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February 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Book Links January 2018
As anyone who has ever visited an Etsy shop knows, Gandhi once suggested that we be the change we want to see in the world. Well, there’s plenty of change we’d like to see in the new year. In his regular column, Rob Reid points out that, though there has been an improvement in the percentages of children’s books that are written by and about people of color, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to shaping a more inclusive world.
To that end, this diversity-themed issue of Book Links puts its focus on interviews with a diverse array of authors and illustrators. Muslim and Latino poet Mark Gonzales, author of Yo Soy Muslim, discusses the importance of a world that celebrates diversity, while Bao Phi and Thi Bui, the author-illustrator team of A Different Pond, talk about their shared Vietnamese heritage that inspired the book. Here, too, is a conversation with Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz, whose latest historical fiction novel, Betty before X, examines her mother’s early years. And physician-scholar Sayantani DasGupta, whose forthcoming middle-grade fantasy debut The Serpent’s Secret is rooted in Bengali folktales, explores the importance of storytelling.
We also continue our coverage of STEM with a feature on diversity in science that honors the too-often overlooked scientists and inventors of color. There’s also a guide to international poetry resources, and, just for fun, an article that rounds up books about cowboys (and cowgirls) for young readers.
We fill out this issue with our annual Lasting Connections list, a companion to Booklist’s Editors’ Choice. Lasting Connections represents the top 30 books selected for their value in the K–8 classroom, and it’s our goal to make it as representative of as many issues and backgrounds as possible. You’ll find several of this issue’s interviewees on this list.
There’s a lot going on in our offices as well. ALA’s Midwinter Meeting is approaching. If you’ll be in Denver February 9th through the 13th, be sure to stop by the 2019 Belpré Award Committee’s open meeting if you want to see how the magic happens.
Don’t forget to visit us, either! Booklist will be in booth #916, and we’ve partnered with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) for an exciting initiative to provide expert book-and-media buying assistance to school librarians in need. With help from sponsor Scholastic, free yearlong subscriptions to Booklist, Book Links, and Booklist Online will be made available to as many as 500 individual schools across the U.S. Winners will be announced shortly after ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in February 2018, with the subscriptions starting in April 2018 to support librarians through the 2018–19 school year. To read more about this exciting promotion, and to enter, visit http://bit.ly/schoolsubscription.
We hope to see you there. Let’s kick off this new year in the best way possible.
Books and Authors
Talking with Bao Phi and Thi Bui, by Sarah Hunter
Talking with with Ilyasah Shabazz, by Pat Scales
Talking with Mark Gonzales, by Ilene Cooper
Talking with Sayantani DasGupta, by Maggie Reagan
Diversity in Science, by Briana Shemroske
Going Global with Poetry, by Sylvia M. Vardell
Home on the Range, by Kathleen McBroom
Reid-Aloud Alert, by Rob Reid
Lasting Connections; 2017
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