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BOOKS & RESOURCES

Bethany Hegedus

BETHANY HEGEDUS' books include Truth with a Capital T (Delacorte/Random House) and Between Us Baxters (WestSide Books). Both novels were named to the Bank Street Books Best Books, with Between Us Baxters garnering a star for outstanding recognition.

Her debut picture book, Grandfather Gandhi, (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster) co-authored with Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, and illustrated by Evan Turk has received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus.

Bethany has served as the Hunger Mountain Young Adult & Children's Editor since 2009. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults, Bethany is the Owner and Creative Director of The Writing Barn, a writing retreat, workshop and event space in Austin, Texas.

A former educator, Bethany speaks and teaches across the country.

Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story

In this breathtaking companion to the award-winning Grandfather Gandhi, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, tells a poignant, personal story of the damage of wastefulness, gorgeuously illustrated by Evan Turk.

At Grandfather Gandhi's service village, each day is filled, from sunrise to sunset, with work that is done for the good of all. The villagers vow to live simply and non-violently. Arun Gandhi tries very hard to follow these vows, but he struggles with one of the most important rules: not to waste.

How can throwing away a worn-down pencil hurt anyone? How can wastefulness lead to violence? With the help of his grandfather, Arun learns how every wasteful act, no matter how small, affects others. And in time he comes to understand the truth of his grandfather's words: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Website: http://www.bethanyhegedus.com/




Dean Robbins

I'm a children's author living in Madison, Wisconsin, with my wife and son. My picture books include Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass (Scholastic, January 2016); Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women's Right to Vote (Knopf, September 2016); and Margaret and the Moon (Knopf, summer 2017).

Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass

Some people had rights, while others had none. Why shouldn't they have them, too?

Two friends, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, get together for tea and conversation. They recount their similar stories fighting to win rights for women and African Americans. The premise of this particular exchange between the two is based on a statue in their hometown of Rochester, New York, which shows the two friends having tea.

The text by award-winning writer Dean Robbins teaches about the fight for women's and African Americans' rights in an accessible, engaging manner for young children. Two Friends is beautifully illustrated by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls, the husband-and-wife team whose The Case for Loving received three starred reviews! Two Friends includes back matter with photos of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.

Website: http://deanrobbins.net/





Ruth Chan

Before Ruth began illustrating full-time, she spent much of her Canadian childhood tobogganing, another chunk of time studying art and education at Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a decade working with kids in schools, after school and summer programs in underserved communities in Boston, DC, and NYC. She has since become a full-time illustrator, spending her time creating children's picture books, freelance illustrating, and doodling on the train. Ruth now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her cat, Georgie, and her dog, Feta, who share their imaginary adventures in her debut picture book, Where's the Party? (Roaring Brook Press, 2016) and their real life adventures at georgietales.com.

Mervin the Sloth Is about to Do the Best Thing in the World

Mervin the Sloth is just standing there quietly when giant letters drop onto the page: "Mervin the Sloth is about to do the best thing in the world." But what is the best thing in the world? What is Mervin about to do? ​

It doesn't take long for all of Mervin's exuberant animal friends to barge in with their own ideas. Flying! Digging! Gazelling! Wait, gazelling? Is that even a word? If only sloths weren't so slow! Because maybe it's something even better. But only Amy the red panda sticks around to see it. ​

This inventive picture book balances zany, pitch-perfect humor with warmth and heart—and irresistibly huggable animal characters. Fans of The Book with No Pictures and The Monster at the End of This Book will delight in the way it plays with form, makes you laugh out loud, and introduces us all to our new, very slow-moving best friend.

Website: http://www.ohtruth.com/




Miranda Paul

R.J. Palacio Wonder

Miranda Paul is a award-winning children's author of One Plastic Bag and Water is Water, both named Junior Library Guild selections. Her titles have received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly in addition to being named to several recommended and "best of" reading lists. Miranda's newest release, 10 Little Ninjas, was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month (August 2016). Miranda makes regular appearances at schools, libraries, and bookstores, and has been a guest presenter at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center along with environmental activist Isatou Ceesay. Miranda also serves as Mentorship chair for We Need Diverse Books™ (www.diversebooks.org), volunteers for Books for Africa, and is a regional advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers (Wisconsin Chapter). She believes in working hard, having fun, and being kind. Learn more about her current and forthcoming titles at www.mirandapaul.com.

Whose Hands Are These?: A Community Helper Guessing Book

If your hands can mix and mash, what job might you have? What if your hands reach, wrench, yank, and crank? The hands in this book—and the people attached to them—do all sorts of helpful work. And together, these helpers make their community a safe and fun place to live. As you read, keep an eye out for community members who make repeat appearances! Can you guess all the jobs based on the actions of these busy hands?

