By Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
Children and adolescents are taking action and making a difference in their communities and across the globe each day. This WOW Dozen highlights titles around the theme of activism. Each picturebook or novel shows how young people are working for change on causes that matter to them such as: saving a lending library, turning a vacant lot into a natural space for butterflies or creating light for a community in the dark. Other titles may inspire readers to speak up for climate change, demonstrate peacefully or sing for transformation. Reading aloud these titles could encourage K-8 readers to think about the needs or changes in their own communities to change our world. Continue reading
Janelle Mathis, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Week three of reflecting on trends I observed while serving on the Notable Children’s Book Committee of ALA finds me thinking about the many books that speak to the social-emotional aspects of a child’s life. Specifically, I was impressed by the number of picturebooks that had the potential to support the development of identity and agency while acknowledging that such development is a process that is impacted by how one approaches life situations and how the self is positioned and perceived within these situations. The previous year, 2019 publications seemed to reveal many books focused on worry, sadness, and dealing with such through mindfulness and awareness of emotions. This year, I was drawn to various books that take these feelings into positive spaces across different situations. As a reminder, I am not making generalizations about the publishing field as a whole during 2020 but only sharing titles that impressed me out of the many diverse books explored while on this committee. Continue reading
By Seemi Aziz, The University of Arizona
I begin with thirst, dry, parched thirst, and the search for clean drinking water in an arid land. Mostly because Ramadan in Arizona in 106-109 degree heat lends to a desperate empathy with all the people who do not have access to water, globally. Being without water and food from sunrise to sunset in this long hot summer month takes its toll. By afternoon it becomes hard to concentrate and one becomes excessively lethargic. This month causes a strong compassionate association to people who do not have access to food and water. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, where clean, cold, clear water and abundant food awaits most fasting people here in Arizona.