Call for Panel Proposals for 2014 KidLit Con: Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next?

2014KidLitConLogoType of Event: 2014 Kidlistosphere Conference

Theme: Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next?

When: October 10-11, 2014

Where: Tsakopoulos Library Galleria 828 I Street Sacramento, CA 95814, USA.

Goal of the event: “(…) find out ‘the best way to get the right books into the young reader’s hands.'”

Organizers and additional information
This is the eighth annual kid lit conference organized by Kidlitosphere Central, the Society of bloggers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. The event is a great venue for “librarians, authors, teachers, parents, booksellers, publishers, and readers.”

If you’re a blogger, you’re kindly invited to submit a session proposal by August 1st, 2014. For more information and to register, click here.

Would be awesome if you’d help out the event and the kidlit community by spreading the word!

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Bombs Over Bikini Giveaway Winner!

Dear Rosi,

it is with great pleasure that I will mail you a copy of Boms Over Bikini. Per your wishes, Alpha Middle School’s Library, in Elverta, CA, will also receive a copy.

Heartfelt thanks to anyone who left a comment.

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Non-Fiction Book Review + GIVEAWAY: BOMBS OVER BIKINI, by Connie Goldsmith

Bombs Over Bikini CoverFavorite quote, which happens to be the opening line: “As soon as the war ended, we located the one place on Earth that hadn’t been touched by war and blew it hell.” – Bob Hope, US Comedian, and Author, 1947.

I haven’t been this moved by a non-fiction book in a long time.

I first heard of the bombings in the Marshall Islands when I was a teenager living in France, through Greenpeace activism. Indeed, the association’s members regularly made the news, both in print and on television, by their protests at various nuclear sites and arrests. Those actions consequently got the word out about the cause they were fighting for.

BOMBS OVER BIKINI, written by Connie Goldsmith and released in January 2014 by Twenty-First Century Books (a division of Lerner Publishing Group), boldly revisits a series of events that took place in the Marshall Islands shortly after World War II, and explains the reality behind the experiments performed to extensively understand the use of the then newly created nuclear bombs. The events took place during the Cold War, and the book focuses on the U.S. Nuclear Testing Program that ran from 1946 until 1958.

Underwater H BombDo you know the difference between a fission and a fusion bomb?

How were animals treated during those experiments? And humans?

Was an entire population, the Rongelapese, purposely sacrificed and used as “human lab rats” by the American government and military to study the effect of the H-bomb? What is their living situation today?

A great read for both upper-graders and adults, BOMBS OVER BIKINI answers all these questions, and more. The tests performed in the Marshall Islands were over the course of only 12 years, and equated to unleashing several thousands Hiroshima bombs in that paradisiac part of the world. The exact number of bombs detonated (see page 67) is likely to surprise you.

My opinion
The book is both gripping and horrifying. I command Connie Goldsmith for her writing skills. Indeed, with BOMBS OVER BIKINI she created page turner, a non-fiction book that reads a bit like a fiction thriller. I couldn’t put it down, and I therefore highly recommenend it. We cannot afford to not know, or forget or overlook the mistakes and sacrifices of so many of our peers.

About the Author
Connie Goldsmith_MediumConnie Goldsmith is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master of public administration degree in healthcare. She has, at the date of publication of this review, 15 non-fiction books and over 200 articles published, mostly on health and history topics. A member of the Authors Guild and an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Connie writes for children and adults. She is currently working on several non-fiction and fiction projects.

Additional information and notable mentions:
o BOMBS OVER BIKINI Website
o Junior Library Guild Selection for 2014
o Recommended by the National Science Teachers Association and featured on its website in February 2014.
o Find the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore.
o Connie Goldsmith Website
o Follow Connie on Twitter

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
To win an autographed copy of BOMBS OVER BIKINI:
1- Leave a comment. Add your twitter handle if you have one, and nominate a school library. If you win, the school library you picked will also receive a copy.
2- Share the review on Twitter and/or Facebook, or any other social media, a blog if you have one. Use the hashtags #BombsOverBikini and #MulticulturalismRocks.

The winner will be selected via random.org, and announced on Friday, May 9, 2014. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. Good luck!

For up-to-date information on cultural diversity in children’s book and other media, join the network on Multiculturalism Rocks! Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter.

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Multicultural Links of the week: 04/23/14

Hi everyone! This has been an exciting month in the world of cultural diversity and children’s literature, with many articles published on the topic in mainstream media. Here are the ones that stood out. Happy reading!

