What I’m reading this week
It’s all about Sibert reading this week, and I can’t tell you what those books are!

The committee meets this week to determine who will receive this year’s Sibert medal. The 2020 Youth Media Award announcements will take place on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, at 8 a.m. ET from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Philadelphia. Follow the action live at

I’ve got some pretty amazing plans for Black History Month, including a quilt block exchange. This will involve individuals creating a quilt block that will incorporate one pre-selected fabric. There may be other fabrics in the block you create, but this one fabric must be in the block. What will the fabric be? There’s still time to vote using this post linked here. More information on this project will be coming soon.

Jason Reynolds succeeds Jacqueline Woodson as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The platform for his two-year reign will be “GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story.” Reynolds will partner with StoryCorps, an audio archive housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, to record interviews with students while on tour.

“My mission is to take a different approach: Instead of explicitly encouraging young people to read, my goal is to get them to see the value in their own narratives — that they, too, have a story, and that there’s power not just in telling it, but in the opportunity to do so,” said Reynolds, a resident of New York City. “I’m excited to create spaces around the country for this to happen — spaces where young people can step into their voices and become their own ambassadors.”

Reynolds explains. More:

Yesterday on American Indians in Children’s Literature, Michael Thompson (Muscogee Creek Nation) explains why he does not recommend Rebecca Roanhorse’s Race to the Sun. “Although my primary conflict with RTTS is its failure to observe traditional boundaries that normally protect cultural narratives from appropriation, I will note briefly that there are some unusually problematic internal inconsistencies in the narrative and in some characterization.”  more

The American Library Association appoints Traci E. Hall as its new Executive Director. “Hall is no stranger to libraries or to ALA. Over the years she has worked at the Seattle Public Library, the New Haven (Conn.) Free Public Library, Queens (N.Y.) Public Library, and Hartford (Conn.) Public Library. In 1998, she was among the first cohort of ALA’s Spectrum Scholars, a grant program to diversify librarianship, and she served as the director of ALA’s Office for Diversity in the early 2000s.

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“Most recently, Hall directed the culture portfolio at the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, developing new grant programs designed to catalyze and scale neighborhood-based arts venues, cultural programming, and creative entrepreneurship.” more:

Screen Shot 2020-01-19 at 6.05.44 PMIf you’re missing Ebony Elizabeth Thomas on Twitter, then don’t miss her  blogged insights. Without that 140 character limit, her thoughts are even sharper, more nuanced and personal.

“I am not sure that I’m that far evolved. I am still grappling with the idea that I am not toxic, Black womanhood thwarted, twisted, and shaped into an intellectual spear, branches and buds pruned away, acorn girlhood far behind me…

How can I possibly not be toxic when the reality I find myself in requires me to slash a path through it daily?” more

Yes, indeed waking is a process.

Textbooks stay in the news because they facilitate one of the ways we fall short in educating students. Most recently, there’s the NY Times article that illustrates the political based differences between history textbooks in California and Texas. It’s up to individuals to make a different. When Isabelle Doerre-Torres learned about the US involvement in El Salvador’s civil war and how this type of involvement has led to immigration from Central American to the US, the high school senior decided that her capstone project wout be to build a new curriculum. “The curriculum pays particular attention to Central America, where the U.S. funded state repression, massacres, and even genocide. An estimated 200,000 Guatemalans were killed in the country’s civil war from 1960 to 1996. Most of the victims were indigenous Mayans.” more

I cannot end with any more exciting than sharing the news that the #DisruptTexts team will have a new column for English Journal, “the official journal for secondary educators published by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).”

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“This column is dedicated to supporting teachers who are committed to engaging themselves and their students in critical work that disrupts policies and curricula. The time for action and for dismantling and rebuilding our instructional practices toward justice is now. How have you engaged in any of the #DisruptTexts principles? What impact has your work had on students? What challenges have you faced, and how did you address these challenges?” more

New IPOC releases        19-25 January