Help! My Kids Don’t Like to Read

If you’re a teacher, author, librarian, bookstore employee, chances are that you’ve been asked, “How do I get my kids or students to read more?” or “How do I get my kids or students to like reading?” As a teacher, I was asked some variation of those questions.  Since becoming an author, I’ve been asked [ Read the full article… ]

Booked for the Holidays

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Around us we see decorations, holiday sales, and traditional holiday food and drink like egg nog and candy canes.  Turn on the radio and you can hear Donny Hathaway croon “This Christmas” as well as Michael Jackson and his brothers let us know that “Santa Claus is [ Read the full article… ]

Milestones

Brown Gold: Milestones of African American Children’s Picture Books, 1845-2002, by Michelle H. Martin is a compelling history and analysis of African-American children’s picture books from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The book above was published by McLoughlin Brothers, 1875. Read a sample of Brown Gold by clicking here. I could write an entire [ Read the full article… ]

Required Reading

I was going to make a post today about the importance of ethnicity-based literary awards, such as the Coretta Scott King Awards. Instead, I’ve decided to post links to two articles about that very subject. In his article, “Slippery Slopes and Proliferating Prizes” (Horn Book Magazine, May/June 2001) Marc Aronson (then editor and publisher of Cricket Books) discusses [ Read the full article… ]

Pearls of Knowledge

As a child, I always peppered everyone with questions. Why is Pennsylvania called The Keystone State? Who invented crayons? What causes a rainbow? My grandma’s eyes would twinkle before she delivered her trademark response: “Look it up in your Funk & Wagnalls.” She was referring me to the dictionary and cream-colored set of encyclopedias that sat on my bookshelf. And sure enough, [ Read the full article… ]