With the clock rolling back an hour this week, we’re moving toward the heart of winter.


This meme that I recently picked up urges us to change our perspective on this time of year and that sentiment may be particularly useful in the upcoming months when we continue to be inside and physically distanced from others more than we might like. I’m that weird introvert who loves the cold as much as my solitude, but I’m realizing that people do need people! This summer I really enjoyed running into different friends at the garden and I’m really appreciating my nephew for pulling the family together every few weeks to play online games. Last night, it was Among Us! These seemingly little things become like our lights. I feel for you extroverts who really need people!

These long nights are time to slow down and shift our perspective. Maybe even count our blessings as technology gives many of us an abundance of light and warmth.

I’m intrigued by the Danish concept of friluftsliv or “open air living”, being as comfortable outside as inside, even in the winter. I particularly like that this promotes our well-being as humans, not consumers.

Our humanity requires pauses, breaks and sometimes revolutions.

If you missed it:

  • Crystal Allen, Co-Director, shares her vision for Kindling Words Retreat on Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog, Cynsations: “I’m extremely excited to be a part of a new Think Tank that will explore the tough questions around discrimination, diversity and healing. This will not be a “one and done” event. KW chooses to continue these tough conversations every year in an effort to promote healing in our literary community.” read
  • Matthew Winner interviews Zetta Elliott on The Children’s Book Podcast and she discusses her most recent release, A Place Inside me. This picture book is filled with words and art that will help all ages of Black youth find solace inside themselves and in their communities. listen
  • Kimberly N. Parker joins Dr. Jacqueline Douge on the podcast “What Is Black?” to discuss disrupting “classic” texts that are taught in schools. “How can we not be so attached to how things used to be? And for many of us who have taught in broken systems, we don’t want to go back to the way it was. We have this moment, if we are brave, really to say ‘ I don’t want to teach that text. Kids don’t need that text right now and this is what I’m going to do’.” listen

still to come:

  • Lucasfilm is making educational resources freely available to teachers, students, and families. The feature-length documentaryDouble Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War is now available on YouTube. A educational guide is available. watch a preview
  • Monday 2 Nov, ELA Education Julia Torres addresses curating collections of inclusive book titles, countering censorship within communities, and responsible use of digital media. register
  • Sunday 8 Nov Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) school librarians discuss their unique programming, service, and employment opportunities in private schools. It sounds like a way for any instruction library to find ways to innovate their own work from Maegen Rose (Twitter @librarianMaegs), Jean Darnell (Twitter @AwakenLibrarian) and Adrienne Almeida (Instagram: @fs.library). register
  • 15 Nov: The Brown Bookshelf will post the newest installation in their Generations Book Club. The monthly program grew beyond being just a summer reading event that “raises awareness of Black children’s book creators, nurture literacy skills, foster community and show that Black books are in demand.”

to do:

  • Are you sure the ALSC and YALSA media award committees are reading the books you believe deserve award consideration this year? Offer concrete reasons why you’re suggesting the book, your reason may be something they’ve not considered. Please! Visit the pages for the appropriate award and send them your suggestion. Don’t assume anything!
  • Call your teacher friends, just say hello. Or, be brave and ask what you can do to support them and their students this year.
  • We never know what tomorrow will bring, a future is never promised. But, we can hope. Next week, let’s keep hope alive.

Be well and do good!