Book Highlight Part 7

Now for the final installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Sonja Cherry-Paul for Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.

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Jacqueline Woodson uses clear understated language to capture the subtle ways in which cruelty and bullying appear in classrooms, schools, and in the lives of children. Each Kindness is a beautiful and poignant story that shines a light on what happens when children reject, rather than embrace, difference.

Maya is new to the school and when she is brought to her new classroom, Chloe and her friends stare at her. They shun her in class and at recess. They nickname her “Never New” and mock her clothes and shoes that appear old and worn. Whenever Maya attempts to play with them, they say no. And so, at recess Maya stands by the fence or jumps rope alone. Soon Chloe and her peers notice that Maya’s seat in the classroom is empty and after several days, they discover that Maya would not be returning to class. Chloe’s shame is palpable to readers. “That afternoon, I walked home alone. When I reached the pond, my throat filled with all the things I wished I would have said to Maya. Each kindness I had never shown.” Embedded in this emotional story are the missed opportunities to form friendships and the lasting effects of regret when indifference is chosen over kindness.

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The serene elegance and beauty of the text and paintings in Each Kindness is juxtaposed with an intense message: Our actions matter and kindness makes a difference in the world. This message resonates long after Ms. Albert says, “This is what kindness does. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world;” long after Chloe watches “the water ripple as the sun set through the maples and the chance of a kindness with Maya became more and more forever gone;” long after readers turn the final page of this book.

It is my great pleasure to present the winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award in the category of Books for Younger Children to Jacqueline Woodson for Each Kindness, illustrated by E.B. Lewis and published by Nancy Paulsen Books a division of Penguin Books Young Readers Group.

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Book Highlight Part 6

Now for the sixth installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Lani Gerson for We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson.

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Adults are always telling young people that they can grow up to make a difference; that they should prepare themselves for an uncertain future by getting smarter, more skilled and better prepared to become accomplished agents for change. Cynthia Levinson has written a wonderful book that tells the stories of how young people in Birmingham, Alabama during the crucial months of 1963 become their own heroes right then and there.

While adults in the civil rights movement struggled to find the way forward in their efforts to bring about freedom and integration in Birmingham, young people, children really, stepped into the worrisome void and made history.

In this time of many significant anniversaries, the complex and inspiring actions of Birmingham’s black youngsters, culminating in the Children’s March, marks its 50th, and today we honor that history, the history makers and the history writers of that time period.

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You know a book of history is successful when people like Audrey, Wash, James and Arnetta, the guides chosen to tell this story, breathe. You know a book of history is worthy of the events it describes when they come alive again and remain relevant for today. You know you have a winner of a book when tears flow from the eyes of the reader.

Thank you, Cynthia Levinson, for writing such a fine book, We’ve Got A Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March, published by Peachtree Publishers in Atlanta. Ms. Levinson, you are a thorough researcher, a compelling writer, and, I dare say, an empathetic interviewer. It is my honor and pleasure to introduce you as the winning author of this year’s Jane Addams Children’s Book Award for older children.

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Book Highlight Part 5

Now for the fifth installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Tracy Randolph for Marching to the Mountaintop by Ann Bausum.

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Marching to the Mountaintop by Ann Bausum thoroughly explains the relationship between the Sanitation Workers Strike of 1968 in Memphis and Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign. Her impressive narrative is enhanced with dozens of striking photographs from these two events and chronicles Dr. King’s final push for justice and equality for all people.

Tracy Randolph, Jane Addams Book Awards Committee Member
Middle School Sponsor

Seventh grade Humanities teacher

English teacher

Kindness rocks

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Book Highlight Part 4

Now for the fourth installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Julie Olsen Edwards for Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren; illustrated by Robert Casillia.

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Dolores is a friend. Dolores is a mother. Dolores is a storyteller. Dolores is a detective, a warrior, an organizer, a peacemaker.

In simple words and powerful images, this young children’s book portrays Dolores Huerta, one of the most important American leaders of our times, as intelligent, courageous, and persistently effective in her work to organize farm workers.

The workers, mainly Mexican American immigrants, are portrayed as hard working, caring deeply for their children and willing to struggle to have a union that makes possible a living wage, safe working conditions, fairness and justice. All this is done in a few short pages - with art work that matches the power and simplicity of the text - artwork showing Dolores aging - demonstrating how struggles for justice take time to succeed.

"Dolores is a teacher. She Teaches people how to work as a team. She teaches people how to take care of each other. This is Dolores".
And this remarkable book is a 2013 Honor Book for younger children.

Introduction by JACBA Committee Member Julie Olsen Edwards.

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Book Highlight: Part 3

Now for the third installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Ann Carpenter, Selection Committee Member for We March, written and illustrated by Shane W. Evan, published by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press.

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Waking early in the morning children and their families prepare for their day - a momentous task as this is the day they will “follow their leaders” to make a difference in their world by taking part in the March on Washington. Throughout a day marked by community support the family participates in the historic protest. An afterward by the author provides more information for interested readers.

