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MTYT: Malala’s Magic Pencil

Seemi Aziz, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

This week Seemi and Deanna discuss Malala’s Magic Pencil and her story of seeking education despite the dangers of doing os.

This is another story about the life of the Malala Yousafzai who stands for education for girls in struggling regions that belong to the ‘third’ world nations such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. She was shot by Taliban for what she stood for. This is her own story told by herself.

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MTYT: One Girl

Seemi Aziz, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

This week Seemi and Deanna give their takes on “One Girl” by Andrea Beaty and Dow Phumiruk.

This is a beautifully written and illustrated story of girls and education. The world is opened by giving a girl a book. As she grows and learns she gets more confident in the world that surrounds her.

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MTYT: The Secret Kingdom

Seemi Aziz, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

This week Seemi and Deanna look at The Secret Kingdom by Barb Rosenstock and discuss the stress of immigration and holding onto pieces of home.

This story takes place in the year 1947 and thereafter in India at the point where Pakistan was carved out of India. Nek Chand, a resident of the region that became part of Pakistan has to move to India because of his religious identity, while leaving behind all that was familiar. He takes all the stories of his past life and self-claims a piece of land in India and creates a world which is tangible for him.

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MTYT: El Cucuy is Scared Too

Seemi Aziz, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Our theme for this month includes discussions around picturebooks that depict anxiety and stress in and around our world. Recently with COVID-19 and the push against immigration, this has become a more pressing concern with children being isolated within the parameters of their, forever colliding, physical and psychological worlds.

Further, lack of literacy is an historic and immediate concern for children around the world, especially girls. This is based on the concept that if you control knowledge you control the people, as women are the ones who, essentially, hold future generations in arms, thus, controlling them controls the future. In the present situation where we belong to a global society and knowledge is circulated through devices in the palm of our hands, keeping knowledge away from people in far flung areas is challenging. This has allowed people all over to wake up and try to take their lives and education in their hands. Girls are pushing back to speak truth to power, and this creates anxiety and stress in their lives. The issues presented in these books significantly address anxiety and stress in children. Children’s books are a strong avenue to frame and present issues and then subtly suggest ways to combat them.

We will be exploring in further detail four books that represent this issue:

  • El Cucuy is Scared Too by Donna Barbara Higuera
  • The Secret Kingdom by Rosenstock
  • One Girl by Andrea Beaty
  • Malala’s Magic Pencil by Mala Yousafzai

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MTYT: The Dark and the Light

By Susan Corapi, Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL, and Deanna Day, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Last week, Susan and Deanna looked at how companionship develops as a result of crossing borders in The Garden: A Novel. This week, they give their takes on The Light and the Dark by Kerstin Hau and how this fantasy picturebook depicts borders not as something that separates people, but as an instrument that creates a possibility of bringing people together.

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MTYT: The Garden: A Novel

By Susan Corapi, Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL, and Deanna Day, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

The conflicts in today’s world forces many people to move to new places in hopes of a safer life. Though people may cross borders physically, crossing borders between different people figuratively is often the more difficult task. This week Susan and Deanna give their takes on The Garden: A Novel by Megan Ferrari, another USBBY OIB book, which focuses on a boy from Syria who moves to Canada to escape civil war and struggles to adjust to a new culture and community with help from the people around him.

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MTYT: Daniel and Ismail

By Susan Corapi, Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL, and Deanna Day, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Last week, Susan and Deanna looked at Lubna and Pebble to begin this month’s theme of Crossing Borders. This week, they provide their takes for another OIB book which focuses on interactions between people of different backgrounds and cultures in Juan Pablo Iglesias’s Daniel and Ismail.

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MTYT: Lubna and Pebble

By Susan Corapi, Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL, and Deanna Day, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

This month Susan Corapi and Deanna Day selected titles that were submitted to the Outstanding International Book committee. The OIB committee reads approximately 500 books and selects 42 distinguished titles that represent the best global books in the world. The committee announced the winning titles at the American Library Association conference in January. Visit the United States Board on Books for Young People(USBBY) website for the complete 2020 list of books where you can download a bookmark and a PowerPoint presentation.

As part of the work of the committee themes and issues were identified across all of the titles and for this column we selected books that address crossing borders, whether literally or figuratively.

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MTYT: Squirrel’s Family Tree

By Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA, and Kathleen Crawford-Mckinney, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Trees. They make our world more beautiful and they provide food and shelter for wildlife and keep the soil, water and air clean for us. They decorate front and back yards across North America. Their wood is used for paper and lumber. Wooded areas are preserved for us to hike and enjoy nature. Trees are a necessity and are the theme of this month’s My Take/Your Take. Learn about all of the new children’s books around trees through the perspectives of Deanna Day and Kathleen Crawford-McKinney.

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MTYT: Trees: Nature All Around

By Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA, and Kathleen Crawford-Mckinney, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Trees. They make our world more beautiful and they provide food and shelter for wildlife and keep the soil, water and air clean for us. They decorate front and back yards across North America. Their wood is used for paper and lumber. Wooded areas are preserved for us to hike and enjoy nature. Trees are a necessity and are the theme of this month’s My Take/Your Take. Learn about all of the new children’s books around trees through the perspectives of Deanna Day and Kathleen Crawford-McKinney.

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