It’s starting to get too nice to be inside reading on the weekend! While I’m doing heavy reading for the We The People list, my thoughts are turning to the garden. But because this is not that kind of blog, I’ll stick to what I’ve been reading lately.

I’ve got a few new articles on my desk about anthropomorphic animals and another about the importance of cultural identity to Black girl’s success. I’m continuing to research both of those areas. I have a presentation on Black girls coming up at ALA in June and I’ve got work to do on the economic value of Black girls in YA.

Another continuing project I have is reading  books to my grandbaby and saving them on YouTube videos. I currently have Old Dog Baby Dog by Julue Fogliano, Maria Had a Little Llama by Angela Dominguez and If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson all of which are cute stories that I think are just the right length to engage such a young child.

At my age, it’s about the eyes. I’d begun migrating more and more of my reading online, storing documents in Zotero and reading on my Nook or iPhone are even on my laptop IMG_1102but, I’m noticing by the end of the day my vision is getting blurrier and blurrier. I’m sure lens replacement surgery is in my future, but I’d like to delay that for a while. So, I’m reading more in print, making sure to wear my sunglasses and I’ve added Eye Care and Eye Protector to Chrome. It is so embarrassing to leave work see people not too far away and have no idea who they are because I can’t see them.

I’ve recently finished The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson and should get a review up this week. It’s been so long since I’ve read anything by Johnson that I’d forgotten what a talented writer he truly is.  As mentioned, I’m also reading for the We The People Summer Reading List, a list we consider as one centered on equity and social justice because it collates titles free of biases, stereotypes, microaggressions and misrepresentations. I finished a book for that last night and am in the middle of two that are my walking in the stacks books. #MeToo has us considering sexually abusive situations and toxic male behavior in the books for youth this year, something that I’m finding to be too common and unchecked in the narratives.

Every evening, I read a chapter or two of The Book of Joy :  Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Desmond Tutu, Dalia Lama and Douglas Carlton Abrams. That reading lifts my mind to a completely different space. This summer, I’ll again be leading a session with the Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity Workshop. We’ll read around the topic of science this year: the science of reading and some reading of science. I’ll be reading The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads by Daniel T. Willingham to prepare for that after I complete The Book of Joy and then, it’ll be In The Wake :  On Blackness and Being, a gift from Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas.

I have a ton of reading to do to prepare for my Spring, 2019 class on African American Youth Lit and would appreciate any and all suggestions either on content or pedagogy. I’m a bit nervous about the transition to teaching at the university level. I’m chipping away at Discussion as a way of teaching : tools and techniques for democratic classrooms  by Stephen D. Brookfield, Stephen Preskill and just began Brown Gold : Milestones of African American Children’s Picture Books, 1845 – 2002 by Michelle Martin.

A few recommendations:

We Can Do Better” by Cornelius Minor that argues it’s everyone’s duty to work for equity and justice.
“This kind of free emotional and intellectual labor is often expected of women and people of colorand it’s another form of oppression.”

Much Ado about A Fine Dessert: The Cultural Politics of Representing Slavery in Children’s Literature” by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Debbie Reese and Kathleen Horning.  A Children’s Literature Association’s award winner article

The Single Story of the Part-time Indian” on BookToss
“The fact that you do NOT know about anything besides Alexie’s books is your responsibility. You had one book and you stayed with it.”

Guest Interview: Dina Von Lowenkraft & SCBWI Bologna Illustration Gallery Winners 2018” I’m really enjoying Cynthia’s coverage of this event because her coverage is so thorough and because I hope to go there one day.

Sherman Alexie and the Longest Running #MeToo Movement in History (Updated)”
“Although data indicates that most of the perpetrators are non-Native, the outing of Alexie exposes a shameful open secret in Indian Country; our men are also guilty of using the privileges and protections of wealth, power, and social status to prey on people they perceive as vulnerable…For Native women, reporting one of our own adds a uniquely sickening challenge.”

Lena Waithe is Changing the Gameby Jacqueline Woodson. Need more?

“And still, this evening, as Lena and I talk across the table, over her truffle pasta and Sprite, and my burger and Cabernet, a deep reverence comes over us. Here we are now because Baldwin was there then. And I think about the young people who ran to their screens to watch Lena’s Master of None episode in which her character came out to her mother. How social media blew up with her thank-you speech at the Emmys. (“I love you all and, last but certainly not least, my L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. family. . . . The things that make us different, those are our superpowers.”) How her work is part of a continuum of people doing their work.”