Blogger Maria Trivisonno

The 35th Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth

Back in February 2020, the board of the Virginia Hamilton Conference (of which I am a member) was eagerly planning the 35th anniversary of the longest-running event in the United States to focus exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults.  We were especially excited that our keynote speaker, illustrator Floyd Cooper, was planning on visiting area schools in conjunction with the Conference. And then…2020. 

Blogger Chelsey Roos

On Building Reading Comprehension: Jerry Craft’s New Kid and Themes of Prejudice

Back when we could still host in-person programs, my book club for fourth to sixth graders met to discuss Jerry Craft’s New Kid. I was confident they were going to like it – it was about to win the Newbery (among other awards), and I had been on a hot streak of choosing books my book club adored (not to brag!). I opened our book club discussion the same way I always do: by asking who liked the book and who didn’t, and by reminding them that it’s okay not to enjoy a book we read – they won’t hurt my feelings by expressing their opinions. This opening question lets me discretely check on their reading comprehension without feeling too much like a quiz. I was surprised when almost all my kids said they didn’t like the book – but I was downright shocked when I asked them to talk…

ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

Empowering Young Voices Through Illustrated Stories at #alamw21

Scholastic’s “Empowering Young Voices Through Illustrated Stories” was like a behind-the-scenes meeting with the creators of three new picture books. These titles included Lala’s Words by Gracey Zhang, The Little Blue Bridge by Brenda Maier, and Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn and Victo Ngai. All eloquent storytellers, visual and written, the creators put emphasis on the importance of empathy and multicultural representation, as well as believing in oneself and the change that we can create ourselves. Mượn Thị Văn says these steps can be big or small and has hope that readers will be empowered to take them after reading Wishes. Brenda Maier pointed out a lesson in The Little Blue Bridge, that you cannot control others, only how you react to a situation yourself. Gracey Zhang expressed how important words are and the way they are used, as well as the importance of the images and what they portray….

Blogger Cecilia McGowan

#PLA 2020 Wrap-up 2: A Deep Dive Into Diverse Books

University of Central Florida staff members Kristine Shrauger, Amy Dovydaitis and Emma Gisclair have created a database in order to provide access to diverse books that are ‘hidden’ in the library stacks.  Hidden because the formal subject headings assigned to them do not reflect the details within the books that families are looking for: diversity in race, culture, sexuality, family relationships, health and disability.  Using an intake form to categorize books they are building their Diverse Families Bookshelf database.  They take a ‘picture walk’ through picture books as well as deeply reading and categorizing books for kids up to age 18.  The PowerPoint of the program is here.   They welcome your assistance on this important project that benefits all families.