In the world of children's literature, there's a new trend towards putting stories about resilient young Muslim refugees front and center. More than a dozen books are due out this fall, from picture books for toddlers to complex novels for the teen audience. The new crop adds to a growing list of titles that present a positive image of refugees, humanizing and personalizing the ongoing conflicts, says Vicky Smith, children's editor at Kirkus Reviews. "It is a real desire on the part of authors, illustrators and publishers to respond to the crisis in a way that is proactive and helpful," she says.
At Hammond High School in Columbia, Md., the faculty and staff wanted to buck a national trend in which students of color and those living in poverty enroll in advanced classes far less frequently compared with other students. This post explains how they did it, and why Hammond is a winner in the 2017 "Schools of Opportunity" project, which recognizes public high schools that work to close opportunity gaps by creating learning environments that reach every student.
When three Cleveland seventh graders read Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming, the Citizens Leadership Academy (CLA) students didn't know about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement in the publishing world. They had never heard about mirrors and windows. Kiara Ransaw, James Kline, and Jayla Henderson knew only this: They had never read a book like this before, and they had never felt like this about a book before. That connection and realization sparked an idea for a project that grew beyond anyone’s expectations.
Jenifer Wolf Williams is a trauma therapist based in Richardson. In recent years, she's helped immigrants separated from their loved ones — from families applying for asylum to children who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Williams says families who've been separated likely won't start healing until after they're reunited.
According to a release by the Mississippi Department of Education, the number of English Language Learners is slowly on the rise across the state. "Spanish is the most prevalent language spoken by English learners in Mississippi, but more than 20 other languages are also represented. After Spanish, the most common languages spoken by English Learner students in Mississippi are Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese and Gujarati," the MDE release states.
One of the most widely used K-12 digital-citizenship curriculum in the country is getting an overhaul — further evidence of the growing challenge schools face in dealing with fake news and helping students understand the ethical concerns surrounding big technology and social-media companies.
Surrounded by loved ones in June, Bartolo Garcia, 21, and Andrea Mendez Peraza, 19, moved their tassels to the left side of their mortarboards to become high school graduates in Pittsburgh in a ceremonial rite of passage. But a few years ago, life brought them to a different vital crossroads — the U.S.-Mexico border — all by themselves. Bartolo and Andrea are strangers with a similar path: They both crossed the U.S. southwestern border a few weeks after their 16th birthdays — in 2013 and 2015, respectively — joining the thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.
T'Challa is the prince of Wakanda. He grew up with his father, Black Panther. When things heat up at home, his father sends him to America for safety with his friend M'Baku. The boys attend a Chicago high school, where the class bully, Gemini Jones, becomes possessed by a dark, evil magic. To save the school, T'Challa must don the tech suit and vibranium ring he was given for emergencies. Can he keep his secret identity and save the day? Dion Graham's voices are unique and easy to distinguish. Graham does a great job with pacing and building of the characters. The masterful portrayal of the feelings of drama, angst, adrenaline, and worry will hook listeners from start to finish. The plot is engaging, well written, and draws the listener into the world of the Black Panther.
In two weeks, a loosely organized network of citizens has helped reunite nearly a dozen separated immigrant families, in some cases connecting them with housing, lawyers, transportation, and other services they may need. They call their coalition "Immigrant Families Together."
School Library Journal asked four Native YA authors—Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), Dawn Quigley (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe), Eric Gansworth (Onondaga), and Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee [Creek])—four questions about Native books for teens and their own roles as storytellers and educators.