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MTYT: Lubna and Pebble

Jean Schroeder, The IDEA School, Tucson, AZ and Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

HOLLY: So, after Angel Thieves and The Season of Styx Malone, I can’t help but think about other relationships that might be considered strange on the surface, but on second glance create connection and hope. Another such narrative is the picturebook, Lubna and Pebble (2019) by Wendy Meddour and illustrated by Daniel Egnéus. Lubna, a young refugee, has a friendship with a pebble. She talks to it, carries it with her and finds comfort in its presence. There are profound concepts in this book that include a sense of human connection to the earth as well as the concept of the solidity of a rock, or in this case a pebble, which is appropriate for so young a child. The earth gives us our footing. We are, after all, earthlings! Lubna finds Pebble when she and her father arrive on the beach of a new country. I think of Syrian refugees crossing from Turkey to Greece and finding themselves in “a World of Tents.” Lubna is lost in thinking about her homeland, the war, and her brothers. Pebble becomes a connection and is Lubna’s best friend. Then one day, Amir, another young refugee, arrives at the camp. Amir and Lubna become friends until the day Lubna leaves because she and her father have found a new place to live. Suddenly, Pebble’s role in Lubna’s life shifts. I cannot help but think of how some relationships are strong but only temporary, yet in that limited time and space, connections and hope still form. What did you think of Lubna and Pebble, Jean?

MTYT Lubna and Pebble Continue reading

The White Ravens: International Recognition of Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature Published in Spanish from Mexico

By Andrea García, Ph.D. Literacy Consultant, Pädi, Queretaro, Mexico

The White Ravens CoverShifts in demographics over the last decades reveal that the U.S. is the second largest Spanish–speaking country after Mexico. Data reported by the Instituto Cervantes in 2019, indicate that the U.S. has over 50 million Spanish speakers, including both native and bilingual speakers. It is no surprise that over the years that librarians, teachers, parents, and readers in general have expressed an interest in locating high quality children’s and young adult’s literature published originally in Spanish to respond to this growing demand from readers. Continue reading

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MTYT: The Season of Styx Malone

Jean Schroeder, The IDEA School, Tucson, AZ and Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

We all know of particular relationships that make others wonder how they work. This month we will explore four books that feature unusual relationships that make us scratch our heads and ask how on earth they work. But somehow they do, and when they do intriguing communities come into being giving us hope. Jean Schroeder and Holly Johnson continue their discussion of these relationships through books that highlight them.

MTYT The Seasons of Styx Malone Continue reading

Fundación Cuatrogatos: Promoting Children’s and YA Literature in Spanish in the United States

By Andrea García, Ph.D. Literacy Consultant, Pädi, Queretaro, Mexico

Fundacion CuatrogatosFor the last couple of years, I have been working as a teacher, educator and a literacy consultant in both Mexico and the United States. Through my work and conversations with teachers, educators, and parents in both countries, I know that there is still a great need to diversify the choices we offer our younger readers, particularly stories with authentic and contemporary representations of traditionally marginalized identities across ethnicity, race, gender, ability, and so on. Continue reading

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MTYT: Angel Thieves

Jean Schroeder, The IDEA School, Tucson, AZ and Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

MTYT November 2019

We all know of particular relationships that make others wonder how they work. The republican married to the democrat or the cat whose two best friends are ducks. This month we will explore four books that feature unusual relationships that make us scratch our heads and ask how on earth they work. But somehow they do, and when they do intriguing communities come into being giving us hope. Jean Schroeder and Holly Johnson discuss these relationships through books that highlight them.

MTYT Angel Thieves Continue reading

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad along with S.K. Ali write about an experience from both of their childhoods. This story is about a young girl whose older sister is going to be wearing the hijab for the first time in public (her school). The mother takes Asiya to a hijab shop to choose a color that most reflects her. Her younger sister, Faizah, accompanies her. The color of the hijab that Asiya chooses is a brilliant blue that reflects the sky and the sea. Asiya is bullied in school about her hijab but she fights back with confidence that only a child who is loved and appreciated by her family can. She becomes a role model for her younger sibling and other younger girls, to follow when time comes for them to choose to wear the hijab. Continue reading

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MTYT: Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden

María Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX and Dorea Kleker, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Recently we witnessed the largest global climate strike in history. With more than 2,500 events in over 163 countries on all seven continents, there have been estimates of up to 4 million participants worldwide. The massive numbers are inspiring. The fact that youth were at the center of planning and organizing these events gives hope in a time when things often feel hopeless. With the future of our planet at the forefront of discussions, debates and protests, María Acevedo and Dorea Kleker discuss five books this month for our youngest citizens that are smaller but no less important; and they examine ways that children can make both local and global connections to the earth and act in ways that support their families, communities and the planet.

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WOW News

Worlds of Words Acquires Original Art for “The Caged Birds of Phnom Pehn” from Ronald Himler

By Alexandria Hulslander, Worlds of Words Intern

Ronald Himler is an award–winning illustrator with a passion for the process of creating art. A new acquisition of Himler’s work features original watercolor and gouache panels from The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh. The entire set of illustrations for the book is on display through December 20 at Worlds of Words in the University of Arizona College of Education.

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Finding Readers’ Voices through Listening and Reading Blended

Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM and Junko Sakoi, Tucson Unified School District, Tucson, AZ

Blended coverThis week we share the digital natives’ experiences in the 8th grade classroom with a print–based text and an audiobook from the classroom. Recently, fifteen 8th grade students at the Drachman Montessori K–8 Magnet School in Tucson read Blended by Sharon M. Draper (2019). They are going to read two different formats of Blended; the 320 paged printed–text reading that consists of 80 chapters and the audiobook listening that takes 5 hours and 42 minutes. The students read and listen to chapters in turn intentionally to challenge their reluctant attitudes towards printed texts that RPR (Reluctant Printed–Text Readers) have. Continue reading

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MTYT: The Forever Tree

María Acevedo-Aquino, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX and Dorea Kleker, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Recently we witnessed the largest global climate strike in history. With more than 2,500 events in over 163 countries on all seven continents, there have been estimates of up to 4 million participants worldwide. The massive numbers are inspiring. The fact that youth were at the center of planning and organizing these events gives hope in a time when things often feel hopeless. With the future of our planet at the forefront of discussions, debates and protests, María Acevedo and Dorea Kleker discuss five books this month for our youngest citizens that are smaller but no less important; and they examine ways that children can make both local and global connections to the earth and act in ways that support their families, communities and the planet.

MTYT The Forever Tree Continue reading