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Month: August 2014

  • More Than 900 Writers Sign a Letter Addressed to Amazon

    Recently, more than nine hundred writers decided to voice their feelings on the situation. The authors banded together to sign an open letter to Amazon; some of the participating children’s …

  • Gayle Forman’s IF I STAY hits #1 on USA Today and New York Times Bestseller Lists

    New York, NY – Gayle Forman’s internationally bestselling novel IF I STAY hits new heights this week, landing at #1 simultaneously on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists. IF I STAY is an emotionally arresting …

  • Dear Book Publishers: Letters from the 5th Grade

    The Dear Book Publishers series is a showcase of letters written by 5th graders from Dothan Brook School. These students were tasked with looking at the diversity in their school library’s picture book collection along with the race of children featured on Kindergarten Second Step cards. Reacting to what they had learned, the students wrote letters to book publishers, the Vermont Agency of Education, the school principal, and the district superintendent. During the month of August, CBC Diversity will showcase all of the letters created by the Dothan Brook School’s 5th grade class.

  • Kids Break 2013 World Record In The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, Logging 200 Million Minutes And Counting

    NEW YORK, NY – Children worldwide are making this the biggest summer ever for reading and have set a new world record by logging 200 MILLION MINUTES in the Scholastic Summer …

  • “Please don’t turn this into a teenage romance”: Lois Lowry on Hollywood’s Adaptation of ‘The Giver’

    NYT: “‘The Giver,’ like much contemporary Y.A., has a totalitarian setting, although the society was designed to be an egalitarian utopia.”LL: “People do things that turn out badly, often for …

  • Dear Book Publishers: Letters from the 5th Grade

    At the beginning of 2014, the Diversity Committee finished its first meeting of the year with answering the questions “How do we want to move forward?” and “What perspectives haven’t we covered on the blog just yet?” After discussing some of the interesting high points of 2013, one aspect kept sticking out.

    The committee loves hearing from actual kids.

    The term “actual” is important here because we’re referring to hearing kids’ and teens’ opinions, not their “collective” opinions through librarians and teachers—the adults in their lives with which publishers are more likely to communicate.

    We all know that kids have opinions, and they are very honest about them, so the Committee wanted to find a way to give the youth of our nation a way to speak up about the diversity in the literature they see, what they want more of, and what they want to change.

    Serendipitously, Rebecca Lallier, M.Ed., the School Counselor for the Dothan Brook School in Vermont found the Children’s Book Council and presented a project she facilitated with the school’s 5th graders. Here’s the project in Rebecca’s words:

    In the late winter of 2014, 5th graders at the Dothan Brook School in White River Junction, Vermont completed a unit on implicit racism during their classroom counseling lessons. As a culminating activity, students replicated a 2012 study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin by collecting data about the race of main characters in children’s fiction picture books in the school library’s collection. A subgroup of students also collected data about the race of children featured on Kindergarten Second Step cards. They compared the data they had collected with the results of the CCBC 2012 study and data about children and race from the 2010 U.S. Census. Using this data and the information that they had learned about implicit racism, the fifth graders wrote letters to decision-­‐makers (their choice of the school principal, district superintendent, the Vermont Agency of Education, or book publishers) outlining the issues they had uncovered and making recommendations for addressing these issues.

    Dothan Brook School is a small, rural school of 263 kids that is socioeconomically and ability diverse with a variety of family structures. That being said, the school’s racial/ethnic diversity is very small.

    Native American: 0%

    African American: 1.5%

    Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.9%

    Latino: 3.4%

    Multiracial: 4.2%

    White/Caucasian: 88.9%

    Most of the kids who are racial/ethnic minorities have White/Caucasian parents, and all of the staff is White/Caucasian. These numbers are very representative of Vermont, where 95.2% of the population is in the racial majority.

    The project fits perfectly with the CBC’s goal of sharing young readers’ thoughts about diversity in children’s literature with the world and what perfect timing to do this before the next school year unfolds. 

    For the month of August, we’ll be sharing every letter the 46 5th graders at the Dothan Brook School wrote to decision-makers about the diversity they encountered during their unit and their thoughtful suggestions for change.

    We hope you’ll share their letters, too, so that their opinions on the reading material created for them might make a difference as well as show other kids that their thoughts and ideas matter and deserve to be heard.

  • Happy Birthday to the Original Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney!

    Of all the books I have done, ‘Miss Rumphius,’ ‘Island Boy,’ and ‘Hattie and the Wild Waves,’ are the closest to my heart. These three are as near as I …

  • ‘We Need Diverse Books’ to Launch a Diversity in the Classroom Initiative

    WNDB has formed a partnership with First Book and the National Education Association’s Read Across America program. Together, they will launch the Diversity in the Classroom initiative. Every month, students …

  • No Storytelling Rules: Fan Fiction

    “The generation of teens who grew up reading ‘Harry Potter’ is embracing fandom and fueling events such as LeakyCon, an annual convention for fans of many stripes that convened in Orlando, …

  • ‘Lost’ Dr. Seuss Stories Are Found!

    This follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories features familiar Seussian faces and places — including Horton the Elephant, Marco, Mulberry Street, and a Grinch — as well as an …

  • Disney to Shoot an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Sequel Film

    James Bobin will sit in the director’s seat. Linda Woolverton wrote the script. Tim Burton, the director of the first film, is stepping in as an executive producer. Danny Elfman …

  • Free Speech Groups Launch “Cameron Post” Essay Contest For Delaware High School Students In Response to Book Censorship

    NEW YORK, NY – Eight organizations concerned about free speech and education are inviting high school students in Delaware to write a 250-500 word essay saying what they think school board …

  • Tor Books to Re-Publish a George R.R. Martin Children’s Story

    “The book has been out of print in the U.S. for several years, but its mythology will be recognizable to fans of Martin’s other work. The author’s website notes that …

  • Does Young Adult Literature Need a Little Less ‘Katniss Everdeen’?

    Some of the authors pointed out that female characters who don’t fit the “strong and perfect” profile are usually not seen as feminists. These writers feel that young adult stories …

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