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Month: October 2016


  • Creating Effective Libraries

    Allen suggests getting rid of old, unpopular books, using an easy check-out system, changing book displays, providing plenty of nonfiction, clearly organizing books, and including student input on which books …

  • Sponsor a Literary Landmark for Children’s Book Week 2017

    BRYN MAWR, PA — United for Libraries is partnering with the ALA-Children’s Book Council Joint Committee to designate seven Literary Landmarks during Children’s Book Week (May 1-7, 2017). United for …

  • Willy Wonka Reboot

    “Fantastic Beasts” producer David Heyman is teaming with Warner Bros. to create the new movie centered around Wonka and his early adventures. If the reboot is a hit, it seems …

  • First Book Partners with Reading Rainbow® to Offer Acclaimed Skybrary to Educators Serving Kids in Need – at a Fraction of the Cost

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise, is partnering with 28Reading Rainbow® to provide educators serving children in need with access to Skybrary, Reading Rainbow’s award-winning app of …

  • Debut on the Indie Bestsellers List

    Children’s Illustrated: If You Give a Mouse a Brownie by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond (Harper) 

  • We Need More

    Contributed by Ashley Herring Blake, Author

    I recently started working in an indie bookstore. The great thing about this job, aside from being surrounded by beautiful books all day long, is that it gets me out of my writer brain and back in touch with my reader brain. I work mostly in the kid’s section, and every day customers come in with very specific requests. I’ve noticed a lot of the teens who frequent the young adult section don’t ask for recommendations all that much, but the middle grade and advancing readers section is a cornucopia of parents looking for certain books or certain topics for their kids.

    The other day, I had a mom ask me for a book with a trans character for a first grader. 

    And let me tell you, I scratched my head for a few seconds. We talked about some of the picture books we had—and we do have a couple, though none of them struck the right chord with this mother—and finally, I moved into our advancing readers section.

    I picked up Alex Gino’s George.

    I explained that she’d probably have to read this to her first grader, but that George was a beautiful book about a trans girl in the third grade named Melissa who, more than anything in the world, wanted to play Charlotte in her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web. I told her about how Melissa wasn’t out to her family and they called her “George.” We talked about how Melissa gets made fun of a little bit, but we also talked about how Melissa makes a friend who accepts Melissa for who she is and how, eventually, so does Melissa’s family. The mother beamed after we talked it through and she left the store with the book in her hands.

    Now, I don’t know that mother’s story. I don’t know if her first grader is trans or has a trans friend or a trans cousin or what have you. What I do know is that by writing George, Alex Gino was able to connect a mom and her kid in a way that no other book could. The book was able to provide a mirror for someone, a really, really young someone, who might be feeling lost and alone and scared. There are many reasons to feel lost and alone and scared when you’re in elementary school: divorced parents, a death in the family, difficult or changing friendships. All of these are valid and the books that deal with these issues are important too.

    But here’s the difference: There are a lot of books about divorce, death, and friendships out there.And in the end, I only had one book to put in that mother’s hands. After talking with this mother, the children’s book manager at my store found some more books about trans kids for younger readers and ordered them, and that is excellent, but we need more options. We need more trans picture books. We need more chapter books where the main character has two moms or two dads. We need more middle grade stories where the main character is figuring out they’re not quite as boy crazy as her best friend is. We need more young adult novels with bisexual main characters, and trans main characters, and gay main characters, and asexual main characters. We need more intersectionality in LGBTQIAP+ literature, where our queer characters—for all ages—are also people of color.

    Those books are out there and that is fabulous. But we need more.

    So, how do we get more?

    Well, we write them. We write them with sensitivity and love and respect. If those stories are our own, we tell them. If they are not, we boost those to whom those stories belong. We do the work and get our work checked and rechecked so that it comforts instead of harms. As readers, we buy these books. We request them at our libraries. We tell our friends about them, we tweet about them, we tell anyone who’ll listen. 