Artwork by Julie Dillon, for BuzzFeed

Artwork by Julie Dillon, for BuzzFeed

1- Heaher Tomlinson, Author. Continuing The “Diversity” Conversation.

2- Daniel José Older, Buzzfeed Contributor, Author and Musician. Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing.

3- Nina Terrero, Entertainment Weekly, Journalist. Kid Lit’s Primary Color: White–REPORT.

4- FREE WEBINAR by Booklist Online, delivered by experts from the American Library Association: Register now! Reaching All Readers: New Multicultural Books For Children And Teens.

5- Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson, featuring Walter Dean Myers and Chris Myers, Here & Now. Apartheird Or Just A General Lack Of Color?

6- And I got a kick out of this one: a tweet from mega-selling author Rick Riordan, whose contribution to cultural diversity in Kid Lit includes the Kane Chronicles Series. Read Kelly Jensen’s article on Bookriot’s website. We Need Bigger Megaphones for Diversity in Kid Lit.

Rick-Riordan-Tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any other articles that should be there? Let us know with a comment!

 

 

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Deadline Fast Approaching for Unagented YA Submission

If you don’t have an agent, have never published a book, including through self-publication, but have a young adult manuscript ready, publisher Andrew Karre of carolhoda LAB is awaiting your submission until January 12.

For more information visit Carolrhoda LAB’s blog:

Posted in Contest, Miscellaneous, YA Books | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays: A Few Favorites from 2013

Hello everyone!

It’s been a long time since the last post, but I’m hoping a time well spent, with good, promising seeds planted. A few people, who happen to not have a Facebook account, asked me how they could keep in touch and “follow” my progress. The answer is this blog, and my Twitter account. To answer some of the questions I’ve been asked, here is what has happened since the last post, which still reflects my current life: work, writing every day, editing a newsletter for Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators with Beth Hull, and school. Little sleep but happiness nonetheless, and gratitude for the opportunity to tend with passion to all the areas mentioned.

I’m curious: What were your highlights this year? What is one literary event, one piece of information that you wish would go viral because it’s so good it’s making a difference?
Here are some of the news or discoveries that gave me hope in 2013, in bullet points:

2013 in retrospect – click on the links for more info

Good News
* Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2013. I wasn’t aware of that award until recently. Though set in the United Kingdom and not in America, it positively adds to the awards created to promote awareness on the great multicultural stories told and published, and I hope it does so in America as well.
* “In March 2013, First Book purchased $1 million worth of culturally-diverse content from two publishers: Harper Collins and Lee & Low Books. Those purchases, which Kirkus Reviews called a “colossal commitment,” were unprecedented for a nonprofit, and served as the first major step in creating a new market for multicultural children’s literature.” – See more at: http://www.firstbook.org/first-book-story/media-center/press-room/288-the-stories-for-all-project-first-ever-market-solution-to-the-lack-of-diversity-in-kids-books#sthash.KCXUrSi2.dpuf
*Literary agent Barry Goldblatt created a scholarship for children’s book writers of color: “Vermont College of Fine Arts and Barry Goldblatt Literary Announce The Angela Johnson Scholarship.”

A few favorite articles
* The Horn Book: Talking About Race in Children’s Literature: Commentary and Resources.
* Tina Kügler‘s Illustration of Equality, served with sobering numbers about cultural diversity in children’s books, and links to additional helpful articles.
* npr.org: As Demographics Shift, Kids’ Books Stay Stubbornly White
* The Guardian: More calls for books about non-white children
* NBC Latino: No Latino children’s literature in annual book list – again
* Posts by award-winning publisher and activist Lee & Low Books. If you’re not already familiar with their blog, here’s a link to wet your socio-cultural appetite: Literary Agents Discuss the Diversity Gap in Publishing
* Ellen Oh: Why Being a POC Author Sucks Sometimes
* Series of posts on Courage, highlighting several writers, by librarian Edi Campbell. Here’s a sample: About Courage #3: Margarita Engle
* From Soraya Chemali, of Huffington Post: What Does it Mean that Most Children’s Books Are Still About White Boys?
* This article by a UK teacher, which I believe also applies beyond the British borders: “You can’t do that! Stories have to be about White people”

