Award & Recognition!

Award & Recognition!

What a wonderful feeling to learn that others find your work worthy. And over the past few months, the accolades keep coming!

The award from the International Literacy Association for NO VOICE TOO SMALL is extra special to me because I am a former member. I have the utmost respect for this organization and everything it does to help educators and students.

Recent recognition for NO VOICE TOO SMALL: (click here for a complete list)

2021 Social Justice Literature Award, Nonfiction CategoryInternational Literacy Association

A 2021 Best Book, Bank Street College of Ed.

2021 Ohioana Award Finalist, Juvenile Literature

2020 Cybils Awards Finalist, Elementary Nonfiction

Reading the West Picture Book Award longlist, MPIBA

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY NO VOICE TOO SMALL!

What an honor to find OPENING THE ROAD on the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s Noteworthy Books for Young Readers list of Stories of Protest, Resistance, and Change!

Kids need books. They keep reading and I’ll keep writing!

It’s hard to say Good-bye…

It’s hard to say Good-bye…

Founders Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call announced the news about retiring the ReFoReMo. My final post is about diversity and inclusion. I’ve had a blast reading and writing with ReFoReMo. Thanks to founders Carrie and Kirsti, the children’s writing community is richer in knowledge and camaraderie. ✍📚🤗

Perfectly Paired Picture Books- “Belonging, Individuality, and Consent”

But fear not. In the final ReFoReMo post, Carrie and Kirsti announced the annual mentor text reading challenge will continue with different talent in a new venue!

Happy reading!

2021 June/July Perfectly Paired PB’s

2021 June/July Perfectly Paired PB’s

This month’s reading for research post about picture book pairs on the ReFoReMo blog looks at sports, Pride, and 4th of July.

This new feature, Perfectly Paired Picture Books posts match mentor texts that represent the diverse audience who read the books we write based on similar story elements.

Celebrating Children’s Book Week May -9

Celebrating Children’s Book Week May -9

Let’s Play! Kidlit For Growing Minds is hosting a 7-DAY 9-BOOK ‘Two Truths and a Lie’ giveaway!

We’re celebrating Children’s Book Week on Twitter, May 3-9. To enter, reply to each author’s original tweet. US educators ONLY. Winner selected every 48 hours!

Check out our Twitter page, @ForGrowingMinds, where we will retweet but don’t forget to reply to the original author’s tweet. Join us!

2021 NEW! Reading For Research Blog

2021 NEW! Reading For Research Blog

New reading for research ReFoReMo blog feature! Perfectly Paired Picture Books posts will match mentor texts that represent the diverse audience who read the books we write based on similar story elements.

Click on the image to learn more and check out the books in this week’s ReFoReMo blog post.

Happy reading!

World Read Aloud Day 2021!

World Read Aloud Day 2021!

Happy World Read Aloud Day! I had a blast virtually visiting with students from the West Coast to the East Coast today. I enjoy interacting with curious kids.

And they never surprise me with their comments or questions!

These are from today:

“I’m a YouTuber, I know all about editing 24/7.”

“Do you get paid by each book you sell?”

🤣

I admit, I chuckled at the YouTuber but then asked for her name and wrote it down! You never know.

I got a WRAD Challenge from a friend to make a video about what I’m doing today. Here it is. Happy reading!

Happy Book Birthday to OPENING TH ROAD!

Happy Book Birthday to OPENING TH ROAD!

To celebrate OPENING THE ROAD: VICTOR HUGO GREEN AND HIS GREEN BOOK, I created a video using Doodly. And below the video find FREE content for curious kids I created to use with the book in the classroom.

I can’t wait to hit the road with Victor’s story. Let’s go!

The Classroom Bookshelf features NO VOICE TOO SMALL

The Classroom Bookshelf features NO VOICE TOO SMALL

So honored that The Classroom Bookshelf, an SLJ blog, wrote an extensive article on how to use NO VOICE TOO SMALL in the classroom to lift student voices! A great resource and extension to the book’s free activity guide.