    I believe the world is changing for the better. It’s not becoming more diverse. It has always been this beautifully varied. But we are illuminating those stories more and more. But that will only continue if we keep on questioning, keep on boosting, keep on writing and reading and talking about those mirrors for the kids who need it.

    Let’s keep it going.

    Ashley Herring Blake used to write songs and now she writes books. She reads them a lot too and has been known to stare wistfully at her bookshelves. She lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and two sons. www.ashleyherringblake.com

  • Diversity in the News: October 2016

    The newsletter is a valuable resource for librarians, teachers, booksellers, parents and caregivers, publishing professionals, and children’s literature lovers. Find thought-provoking articles, diverse new releases, and more in this month’s issue and sign …

  • Reading Habits of Young Boys

    Professor of Educational and Social Research at the University of Dundee Keith Topping conducted two of the largest studies ever into boys’ reading habits. Topping found that boys read less thoroughly, …

  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches First K-12 Curricula Built from the Ground Up to Address Next Generation Science Standards

    BOSTON, MA — Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today 27announced the release of HMH Science Dimensions™, the first comprehensive K-12 science curriculum created specifically to meet the new …

  • First Book and Celebrated Children’s Author Pat Mora Honor Texas School with Estela and Raúl Mora Award

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sonia M. Sotomayor Early College High School in Pharr, Texas, will receive the 2016 Estela and Raúl Mora Award, an honor given by award-winning children’s author Pat …

  • Candlewick Press Partners with Nonprofits in Celebration of 25 Years of Maisy

    Maisy campaigns planned with The Molina Foundation, Nemours Reading BrightStart! and United Through Reading SOMERVILLE, MA, October 25, 2016 – With more than 35 million copies sold around the world, Lucy …

  • Accolades for Story Monsters Ink™

    The magazine, which caters to kids and adults alike with featured interviews from beloved children’s book creators, has won the Mom’s Choice Gold Award and stellar reviews from School Library Journal and others. …

  • CBC TO OFFER SCHOLARSHIPS TO TWO ENTRY-LEVEL PUBLISHING STAFF FOR ABA INSTITUTES

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016 — New York, NY — The Children’s Book Council announces that applications are now open for any entry-level employees at CBC member publishers to apply for one …

  • St. Martin’s Press Launches New Crossover, Coming-Of-Age Imprint, Wednesday Books

    New York, NY — St. Martin’s Press is proud to announce the launch of Wednesday Books, a new crossover, coming-of-age imprint that will publish books for both the adult and …

  • National Ambassador Gene Luen Yang’s Reading Without Walls Podcast: Episode 7 with Lois Lowry

    Through his platform, “Reading Without Walls,” Yang hopes to inspire readers of all ages to pick up a book outside their comfort zone. In episode seven of his podcast, Yang chats with Newbery …

  • Five Debuts on the NYT Children’s Best Sellers Lists

    The following books made the list: Middle Grade Paperback: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Puffin) Children’s Picture Books: We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen (Candlewick) Jungle created by Dan Kainen, …

  • The Enduring Importance of Libraries

    Makerspaces are becoming increasingly popular in public libraries, providing creative resources for students and professionals. Libraries also offer a safe space for people of all backgrounds to gain knowledge and forge …

  • Nominees Announced For Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2017

    Stockholm, Sweden — We in the jury are very much looking forward to learning more about the works and the activities of the candidates, says professor Westin after making the announcement. …

  • CBC Forum: Making a Bestseller

    Panelists Louise Lareau, managing librarian at the Children’s Center at 42nd Street; Emily Romero, senior v-p of marketing, Penguin Young Readers; and Maria Russo, children’s books editor of the New York …

  • Penguin Young Readers Acquires Three New Miss Peregrine Novels From #1 Bestselling Author Ransom Riggs

    New York, NY — Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, has acquired three new books in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. The new story arc, set …


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