Month: February 2015
Ilyasah Shabazz Writes YA Novel Based on Father, Malcolm X
When you look at my father’s life, many people don’t realize you have a young man who the world learned of when he was only in his twenties. He was …
96th Annual Children’s Book Week Poster & Bookmark Revealed!
Share the fun with these tweets and Facebook posts: Yipee! The free @CBCBook Children’s Book Week poster by Grace Lee is up at bookweekonline.com! @disneyreads #CBW15 Check out Raúl Colón’s …
Egmont Publishing Sells USA List to Lerner Publishing Group
Following the decision in January to close the Egmont USA office, Egmont Publishing was approached by the Lerner Publishing Group and has now concluded a sale of its remaining US assets …
Michelle Hodkin Shares the Story of How She Became a Writer
Like every other novelist, my book was inspired by an idea. I’ve had lots of those, and it’s hard to articulate what it was about this one that held me …
Black Children’s Books for Better Bodies and Better Brains
Among the 16 titles are: My Friend Maya Loves to Dance by Cheryl Willis Hudson (Abrams) Jonathan and His Mommy by Irene Smalls (Little, Brown/Hachette) Kevin and His Dad by …
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Transforms Novl Website Into a Digital Imprint
This new publishing program will focus on short-form pieces including novellas and short stories; new content will be made available on a monthly basis. Tina McIntyre, executive director of strategic …
Scholastic Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Graphix Imprint
NEW YORK, NY — Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, will celebrate the 10thanniversary of its groundbreaking Graphix imprint in 2015, with a yearlong celebration to include collectible giveaways, …
Nickelodeon Nominates 6 Middle-Grade & Young Adult Books For a Kids’ Choice Award
Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Award “Favorite Book” Nominees The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick …
Kate DiCamillo on the Power of Reading Aloud
DiCamillo’s PSA is a perfect reminder of two upcoming literacy celebrations,Read Across America Day, a program by the National Education Association held on March 2; and Drop Everything And Read on April …
Strong Showing For Comics In Children’s Choice Book Awards!
Young readers across the country will determine the winners in all seven categories of the Children’s Choice Book Awards by voting online at ccbookawards.com from Tuesday, March 17, 2015, through Sunday, May …
Scholastic Announces New Edition of Popular Classroom Library by Phyllis C. Hunter for Grades K–5
New York, NY — Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, has announced the launch of The Phyllis C. Hunter Classroom Library 2nd Edition, a follow-up to the best-selling K–5 …
Possessed by an Idea, Embraced by the Other
Contributed to CBC Diversity by Hester Bass
When I visit schools, it’s the question I am asked most often: where do you get your ideas? I jokingly answer “on sale at Target” before revealing the truth: ideas come from everywhere all the time.
The idea for my book, Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama (Candlewick Press, illustrated by E.B. Lewis) came from two historical markers I noticed in that city where I lived for ten years, noting that the first instance of both an integrated public school and a “reverse-integrated” private school occurred there during the same week in September 1963. I went straight to the public library, expecting to find a children’s book about these events, but none existed. It seemed the idea had chosen me.
I became committed to celebrating this peaceful chapter in civil rights history, spending six years researching in the library’s historical collections and interviewing local people. I was also transported to my own experiences as a first grader in 1962.
My memories of the Civil Rights Movement are those of a child in rural Georgia, mostly from a black-and-white television set. I remember it seemed strange that there was so much upset over the color of skin, something no one can choose or change.
I was taught by my parents and grandparents that every person deserves respect, and that differences are what make people interesting. At my elementary school – the only one in town, as far as I knew – all my classmates were white like me. When I saw black children at the five-and-dime and wondered about it, my mother explained they had a separate school, but I couldn’t understand why it was needed. Integration came late to my school, when I was in fifth grade, but peacefully, without any incident that I can recall.
When I wrote the book, I assumed I’d live in Huntsville when it was published; however, two years ago, my family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico – a crossroads of Native, Hispanic, and Anglo culture for hundreds of years.
During visits to some of the nineteen pueblos in the state, I’ve been appalled to learn about atrocities committed against native peoples by the Spanish and by Americans. I asked one Native American tour guide how he could relate such devastating past events to audiences – whose ethnicity was similar to those who had been so cruel to his people – without any trace of bitterness. He smiled and replied calmly: you and I did not do these terrible things, he said, and a grudge only harms the person who holds it. When I expressed my sorrow and regret anyway, he smiled again and said that apology is not required, only learning from the past to create a better future.
This tour guide’s choice to reject ethnic hatred reminded me of why I had been so determined to publish this story. I had heard the same lack of resentment in the voice of Dr. Sonnie W. Hereford III, as he related the events of January 1962 to September 1963 that are the basis for the book.
Dr. Hereford had been denied basic human rights in his hometown and, as a professional man, could have relocated his family to a less segregated city. But Dr. Hereford and his wife chose to remain and lead peaceful protests in order to make a positive difference for their children and everybody else, as did others who could have left town without taking such risks.
The responses of these two men – a Native American tour guide in New Mexico and an African-American medical doctor in Alabama – whose experiences were so different from mine, made me feel embraced by the “other,” even more resolved to celebrate this true story, when the black and white people of Huntsville chose peace over violence.
The civil rights era is but one of the many episodes of differences between groups of people that have led to violent times in America. The message I hope Seeds of Freedom carries forward is that, while problems accepting diversity in the world persist, solving them through peaceful means is not only preferable but possible. Each of us is faced with choices every day, and we can all choose peace.
Hester Bass is the author of the picture book biography The Secret World of Walter Anderson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, which won an Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, as well as the picture book So Many Houses, illustrated by Alik Arzoumanian. Formerly residing in Huntsville, Alabama, she now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Eighth Annual Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalists Announced
New York, NY — February 19, 2015 – Every Child a Reader (ECAR) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) have announced the finalists in the eighth annual Children’s Choice Book …
2014 Multicultural Literature Statistics from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center
For a look at the CCBC’s research methods and previous annual reports, click here. About the CCBC The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) is a unique examination, study, and research …
Original Unpublished Dr. Seuss Manuscript & Additional Work Found in Author’s Home
New York, NY — An original manuscript with accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, which was discovered in the La Jolla, California home of the late beloved children’s author will be published …
Lucy Cousins on Maisy’s World
For me, she is just Maisy, in Maisy’s world, and it’s completely separate from our world. When I did the very first drawing of Maisy about twenty-five years ago, I …
Apply for the 27th Annual Ezra Jack Keats Mini-Grant Program
Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation says: Teachers and librarians across the country are creating exceptional Mini-Grant programs that are not only inventive and tailored to …
On Tour with National Ambassador Kate DiCamillo
DiCamillo spoke with Bainbridge Community Broadcast host Nancy Soulé about her platform as National Ambassador, and her upcoming visit. (What’s Up Bainbridge)
Scholastic Acquires Teen Author Aija Mayrock’s Self-Published ‘Survival Guide to Bullying’
NEW YORK, NY — Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, has acquired North American rights to 19-year-old Aija Mayrock’s self-published ebook, The Survival Guide to Bullying. The …
Becca Fitzpatrick to Write a New Romantic Suspense YA Novel
Dangerous Lies is a romantic suspense novel, and I think the new title strongly alludes to a threat of danger and a promise of love. I can’t wait to introduce …