One of the many strengths of this short but powerful book is its ability to be read on many levels. Preschoolers identify with the need to work together and to stand up for what you believe in. Older children absorb the powerful message of our ability to create change by protesting injustice. Young people with the background knowledge to understand the historical and cultural context of the March on Washington build on their appreciation of a landmark Civil Rights event.

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For its ability to be understood and appreciated by our youngest readers and listeners, to spark discussions about history, culture, and the power of group protest, and to inspire us to take action, the Jane Addams Book Award Committee is proud to name We March by Shane Evans as an Honor book in the Younger Reader category.

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Book Highlight: Part 2

Now for the second installment of our seven part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Susan Freiss, Selection Committee Member for Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery.

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, is named an Honor Book for Older Children. This biography with much first person input from Ms. Grandin herself explains how her autistic mind works, how her peers and family perceive her, and her relentless efforts as an activist.

Introduction Remarks by Susan Freiss, Selection committee member.

This biography, written with much first person input from Temple herself, explores her perspective and experience growing up and living with autism. We see Temple overcoming obstacles and prejudice put in her way as a woman and as a differently able person. Temple combined her love of animals and her unique insights to create cruelty free animal facilities that are now used around the world.

Sy Montgomery on right

Reka Somonsen, Houghton Mifflin and Susan Freiss, Book Awards Committee Member

The children who read this book in my class had a very positive and energetic response. Temple’s story facilitates a shift in heart and mind, illustrating not someone with a disability but someone with amazing abilities. This is a powerful book for children who feel different or wonder about those around them who seem different. Temple found her idiosyncratic self-confidence and strength and will be whole-heartedly admired by the young readers of this engaging biography.

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Book Highlight: part 1

Now for the first installment of our eight part series on the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Ceremony. Below you will find the introduction given by Marianne Baker, Chair of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards Selection Committee for The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award: Honoring Children’s Literature for Peace and Social Justice since 1953 by Susan C. Griffith.

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The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award: Honoring Children’s Literature for Peace and Social Justice since 1953, written by Susan C. Griffith, published by Scarecrow Press, is the first book to examine the award as well as its winners and honor books.

Introduction by Marianne Baker, Chair of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards Selection Committee, at the 60th annual Jane Addams Children’s Book Award ceremony on October 18, 2013:

Susan Griffith has had a keen eye on the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award since the 1970s because it embodies two of her passions: children’s literature and social justice. Her passions have been fueled throughout her leadership on this committee by her endless reading and by her research. But she has known all along that this important award is not as well known as it should be so she wrote a book about it. It’s just been published by Scarecrow Press in September. Susan will say it’s the first book published on the award. Today, we honor and celebrate Susan Griffith.

Click here to read more about the 2013 Awards. http://www.janeaddamspeace.org/jacba/2013summary.shtml

This concludes our first installment of an eight part series which will be posted monthly in this space. Check back for updates!

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Harrington: The legacy of Jane Addams - VTDigger

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Happy Jane Addams Day!

On Jane Addams Day we invite you to consider how to insert peaceful practices into your life and as a strategy to cultivate justice into your community.

Join us in celebrating Jane Addams Day, established as a commemorative holiday in Illinois in 2006 to remind their citizens of Addams’ lifelong commitment to making the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois - and the entire world - a better place. The decision to celebrate Jane Addams’ life on Dec. 10 marked the first time in Illinois state history that a day was set to commemorate a woman’s accomplishments.

Jane Addams Day is more than an expression of pride in one of Illinois’ most famous citizens. The story of Jane Addams can teach young people that one person really can make a difference. Back in 1860, when Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, well-behaved young women from small towns in northern Illinois didn’t have many opportunities to go to college and pursue professional careers. But Jane Addams had an ambitious dream of changing the world. So she moved to Chicago’s West Side, with the idea of helping the many immigrants who were struggling to make ends meet. Soon Jane Addams’ Hull House was serving thousands of people each week, offering safe, educational daycare for children, English and citizenship classes for adults, and a wide variety of arts and sports programs for all ages.

As the years passed, Jane Addams became a tireless advocate for reform. She worked night and day to make city water cleaner, improve city schools, and clear garbage off city streets. Inspired by her example, civic-minded executives and progressive reformers joined together to assist immigrants, protect children, safeguard workers, and guarantee the civil rights of everyone. Today, more than 70 years after her death, the organizations she helped to found are still fighting for the causes she believed in. Addams offered women the opportunity to become agents for social, political, educational and economic change in their own lives and the lives of others as well.

We hope that people all across the world will be newly inspired by Jane Addams and her life, on Dec. 10 and every day. She proved that when people work together for reform, they can change the world.

Dec. 10 is also “International Human Rights Day.” The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights.

Learn more: http://www.janeaddamspeace.org/docs/09HuttnerHistoryNov21.pdf

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