Kings’ Day School Visit

Kings’ Day School Visit

It was a pleasure to have Keila V. Dawson speak to my Kindergarten class about her book The King Cake Baby! She really connected with my kids and had them saying words in French by the end of her visit.  She inspired us to write our own class book!” Elizabeth Gates, Kindergarten teacher, Rothenberg Academy, Cincinnati Public Schools.

On January 6th, the first day of Carnival, I had the pleasure of virtually visiting with Kindergarten students at Rothenberg Academy in Cincinnati. We compared Cincinnati to New Orleans and talked about things that are the same and different. Ok, mostly we talked about food!

And I read THE KING CAKE BABY. So happy to have inspired them to write their own stories, and I can’t wait to read them!

Mentor Text Talk: OPENING THE ROAD

Mentor Text Talk: OPENING THE ROAD

Today on the Reading for Research Month (ReFoReMo) blog, I share my post on how I used mentor texts to write OPENING THE ROAD: VICTOR HUGO GREEN AND HIS GREEN BOOK.

Click on the cover to read my post. While there, enter the giveaway!

Unboxing OPENING THE ROAD!

Unboxing OPENING THE ROAD!

Unboxing is popular among authors after receiving their author copies. So here’s my unboxing video of my new book releasing January 26, 2021!

OPENING THE ROAD: VICTOR HUGO GREEN AND HIS GREEN BOOK is the untold true story of the mail carrier who wrote the Green Book travel guides published from 1936 to 1966 that African Americans used to plan safe road trips & vacations when they didn’t have the freedom to go anywhere they wanted.

Beaming Books | ISBN: 978-1506467917
40 pages | ages 4-98

January 26, 2021

Pre-order wherever books are sold!

Bookshop | Blue Manatee Literacy Project | Beaming Books | Amazon | B&N

Lists, Lists, Lists

Lists, Lists, Lists

This time every year bloggers, book reviewers, libraries and bookstores release their lists of recommended books. What an honor to see NO VOICE TOO SMALL featured on so many lists! Follow the links or click on the pictures for names of other recommended titles.

Happy reading!

NO VOICE TOO SMALL made two Kirkus lists, Best Books of 2020 and Best Picture Books of 2020 About Small People in a Big World.

New and Forthcoming Social Justice Titles

Congratulations to all the Charlesbridge titles that made the Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2020!

Librarian Betsy Bird’s lists…

Book announcement news!

Book announcement news!

I am thrilled to announce Jeanette, Lindsay and I have a new book deal. The tenacious trio is at it again!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

I’m thrilled to support the Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 campaign as an Author Sponsor. Read reviews on January 29th!

From the publisher:

“Hungry? Check the Green Book. Tired? Check the Green Book. Sick? Check the Green Book.”

In the late 1930s when segregation was legal and Black Americans couldn’t visit every establishment or travel everywhere they wanted to safely, a New Yorker named Victor Hugo Green decided to do something about it. Green wrote and published a guide that listed places where his fellow Black Americans could be safe in New York City. The guide sold like hotcakes! Soon customers started asking Green to make a guide to help them travel and vacation safely across the nation too. With the help of his mail carrier co-workers and the African American business community, Green’s guide allowed millions of African Americans to travel safely and enjoy traveling across the nation. For grades K-3rd. Available in ebook and hardcover form.

Find more Author Sponsors at the MCBD blog.

Picture Books and Activism

Picture Books and Activism

Read my article about introducing kids to activism through picture books over at the Nerdy Books Club blog. It includes a list. Happy reading!

October 2020 Mentor Text Author Study: Margarita Engle

October 2020 Mentor Text Author Study: Margarita Engle

The October Mentor Text Author Study looks at Margarita Engle’s latest picture book about pianist Teresa Carreño. Celebrating Latinx Heritage!

Click the book cover to read the post. Happy writing!

My Writing Journey + GIVEAWAY!

