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Razia's Ray of Hope in Afghanistan

What if You Could Never, Ever Go to School? Book GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest author today, Elizabeth Suneby. I met her at Paul Reynolds’ presentation at Charlesbridge Publishing. I had seen her book, Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education, during our Multicultural Children’s Book Day celebration so it was nice to match the book with a face!

Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby

Razia Jan is an Afghan native who Global Citizen describes as “the woman who started a school in one of the worst places to be a girl.” She won a CNN Hero Award, given to ordinary people who do extraordinary things. This is her story about building a school for girls in Afghanistan in a poor, highly illiterate, conservative area where girls had never been allowed to go to school. Razia convinced the village elders to let her build a free, private K – 12 girls school and now more than 600 girls are studying Dari, English, math, science, history, computers and the Koran. [picture book, ages 8 and up]

Today, Elizabeth Suneby talks about what it was like to research and write Razia’s Ray of Hope. I’m also giving away a copy of her book below. Read more…

10 Great Adventure Books

10 Great Adventure Books & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

I’m a big fan of the Gannon & Wyatt series by Keith Hemstreet and Patti Wheeler. It’s pitch perfect for boys ages 8 and up who like realistic adventure books (as opposed to fantasy á la Harry Potter and Percy Jackson). What’s great about these adventures is that the reader learns about geography and environmental issues while being captivated by a fast paced plot. There are also images and photographs sprinkled throughout the book, making it reader-friendly.

I’m giving away 3 copies of the newest Gannon & Wyatt adventure set in Hawaii. Please see below.

Other adventures include:

Today Keith Hemstreet is guest posting with his ten favorite adventure books that he grew up with.
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As a child, I gravitated to stories about nature. Even better were books that combined high-stakes adventure and a spectacular environment — dogsledding in the Arctic, a voyage in the South Pacific, or a safari on the African savannah. Adventure stories such as The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Treasure Island were a few of the classics that I remember enjoying when I was young. As I got older, my interest in far-away places and exotic cultures led me to the local libraries where I studied maps and read the journals of famous explorers such as Lewis and Clark, Captain James Cook, and Sir Robert Falcon Scott. These journals are some of the greatest adventure tales ever told and inspired me to learn more about our fascinating and diverse world. Coauthor, Patti Wheeler, loved the books of James A. Michener—Alaska, Caribbean, Hawaii, to name a few. Together, it was these books along with our own travel experiences that inspired our middle-grade adventure series, Travels with Gannon & Wyatt.

Read more…

#ReadYourWorld vs #WeNeedDiverseBooks

#ReadYourWorld vs #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Valarie and I are gearing up for Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, 2017, so I thought this might be a good time to explain what I perceive to be the differences between two different but similar groups: Multicultural Children’s Book Day and We Need Diverse Books.

In a business analogy, one is a scrappy start-up. The other is a well-funded corporate entity, though, both organizations, in fact, are non-profits.

Let’s start at the beginning (a very good place to start)…

When Did It All Begin?

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day was conceived in the August of 2013. Valarie saw that I was re-focusing my efforts on promoting diversity books in response to Lee and Low’s report that the number of children’s books of a diverse nature has not changed over the last fourteen years, and asked me if I wanted to join her in starting a holiday to promote .  Our first event was Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, 2014 where we raised about $3k. We used this money for a part-time admin and to set up a non-profit and a website. Our revenues have doubled every year, allowing us to give away more books.

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books started in April 2014 by young adult author Ellen Oh. They ran a successful Indigogo campaign that raised $333k in 2014. Their event is a forthcoming Diversity Children’s and YA Book Tradeshow Conference.

Read more…

Teaching Kids Kindness: Hasbro Kindness Campaign

Teaching Kids Kindness: Hasbro Kindness Campaign

Now that the kids are back in school, it’s a good time to discuss bullying at home with your kids. Did you know that the best way to deal with bullies is to have bystanders stand up for the victim? Some schools teach this as part of their curriculum, but this is a good lesson to reinforce at home as well.

Being kind and “choosing kind” is something that I think can be internalized such that it’s a plan and goals that each child defines individually, making it easy to make decisions when faced with a bullying incident.

I think the first place to start is defining kindness and the behavior that demonstrates it. I have three books of with three different takes on Choosing Kind. Let’s start with a picture book that demonstrates different ways kids can choose to be kind.

Teaching Kids to Choose Kind

What Does It Mean to Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch

The first example that DiOrio defines is something that seems very small, but actually has huge impact.

Being kind means … smiling at the new student in class.  Read more…

12 Amazing NEW Diversity Picture Books

12 Amazing NEW Diversity Picture Books

I’ve been collecting piles of new picture books and these twelve diverse picks stood out to me. How about you? What new diversity, multicultural, and inclusive picture books are you enjoying? Thanks for sharing!

