The People (with Tanya Nixon-Silberg): Wee The People (WTP) is a Boston-based social […]