Website: http://mirandapaul.com/




Christian Robinson

Christian Robinson is a 2016 Caldecott Honoree and also received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña (Putnam, 2015); de la Peña himself took home the 2016 Newbery Medal, awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children for the "most distinguished book for children."

Leo: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Robinson and written by Mac Barnett (Chronicle, 2015), was named a 2015 New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year. His Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, written by Patricia Hruby Powell (Chronicle, 2014) received numerous awards and accolades including a Sibert Informational Book Award Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award Illustration Honor from the American Library Association; a Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor; a Parents Choice Gold Medal for Poetry 2014; and a place on the Wall Street Journal's 10 Best Children's Books of the Year List. Robinson, based in San Francisco, is also an animator and has worked with The Sesame Street Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios.

School's First Day of School

It's the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone's just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?

The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he's not the only one going through first-day jitters.

Website: http://theartoffun.com/about/


 

Tonya Bolden

As a child I absolutely adored books. I loved the journeys they allowed, what they taught me about the world, how they gave my imagination a workout. The physicality of the book, I loved that too. Still do. As a child I wrote poems and stories just because. As a teen I wrote reams of poetry. In my student life, when it came to papers, writing was never the agony for me that it was for many of my classmates.

"Writing is rewarding on several counts. There's the learning: As all the books I write require research, I am constantly learning. There's the clarifying: Through writing I come to terms with and gain insights on my own experience and sensibilities, along with the historical events that have shaped me. On the unselfish level, it is through writing that I am able to teach.

"When as a child I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, most often my response was 'teacher.' When I went to graduate school (Columbia University), it was with the idea that I would become a college professor. While there I took a few courses at Teachers College because for a minute I thought perhaps I'd become an elementary or secondary school teacher. In the end, I decided to pursue writing instead. Now, when I look at what the majority of my books are about, I realize that I ended up being a teacher."

Beautiful Moon

A young boy wakes. He has forgotten to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful harvest moon illuminates the city around him and its many inhabitants. As the moon slowly makes its way across the heavens, the boy offers a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.

Critically acclaimed author Tonya Bolden teams up with award‑winning illustrator Eric Velasquez to create a richly painted and emotionally complex book that celebrates prayer and kindness while recognizing the diversity of the world around us.

Website: http://www.tonyaboldenbooks.com/


 

Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh (toh-nah-tee-YOU) is the author-illustrator of The Princess and the Warrior, Funny Bones, Separate Is Never Equal, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, Diego Rivera: His World and Ours and Dear Primo. He is the illustrator of Esquivel! and Salsa. His books have received multiple accolades, among them the Pura Belpré Medal, the Sibert Medal, The Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award, The Américas Award, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Award.

Duncan Tonatiuh is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His artwork is inspired by Pre-Columbian art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His aim is to create images and stories that honor the past, but that are relevant to people, specially children, nowadays.

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes

Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh reimagines one of Mexico's cherished legends. Princess Izta had many wealthy suitors but dismissed them all. When a mere warrior, Popoca, promised to be true to her and stay always by her side, Izta fell in love. The emperor promised Popoca if he could defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw, then Popoca and Izta could wed. When Popoca was near to defeating Jaguar Claw, his opponent sent a messenger to Izta saying Popoca was dead. Izta fell into a deep sleep and, upon his return, even Popoca could not wake her. As promised Popoca stayed by her side. So two volcanoes were formed: Iztaccihuatl, who continues to sleep, and Popocatepetl, who spews ash and smoke, trying to wake his love.

Website: http://www.duncantonatiuh.com/


 

Matt de la Pena

R.J. Palacio Wonder

Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of six young adult novels: Ball Don't Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, I Will Save You, The Living and The Hunted. He's also the author of the critically-acclaimed picture books A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis (illustrated by Kadir Nelson) and Last Stop on Market Street (illustrated by Christian Robinson). Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country.

Last Stop on Market Street

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena's vibrant text and Christian Robinson's radiant illustrations.

Website: http://mattdelapena.com/


 

Selina Alko

Selina Alko was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. Growing up in a house with a Turkish father who spoke seven languages exposed Selina to many different sounds from a young age. Her father also taught her how to paint and gave her a starter course in self-expression. Her mother's involvement in the family's century old metal recycling business yielded Alko's affinity for collage and mixing media ("trash art") in her work today.

