I had a chat with author Rosie Pova on her blog to discuss my road to publication, my latest picture book release NO VOICE TOO SMALL: Fourteen Young Americans Making History, and what’s next for me. Follow this link to read that interview.
Hope you enter the GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a copy of NO VOICE TOO SMALL!
What an amazing day! Lindsay, Jeanette, and I planned a fun-filled virtual book launch for NO VOICE TOO SMALL. An Unlikely Story Bookstore agreed to host us. The anti-bullying activist featured in the book, DJ Annie Red, agreed to perform.
And the day finally arrived!
It started with book lovers sharing the news of our book birthday…
…on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Messages poured in. Friends, authors, our publisher, book reviewers, booksellers. All sending congratulations and praise.
All morning long! Here’s a snippet of what happened…
We felt so much love for a book that so many poured so much heart into so it would be ready for this day, to be sent out into the world, and into the hands of children.
We even got a mention in the Washington Post! WOW!
At the book launch that evening, Lindsay, Jeanette and I spoke a bit about the book and thanked the the fourteen young activists, poets, our editor, art director and the our Charlesbridge team that were all a part of this project. We shared the opening and closing poems and one of the contributing poets, Lesléa Newman, read the poem she wrote about Zach Wahls. Jeanette demonstrated how she created the art for the book and drew a picture for us – live! DJ Annie Red performed an acapella version of her song “No You Won’t Bully Me”. Who had fun? WE DID!
We asked our audience to promise to use their voices and take the NO VOICE TOO SMALL pledge. Lindsay and Jeanette’s kids joined in!
So many friends, family, and creatives from the writing community came to our virtual event to support us. It was an unforgettable experience!
For weeks we noticed the “orange banner” on Amazon that designates a book as a #1 Release in a particular category which also compares and ranks books in the same categories.
The three Amazon categories for NO VOICE TOO SMALL are:
Children’s American History of 2000s
Children’s Social Activists Biographies (Books)
On our book birthday, NO VOICE TOO SMALL became an Amazon Hot New Release in the category of Social Activists Biographies! But that’s not all.
Something else happened that didn’t involve sales or marketing or book promotion. Instead, someone helped make this night more special than it already turned out to be. Because it reminded me of why I write books for kids. And why this book matters.
The same day NO VOICE TOO SMALL released, a blog post Lindsay, Jeanette and I wrote for Reading For Research Month went live. We discussed books that inspired us.
In that post I wrote, “I have witnessed the power of story. It is undeniable.” Although I know that to be true, I didn’t know I would witness it on our book birthday. We may not know how or when or for whom books may affect, but we know the power of books. It’s undeniable! What a gift to see the reaction by Judy Adams to her featured story. Judy speaks UP about living with DOWN syndrome. At age twelve, she created Dimes for Down syndrome and grants wishes to others.
Kids need to see themselves in books. They want their stories shared. Adults can help empower, uplift, and amplify their voices.
Thanks to all for the support that made this a wonderful day for us and NO VOICE TOO SMALL.
Saturday, January 27, 2018 is the 5th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day! I am honored to once again participate in this wonderful event as a book reviewer. [spacer height=”10px”]
Children want to see stories about their families, cultures, customs, traditions, histories, and religions in books. And it’s important to expose all children to literature that reflect people who are different from them. One way to introduce kids to diverse stories is through characters in picture book biographies. NINA: JAZZ LEGEND AND CIVIL-RIGHTS ACTIVIST NINA SIMONE is an introduction to the civil rights diva, High Priestess of Soul, and icon of American music, Nina Simone.
by Alice Brière-Haquet; illustrated by Bruno Liance; translated by Julie Cormier; published by Charlesbridge; ages 4-8
The publisher sent a copy for me to review, however all opinions expressed are my own.
The story begins with a tender moment, a mother telling her child a story. The mother is Nina Simone, the child is her daughter. The story Nina tells is about her own life.
To set the story in motion, Nina shares her earliest memory of learning to play the piano. She compares her blackness to the physical difference between the notes on her keyboard. The imagery is powerful.
“The white keys are whole notes and the black keys are flats, or half notes,” my teacher explained.
I asked why.
“Because that’s just the way it is.”
Yes, that’s the way it was. White was whole. Black was half.
Despite her experiences growing up in a country where white people and black people were treated differently, Nina didn’t allow discrimination to interfere with her dreams. When Nina was 12, she refused to sing when her mother had to give up a front row seat to white people at a concert. This early memory demonstrates how Nina learned to use her voice to fight for social justice too.
Music has no color. In music there is only one rhythm. Only one heart.
The story of Nina Simone is about a talented artist and how she feels about the world in which she lives. Readers learn why and how she speaks out against injustice. This is the kind of story that would inspire children to believe they too, can use their voices to do the same.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.