Diversity Picture Book Most Likely To Win a Caldecott

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Sherman Alexie’s first picture book reflects on his Spokane Native American tradition of getting a new name to mark the transition to adulthood. There are 500 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States, each with its own diversity of language, ceremonies, and naming. To respect the deeper meaning of the naming, classroom activities where kids pick their own Indian names are not recommended as it is not culturally sensitive. This is a delightful picture book sure to engage kids. The vibrant illustrations by Caldecott illustrator Yuyi Morales perfectly match the story. [picture book, ages 4 and up]


Read more…

The Nian Monster

Cover Reveal: THE NIAN MONSTER

Today I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of a new great Chinese New Year picture book, The Nian Monster, by my guest author is Andrea Wang. I have more Chinese New Year picture books, new and improved Chinese New Year picture book list, and a Lunar New Year picture book list by author Janet Wong too. If you need Chinese New Year crafts and activities, I have a round up too!

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I am so excited to share the cover of my debut picture book, The Nian Monster! Actually, I’m not just excited, I’m queyue, which in Chinese means “to frolic for joy,” or more literally, “to jump like a sparrow.” So picture me hopping, fluttering, and chirping, “Look! Look!”

The Nian Monster Read more…

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

This is my third bilingual Spanish book list. Author Derek Taylor Kent wrote the first one. The second bilingual Spanish picture book list is from illustrator Wendy Martin. Today’s list is my own, the result of a pile of bilingual books that I’ve been saving for six months, and the books I read to create a Mexico picture book list.

What bilingual Spanish books do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Bilingual Spanish Picture Books Hot of the Press!

Spectacular Spots/Magnificas Manchas by Susan Stockdale

A beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book of spotted creatures written in spare rhyme. Perfect for kids learning Spanish and for kids who like nature books. The back pages have more information about each animal and the role their spots play in their survival. [bilingual Spanish picture book, ages 4 and up]

My Dad is a Clown/ Mi Papá es un Payaso by José Carlos Andrés and Natalia Hernández

Because this book appeals to both kids and adults, this is an especially good picture book to use for anyone trying to learn Spanish. A little boy is called a clown when his classmate was angry with him. That’s ok with him because his father is an actual clown. His other dad is a doctor, and in watching his clown father at rehearsals, the boy finds a way to combine both professions. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Marisol McDonald and the Monster by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Marisol McDonald likes being mismatched but she doesn’t like monsters. After hearing a noise under her bed, she’s certain there’s a monster there. She figures out her own solution to her phobia, but it turns out that the noise has a more prosaic explanation. And now, she has two companions under her bed at night. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Mama the Alien by René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Laura Lacámara

It’s a case of mistaken identity. Sofia finds Mamá’s identification card in her purse and discovers that she’s an alien. Sofia now believes that she’s half alien and gets to work to figure out what this might mean. What language does an alien speak? Will space ships land in her yard? Does she have hidden alien body parts? Finally, her parents realize what Sofia thinks and explain their reason for celebration. Mamá is becoming a citizen! Her old card was a Resident Alien card, which has been renamed Permanent Resident. This a humorous picture book to discuss the process of Naturalization with kids. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

10. Olinguito, from A to Z! by Lulu Delacre

Join a zoologist in the cloud forest as he searches for the elusive olinguito. The Spanish version showcases alliteration, while the English version tells an alphabet story of the animals in the enchanted forest of Ecuador. Together, both reader and scientist discover a new species of raccoon-like carnivores … the olinguito! [picture book, ages 2 and up]

Read more…

10 Great Picture Books To Learn About Africa

10 Great Picture Books to Learn About Africa

When my kids studied Ghana in 2nd grade, one frustration for their teachers was that the kids had impression of Ghana as a rural environment. They didn’t really get to experience or understand that Ghana also has cities. I wasn’t able to find enough books on Ghana to make a book list, so I’ve included picture books set in The Gambia, Mauritania, Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania on a variety of diversity themes.

What books on Africa do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

10. Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Caroline Binch

Grace’s parents are divorced and her father moves to Africa where he re-marries and starts another family. Grace is nervous to go all the way to The Gambia with her grandmother; it’s so different from what she knows. There are sheep the roadside and the market is filled with open air stalls. Though she feels like she doesn’t fit in at first, her step family is kind to her. She realizes that her unconventional family which isn’t what she reads about in books, should be in one. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

9. Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi

The people in Mauritania, West Africa are Muslim and the women wear a malafa. Lalla wants a malafa too but but it’s not for beauty, or to be mysterious, or to look like others, or to be like royalty. When Lalla hears the evening call to prayer, she realizes the malafa is so that she can pray like the others. And then she gets a malafa of her own to go to the mosque with her mother. A malafa is for faith! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Featuring a Character with a Disability

Our theme for today’s Diverse Children’s Books linkup is Diverse Book(s) Featuring a Character with a Disability. (Need ideas? Check out past winners of the Schneider Family Book Awards.) (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

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