Book Lists
* The Birthday Party Pledge has a list of books with culturally diverse contents, categorized by interest. It is also a great cause to support.
* CBC Diversity’s book lists, which include: 50 multicultural books every child should know, 30 multicultural books every teen should know, 101 ways to combat prejudice, and more.
* New York Public Library’s 100 Great Children’s Books of the past 100 years. Congratulations to all books creators, notably these ones, for making it to the list – I’m so proud and excited for the groundbreaking meaning behind these nominations, for your books being so sought after, and for your hard work being celebrated: Mitali Perkins, Rucksana Khan, Lucía M. Gonzalez, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Yuyi Morales, Jerry Pinkney, Jacqueline Woodson, Ed Young, just to quote a few.
* I’m adding the following list because multicultural books can also be found via publisher’s catalogs, and because that list might be helpful to several writers and illustrators as well: Small Presses of Color, with thanks to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Scool of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison for putting that wonderful resource together.

Causes You might be happy to know about
* Books+Water/Waterbridge Outreach: this is bittersweet to blog about. Bitter because the amazing multicultural literary non-profit PaperTigers had to stop its activities. I learned So much from their work over the years, and connected, thanks to them, with amazing books lovers and writers from around the world. I miss their website, but it is still available for everyone to consult, and serves as an archive haven. Sweet because the PaperTigers team is now focusing all its energy on bringing more multicultural books to undeserved communities, as well as drinkable water - note: the lack of drinkable water in several continents is the number one cause of death, and prevents many children from attending school, among causing other problems such as wars. Please check out their website, support that great cause if you can, and spread the word. For more information on Books+Water/Waterbridge Outreach, visit www.waterbridgeoutreach.org. Warm thank you.
* First Book. You heard the good news about First Book’s purchase of 1 million dollars worth of multicultural books. Hear this too: Publisher Random House will match 3 times any donations you make to First Book to support that great cause. I thank Media Bistro’s Galley Cat for the information. Read more about it here, please spread the word as well. This is good until December 31.
* Ventana Sierra, founded by bestselling author Ellen Hokpins. Foster care children are often left to fend for themselves once they turn 18. Ventana Sierra thrives to offer them a place to live, while setting up with a mentor with whom they learn a craft that will allow them to make a living – via internships, etc. Ventana Sierra accepts donations, but also raises money via an online store and advanced writers workshops, the next one taking place taking during the weekend of June 6, 2014. For more information on Ventana Sierra, visit http://ventanasierra.org. To learn more about the workshops, click here.

Last minute deadlines you might be interested in:
* SCBWI’s SPARK Award, recognizing and celebrating excellence in children’s books self-published or non-traditionally published in 2013. You need to be a SCBWI member to apply.
* Call for submission for Kaleidoscope, a Diverse YA Fantasy and Science Fiction anthology, published by Twelfth Planet Press.

Wishes for 2014
More buzz, a deeper connection between readers and the creators of culturally diverse books, continued smart marketing of said books, wishing more writers, publishing houses and publicists to make the most of the abundance of the social platforms to spread the word, enthusiasm and passion for kids books with characters from ALL walk of life.

Wishing you a safe, warm and inspiring holiday season,

Nathalie

Update 12/28/13
* From Inside ‘A Fuse #8 Production,’ by Elizabeth Bird: 2014 Kids of Color: Things Are Looking Up

Posted in Awards, Books, Literary Agency, Literary Agent, Miscellaneous, Multicultural Platform, Publishing Houses, Uncategorized, YA Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cultural Diversity & The Emmy Awards – With Thanks to Publisher Lee & Low Books

Culrtural Diversity & TV 2Hi everyone,

Join me in a little experiment and let’s be ready for the Emmy Awards ceremony by looking at their track records when it comes to cultural diversity – Keeping in mind the TV Shows categories (Comedy, Drama, Soap Opera), you’re invited to cast your vote by answering the following questions:

1- Which show would you nominate for its culturally diverse ensemble cast?

2- Who would you nominate as best lead actor? And best lead actress?

3- Who would you nominate as best supporting actress? Best supporting actor?

4- What TV Show, spotlighting a bit of cultural diversity through its cast or story, would you nominate for best writing?

5- Last but not least, what type of TV Shows or story lines/ plot lines would you like to see more on TV?

A big thank you for publisher Jason Low of LEE & LOW BOOKS for inspiring this post and starting yet another thought-provoking and sobering conversation. Please, make sure to read (and comment on) Where’s The Diversity? A Look At The Emmy Awards & TV, at the open book.

Posted in Awards, Events, Miscellaneous, Multicultural Platform | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments