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Best Multicultural YA Books & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural YA Books & Kid Lit Blog Hop

These are the Young Adult books from the 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society. Part I from the list of picture books is here and Part II of middle grade books is here.

Best Multicultural Young Adult Books for Teens

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle

Did you know that there was an Apartheid system in Panama during the construction of the canal? Whites were paid in gold and those of color, much lower wages —  in silver. Margarita Engle’s background as a botanist and agronomist is evident as she tells a story of the ecological impact of the Panama Canal as well as the Civil Rights story that is largely unknown.

I have an interview with Margarita Engle on Silver People at the Multicultural Children’s Book Day blog. [novel in verse, ages 12 and up]

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2014 Cybils Winners: Early Chapter Book and Easy Reader

2014 Cybils Winners: Early Chapter Book and Easy Reader

It was so much fun to judge the final round of the Cybils for Best Easy Reader and Early Chapter Book. I felt like our committee really pondered long and hard to come up with the winners in a multi-step process:

  • We procured the books, mostly from the library (copies were sent by publishers if your library didn’t have it)
  • We read all the books within about a 3 week period
  • We shared notes on each book via a shared Google Doc
  • We ranked the books within each category on the Google Doc
  • We meet via Google Chat to discuss and choose winners (about an hour)
  • The winners were written up with editing from the group

And the Cybils winners are …

Cybils 2014 Easy Reader Winner

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Body Armour sports drinks

BODYARMOR Sports Drink Coupon

My son plays soccer for Valeo Futbol Club and every practice ends with a mock tournament of four on four. These teams are formed in nanoseconds by the boys themselves; usually the same group tries to reform each week, especially if they have had success in the past.

FC Valeo Soccer, U9, 2014 Read more…

Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Do you have a child interested in science competitions? If so, you must read on! If not, just read the next paragraph because the PRIZE money might motivate your middle school child!

Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition for middle school students. Ten finalists in grades 5-8 will be selected from around the country to compete in the challenge and the winner will receive a $25,000 prize and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist”!

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Top 10 Multicultural Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

Top 10 Multicultural Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

Valarie from Jump Into a Book and I are starting series of book lists to highlight our favorite multicultural children’s books. We plan to turn this into an eBook which we will give away next January for Multicultural Children’s Book Day and sell the rest of the year to raise money for our non-profit so that we can donate more books to kids.

I’m kicking off my lists with my favorite multicultural board books for babies and toddlers. I’ve always loved board books; they are full body entertainment for babies who might explore them with their teeth and virtually indestructible for toddlers! But it was surprisingly hard to find board books with diversity and inclusive themes. I hope you like my first list!

What are your favorite multicultural board books? Please share!

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aquent story

How Do You Teach Innovation? My Entrepreneurial Story

A few readers have asked me to post more on my entrepreneurial experience (b.k. — before kids). I co-founded a dorm room enterprise, now called Aquent, with two friends that has grown, now nearly 30 years later, into a mid-sized company (as defined by “less than one billion in sales but larger than one hundred million”).

history of Aquent, aquent: innovation culture, John Chuang, Mia Wenjen

It does feel like a different era now that I spend most of my time blogging, but starting my company also feels like just yesterday. The foundation of our business was the new Macintosh computer and desktop publishing software (PageMaker) that we learned to publish a liberal political magazine back in 1986.

MacIntosh 128k, first macintosh computer

 

The computerized version was less costly and time-consuming than the old way of waxing up galleys into place. Read more…

#SaveKidsLives #Safie

#SaveKidsLives #Safie to Save Lives

Grasshopper and Sensei turned 15-years-old recently which means my husband is going to start taking her to empty parking lots to learn to drive. She’s had some driving experience in golf carts and via Mario video driving games; enough for us to realize that she’s a cautious driver but needs to learn how to take corners.
My ninety-two-old mother in California is on the other end of the driving spectrum. She just stopped driving completely. She had tailed back by not driving at night or on highways a few years ago but now she’s done driving, relying on friends, my sister and Über instead.
#SaveKidsLives

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Easter Eggs Pysanka Style: Video, Picture Books and GIVEAWAY

Easter Eggs Pysanka Style: Video, Picture Books and GIVEAWAY

In celebration of Easter, I wanted to share this video and two picture books about the Ukranian craft of egg painting called Pysanka.

A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word pysankacomes from the verb pysaty, “to write”, as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax.

Many other eastern European ethnic groups decorate eggs using wax resist for Easter. These include the Belarusians (пісанка, pisanka), Bulgarians (писано яйце, pisano yaytse),Croats (pisanica), Czechs (kraslice), Hungarians (hímestojás), Lithuanians (margutis), Poles (pisanka), Romanians (ouă vopsite, incondeiate or impistrite), Russians (расписанное яйцо “rаspisannoe yaitsо”), Serbs (pisanica), Slovaks (kraslica), Slovenes (pisanica, pirhi or remenke) and Sorbs (jejka pisać). from Wikipedia

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Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

This is Part 2 of the 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society Award, for middle grade readers ages 8 and up. I haven’t read them all so I’ll use book jacket blurbs with age range to make this list more helpful for parents and teachers looking for books for kids.

Many of these chapter books deal with difficult themes like genocide, racism, and violent civil wars. Will kids and parents actually put themselves through these kinds of experiences where the protagonist goes through unimaginable hell? I hope so. These are important stories that haven’t received the attention they deserve and if kids are aware of the mistakes made by their elders in the past, perhaps this is our best hope they will not be repeated in the future.

Part I from the list of picture books are here. I will post on the best young adult books from this list at the next Kid Lit Blog Hop. Read more…