My Writing Journey + GIVEAWAY!

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!

Available now!

Charlesbridge | ISBN: 978-1-6235-4131-6
40 pages | ages 5-9

Bookshop | Blue Manatee Literacy Project | Charlesbridge | Amazon | B&N

I’m planning giveaways for my forthcoming book too. Stay tuned!

Beaming Books | ISBN: 978-1506467917
40 pages | ages 4-8

Coming January 26, 2020

PRE-ORDER:

Bookshop | Blue Manatee Literacy Project | Beaming Books | Amazon | B&N

Happy Book Birthday NO VOICE TOO SMALL!

Happy Book Birthday 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)
  • Poetry (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.

Keila

Driving the Green Book Macmillan Podcast

Driving the Green Book Macmillan Podcast

Driving the Green Book is a brilliant podcast series hosted by Alvin D. Hall that explores travel and the Green Book during the era of legal segregation in the United States. Listen to stories from African Americans who used the guide to travel safely. And Hall makes connections to today’s events involving traffic stops and unfair treatment of Black travelers.

Read more about it and listen to the first episode at USA TODAY. And then subscribe!

September 2020 Mentor Text Study: Revisiting Tim McCanna

September 2020 Mentor Text Study: Revisiting Tim McCanna

In this month’s author study, I revisit master storytelling Tim McCanna. Click on the picture to see the post over at the Reading for Research blog!

OPENING THE ROAD: The Story Behind the Story

OPENING THE ROAD: The Story Behind the Story

OPENING THE ROAD is the true story behind the Green Book guide Black Americans used to travel safely during legal segregation and the mail carrier who wrote it. I was honored to reveal the cover of my upcoming release on author Tara Lazar’s blog. Click on the cover to see a sample spread from the book by the talented artist Alleanna Harris.

I also wrote about my inspiration, the story behind the story, and a little about my road to publication.

BEEP! BEEP! On our way, be there January 26, 2021!

And there’s a GIVEAWAY! Comment on the blog post to enter a chance to win a copy of OPENING THE ROAD: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book.

Beaming Books | ISBN: 978-1506467917
40 pages | ages 4-8

Pre-order wherever books are sold!

Bookshop | Blue Manatee Literacy Project | Beaming Books | Amazon | B&N

Kirkus STARRED Review!

Kirkus STARRED Review!

It is what it is. GOOD TROUBLE!

NO VOICE TOO SMALL got a star 🌟 from Kirkus Reviews! Click on the picture to read the review.


Thank you to the wonderful words by  Nikki GrimesCarole Boston WeatherfordTraci SorellCharles WatersHena KhanJanet WongJoseph Bruchac,Guadalupe Garcia McCallAndrea J. LoneyLesléa NewmanGreg NeriS. Bear Bergman, and Fiona Morris.  And to Charlesbridge Publishing, our editor Karen Boss and Literary Agent Emily Mitchell who represented us in this project.

We can’t wait to share this book with readers of all ages!

Reviews are coming in!

Reviews are coming in!

ALL THE FEELS! Check out this video review of NO VOICE TOO SMALL by Kirsten Williams Larson.🎤 Empower youth. They are are our future and our hope.

Check out other reviews by Kirsten on her YouTube channel where she dives deep into nonfiction books. Excuse me while I grab a tissue. 😭

SLJ Review: Inspiring!

SLJ Review: Inspiring!

What does the School Library Journal think of No Voice Too Small?

Pre-order your copy today!

Charlesbridge | ISBN: 978-1-6235-4131-6
40 pages | ages 5-9

Bookshop | Blue Manatee Literacy Project | Charlesbridge | Amazon | B&N

August 2020 Mentor Text Study: Revisiting Kevin Henkes

August 2020 Mentor Text Study: Revisiting Kevin Henkes

Revisiting author/illustrator Kevin Henkes today over at the Reading for Research blog. Imagery, repetition, and alliteration, oh, my!