R.I.P. John Glenn

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New Trailer of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Netflix Style

So excited! Cannot WAIT for January 13th.  For those who know the books, there is a lot here. (And, for one person who complained to me that Violet lacked ribbons in one of the teaser trailers — they are clearly here, just as I figured they’d be.)

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Maurice Sendak’s Prescient Opinion on our President-Elect

sendakonnewpresident

From We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (1993). Many thanks to Michael Patrick Hearn for bringing it to my attention.

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New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2016

Congratulations to NYTBR children’s book editor, Maria Russo, and all the creators of these fabulous books. Go here for the complete list with annotations.

 

Picture Books

DU IZ TAK? Written and illustrated by Carson Ellis. (Candlewick, $16.99.)

FREEDOM OVER ME. Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life. Written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan. (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum, $17.99.)

I AM PAN! Written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. (Roaring Brook, $18.99.) .

THE JOURNEY. Written and illustrated by Francesca Sanna. (Flying Eye, $17.95.)

LEAVE ME ALONE! Written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol. (Roaring Brook, $17.99.)

MY NAME IS JAMES MADISON HEMINGS. By Jonah Winter. Illustrated by Terry Widener. (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99.)

WE FOUND A HAT. Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. (Candlewick, $17.99.)

SCHOOL’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. By Adam Rex. Illustrated by Christian Robinson. (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, $17.99.)

THE THANK YOU BOOK. Written and illustrated by Mo Willems. (Hyperion, $9.99.)

THEY ALL SAW A CAT. Written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. (Chronicle, $16.99.)

THIS IS NOT A PICTURE BOOK! Written and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. (Chronicle, $16.99.)

THUNDER BOY JR. By Sherman Alexie. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales. (Little, Brown, $17.99.)

Middle Grade

THE BEST MAN. By Richard Peck. (Dial, $16.99.)

GHOST. By Jason Reynolds. (Atheneum, $16.99.)

THE INQUISITOR’S TALE; Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. By Adam Gidwitz. Illustrated by Hatem Aly. (Dutton, $17.99.)

MS. BIXBY’S LAST DAY. By John David Anderson. (Walden Pond, $16.99.)

PAX. By Sara Pennypacker. Illustrated by JonKlassen. (Balzer&Bray/HarperCollins, $16.99.)

RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE. By Kate DiCamillo. (Candlewick, $16.99.)

WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER. By Grace Lin. (Little, Brown, $18.99.)

Young Adult

THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER. By Tim Federle. (Simon & Schuster, $17.99.)

THE PASSION OF DOLSSA. By Julie Berry. (Viking, $18.99.)

SALT TO THE SEA. By Ruta Sepetys. (Philomel, $18.99.)

THE SERPENT KING. By Jeff Zentner. (Crown, $17.99.)

STILL LIFE WITH TORNADO. By A. S. King. (Dutton, $17.99.)

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR. By Nicola Yoon. (Delacorte, $18.99.)

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In the Classroom: The Critical Importance of Teaching and Learning History

The people in the country now who are spouting hate-filled words don’t seem to know their own American history. There is enough blame to go around as to why. But when it comes to fixing what’s wrong with America, one of our priorities should be making more of an effort to put our history into our classrooms in the earliest years, and to educate our teachers, too. I want all of our people—even the haters—to know why we have needed that armor and how we can, while wearing it, remain open to one another.

That is from Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s TALKING TO YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT TRUMP, WITH LESSONS FROM GWEN IFILL, an article that resonated with me because I’ve always thought teaching and learning history is so important*. Young people need time in school to engage with the past, grapple with it in all its complexities, and develop their own tools to think historically. While I use fiction and nonfiction children’s books in my teaching of history, I also use primary sources, and structure experiences for my 4th grade students to be  historians themselves. For example, right now they are completing a study of the Europeans who came through Ellis Island in 1900. Next they will be considering those who came from China through Angel Island before and during the time of the Chinese Exclusion Act. After reading books, studying photographs and other primary sources, they will take a position on the statement often bandied about at the time that, “Angel Island is the Ellis Island of the West” and defend it with reasons and evidence. (Spoiler: they always say it wasn’t.)

*I’ve written two books (Seeking History and Far Away and Long Ago) on the teaching of history, articles (some listed here) and done presentations on the topic.

 

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Rep. John Lewis on Receiving the National Book Award for March Book Three

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Congratulations to National Book Award Winners

Congratulations to all the National Book Award winners, especially the two I have read: Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad  and Representative John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell’s March: Book Three. I read the latter during the final week of the election campaign and the parallels are eerie. The former is remarkable for its topic, its ambition, its imaginative, its magical realism,….just everything. Both are amazing, amazing works (as are the first two books in the March series.)

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