That silly school board in Colorado got me feeling especially proud of young people – and also appreciative about my great day this Friday. While their school board continued to pit patriotism against informed thought in its AP History classes, I was surrounded by people who dedicate their lives to doing the opposite.
I got to teach a workshop with the fabulous Duncan Tonatiuh, where we both discussed our writing/creation process and how we bring difficult topics to young people. Here’s a video that fourth graders did in honor of his award-winning picture book, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale.
Just after the workshop, I got to peruse the children’s and YA collection at Busboys and Poets in DC, hands-down the most diverse offerings I have come across in our area. If you’re serious about including all points of view, this is the place to be. I was especially fond of the free downloadable lessons and books lists available through Teaching for Change.
Met the wise women who wrote Parrots Over Puerto Rico (Lee and Low), this year’s winner of the Las Américas Award. They had the nerve to write a nonfiction book without a single photograph and without even putting the title on the book cover. That, plus a look at the ga-billion scissors and scraps of paper that it took to make all those collage parrots makes me bow low in respect. ¡Felicidades, Susan and Cindy!
Toured the Children’s Literature Center at the Library of Congress for the first time. (This is different from the Young Readers Center that I have talked about here before.) At the CLC, you can meet with a librarian and study children’s books from every era. My friend Edwin Fontanez called it a candy store for adults who adore kids books – and he’s right. Free and open to the public, by the way.
Met many of the amazing librarians and educators who are part of CLASP, a consortium of colleges and other educational groups that offer Latin American studies – and which collectively support the Las Américas Award each year. (Note to my editorial friends: Nominations for next year’s award ARE OPEN NOW. Don’t forget to submit your titles!)
And now, it’s Saturday, so you know what? I’m going to walk the dog and rest! More soon.