MultiCultural RoundUp & Some Events

Hi everyone,

today’s post is a series of quick announcements and exciting happenings!

o First, allow me to thank journalist, author and educator Amy Bowllan for the interview gave, and for interviewing me for the Writers Against Racism series. If you are an author or illustrator, please consider contacting her to be featured in W.A.R. over at her blog hosted by the School Library Journal. The procedure and details are explained in Amy’s interview. Unfortunately and in this century, discrimination still does exist, and children are often the most hurt by it. Do you believe books make a difference? Let us hear your voice.

o I’m sure you’re all familiar with it, but I discovered that gem only this week: TEEN WRITERS BLOC, a fantastic multicultural blog, run by the New School Writing for Children MFA Class of 2012. You’ll love the theme, the tone and the writing. I hope that you take the time to read about the background of the bloggers. What a diversity! This week’s posts include an interview of Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (8th Grade Super Zero, 2010) and Crystal Allen (How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy<) Just to name a few, and I had the funnest time reading their review of the movie I AM NUMBER FOUR! I know from a good source that you won’t wanna miss tomorrow’s post.

o You’re going to ask me which planet I came from: I said and will say it again, “Good books don’t have an expiration date!” I know, I know. I’m not a publisher, and publishers are under economic restraints and obligations that my hunger and desire not to see older books die can’t necessarily, fully satisfy. *grin* That said, if there’s a book you grew up with, wish you could read your children, but are having a hard time finding, check the following website, called Buy Old Children’s Books. Thanks to illustrator Hazel Mitchell for bringing this up to my attention.

o Black History Month is close to an end. Don’t forget to visit The Brown Bookshelf to celebrate the featured writers and illustrators. TBB provided us this year with a wonderful assortment of picture books authors/illustrators, poets, comic books author and publishers. I didn’t grow up exposed books with the variety of characters that are now rising, but all that is changing now. I’m really glad for today’s generation. *Happy dance*

Now the multicultural events. Just sharing the few that came to my attention this week:

1- As usual I highly recommend checking Paper Tigers Event Page, which compiles multicultural gatherings from around the world.

2- If you live in the Big Apple, don’t miss the New York City Teen Author Festival on March 14 which, among many other prestigious names, features award winning author Kekla Magoon. The line-up is simply amazing.

3- It’s time to nominate your favorite book in the NERDS HEART YA tournament for under represented YA Literature. Here are a few details, from their website:

When can I nominate books?
Nominations are open from 14th February 2011 to midnight GMT on 7th March 2011.

What are the criteria ?
To qualify for Nerds Heart YA 2011 a book must:
Have been published between Jan 1st 2010 and Dec 31st 2010
Contain significant characters that fit into at least one of the seven categories of under represented groups that the Nerds Heart YA organisers have identified, or have been written by an author who comes from within one of these groups of people
Be young adult fiction
Be a book that you feel has been under represented by book blog coverage

How do I nominate books?
Follow the link through to the nomination form and fill it out. You will need to fill out a separate form for each book nominated.

Read the complete guideline here.

Do you know of an event taking place in the following weeks? Let me know and I will update this page. Thanks in advance. 🙂

Black History Month Begins

Hi everyone!

Hope this post finds you well. Ready for Black History Month? How will you celebrate? Will any of you hold special activities in the classroom?

February gives us a unique opportunity to rediscover some of the classics by our favorite African/African-American authors/illustrators, to savor the latest hits in bookstores, to be acquainted with new artists and authors, and most importantly to remember and ponder on our history, one filled with pain and joy, setbacks and milestones.

Speaking of books, I enjoyed the following article from The Washington Post, titled Three Children’s Books Recommended for Black History Month and written by Deb Lindsey.

Haitian Author Highlight @ Kristi’s Book Nook: Nicole Weaver was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. She came to the United States when she was ten years old. She is fluent in Creole, French, Spanish and English. She is a veteran teacher of French and Spanish. She is the author of a children’s trilingual picture book titled ” Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle.” Click here for the rest of the article. 🙂

In case you missed it, best-selling author Nikki Grimes, recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in poetry for children and of the Coretta Scott King Honor for her books Jazmin’s Notebook and Dark Sons, has a blog. She shares her thoughts on various topics, which includes of course her experiences as a writer as well as some of her poems. Have you checked it yet?

Now. The Brown Bookshelf is the place of excellence to celebrate Black History Month and children’s books, in my humble opinion. As stated on TBB website, “The Brown Bookshelf is designed to push awareness of the myriad of African American voices writing for young readers. Our flagship initiative of is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans.”
Today’s post features debut YA author Ebony Joy Wilkins, whose book Sell-Out was released in July 2010.

Stop by these wonderful blogs and share some love?