Just last month, the American Library Association presented their annual Youth Media Awards, which include many notable awards for children’s and young adult literature. Among many awards presented were the Newbery Award for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children,” (ALA, 2017), the Caldecott Award for “the artist of the most distinguished American picture book,” (ALA, 2017), and the Coretta Scott King Award for the “African American author and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions” (ALA, 2017).
Join the third annual African American Read-In on Friday, February 24, noon-6:00 p.m. in the Dixie Marie Wooten Commons Area in Hodges Library (next to Starbucks). Students, faculty, staff, administrators—all are invited to read an excerpt from a favorite book by an African American author.
I have a colleague, a fellow doctoral student, who teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) full time at a local middle school. Recently she has shared stories of her students and their brave journeys from their homelands to this country. She speaks on their behalf—to represent their marginalized voices at a time when those students might feel unrepresented. Reading children’s and young adult literature with children can promote fruitful dialogues about this difficult topic (Stewart, 2015). Additionally, reading children’s and YA literature can foster empathy, understanding, and the desire to create safe, welcoming spaces. When used for refugee students, reading children’s and young adult literature can provide an opportunity to see themselves in a book. When g