Although Selina has lived in New York since 1991, she believes that she still brings a Canadian perspective to her writing and illustrating. Selina's optimism permeates her picture books which are infused with bright colors, fun patterns and themes of multiculturalism and human rights.

Some of Alko's books to date include: I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother, Every-Day Dress-Up, Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama, and the highly acclaimed B is for Brooklyn.

Recently Selina has embarked on a new chapter in her career; Collaborating with her husband, the Award winning illustrator Sean Qualls. Selina wrote The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage which she co-illustrated with Sean. The book recieved three starred reviews and garnered a number of Awards. Their second illustrated book, Two Friends; Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass (by Dean Robbins) came out in January 2016. Alko and Qualls are currently working on two more books together with themes of inclusion and diversity.

Selina and Sean live in the kid-lit rich borough of Brooklyn, New York with their two children. They do not share a studio–– which is the key to their ability to collaborate.

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

For most children these days it would come as a great shock to know that before 1967, they could not marry a person of a race different from their own. That was the year that the Supreme Court issued its decision in Loving v. Virginia.

This is the story of one brave family: Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, and their three children. It is the story of how Mildred and Richard fell in love, and got married in Washington, D.C. But when they moved back to their hometown in Virginia, they were arrested (in dramatic fashion) for violating that state's laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings refused to allow their children to get the message that their parents' love was wrong and so they fought the unfair law, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court — and winning!

Website: http://www.selinaalko.com/


 

W. Nikola-Lisa

My story is not unlike many who write books for young readers. I came to this profession both from my experience as a parent and as a teacher. As a parent, I spent many nights reading to my daughters when they were young. We also looked forward to our weekly trip to the public library and for our book-of-the-month club selections to arrive in the mail.

My experience as a second grade teacher was also invaluable. I read everyday to my second grade students, it was our after-lunch ritual. I can still remember the look in my students' eyes when I read a story that they could really connect with. Their responses taught me that literature--good literature--is an important part of growing up.

Their responses also taught me to look more closely at what authors did. As I started to analyze each author's work, I started to dream of being an author myself. So, I started writing my ideas down, and after a few false starts I sold my first book, Night Is Coming, to E. P Dutton in 1988. It was the start of a new, but equally satisfying career.

Although, ultimately, I quit teaching elementary school, I didn't stop teaching altogether. I went back to school and earned a doctorate in elementary school curriculum, with an emphasis in reading and language arts. Upon graduation, I accepted a faculty position at a small university in Chicago.

I taught education classes for over 25 years, working with veteran teachers in a graduate program in curriculum studies. Now, I write full time and travel the country as an author and storyteller, sharing my writing and publishing experiences with students preK - 8th grade.

Bein' with You This Way

On a beautiful sunny day, a little African-American girl rounds up a group of her friends, and they head off to the park for the afternoon. As they play, they discover that even though people may look different from one another, they are all the same. Expressively illustrated in watercolor and colored pencil, with a text written in the form of an upbeat playground rap.

Website: http://www.nikolabooks.com/


 

Kathryn Otoshi

Kathryn Otoshi is a multi-award winning author/illustrator and national/international speaker best known for her character-building book series, "Zero", "One", and "Two". She goes to schools across the country to encourage kids to develop strong character assets, and helps teachers find customized, creative methods to engage and connect with their students through art, reading and the power of literature. Her latest book, "Beautiful Hands", co-authored with Bret Baumgarten, is a call-to-action book reminding kids to use their hands to do something positive and inspirational for each other and our communities. Her upcoming book, "Draw the Line", about boundaries and conflict-resolution, will be coming out in 2017.

Beautiful Hands

This colorful concept book reveals an illustrative surprise and reading delight with every turn of the page. Little hands can do so many wonderful things: plant ideas; stretch imaginations; and reach for dreams. Parents and educators will enjoy sharing the word play with young readers. Children will revel in the spectacular art created using thumb- and hand-prints. The book's uplifting message will rouse and motivate, leaving no heart untouched.

Website: http://www.kokidsbooks.com/kositef.html


 

Sally Walker

Sally Walker is the author of the ALA Notable Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917. She is also the author of Written in Bone, Fossil Fish Found Alive, and Secrets of a Civil War Submarine, which was awarded a Sibert Medal. She lives in Illinois.

Freedom Song: The Story of Henry Box " Brown"

Henry "Box" Brown's ingenious escape from slavery is celebrated for its daring and originality. Throughout his life, Henry was fortified by music, family, and a dream of freedom. When he seemed to lose everything, he forged these elements into the song that sustained him through the careful planning and execution of his perilous journey to the North.

Website: http://www.sallymwalker.com/


 

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