Hudson (Frozen) River

frozen Hudson River
frozen Hudson River

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Announcing the 2009 New Voices Award Honor winner!

Lee & Low books New Voices Award Honor sealThis fall, we read over 100 picture book manuscripts submitted to the New Voices Award, our annual contest for unpublished writers of color. Thank you to everyone who submitted, and congratulations to Tiare Williams Solorzano, winner of this year’s New Voices Award Honor!

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Video Thursday: The Promised Land

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Gregory Brothers created a musical remix of his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, delivered the night before his assassination in April 1968.

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Poll: MLK Day

Welcome back after the long weekend! Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day is an important one, reminding us of this great man, how far we have come since he had a dream, and how far we still have to go. It’s also a nice opportunity to relax and, for many of us, enjoy a day off.

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Gracias • Thanks wins a Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor!

Gracias • Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra, has been awarded Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor!

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This Week in Diversity: Help for Haiti and an Unfair World

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Haiti, and those with family or friends there. Remember when giving to relief efforts that only nonprofits who already have operations in Haiti are situated to give immediate assistance. Aid Watch brings an explanation of why this is the case and suggestions for how to respond, and the U.S. State department is offering a super-easy way to donate: “text ‘HAITI’ to ‘90999’ and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.” Via Ta-Nahisi Coates, Haitian American Evan Narcisse writes about what Haiti means to him, and about its role as the first black republic and fusion of art forms that makes it an amazing place.

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Are Asian Students Smarter?

A CNN report looks at the success of Asian American students in high school:

There are a few good things it brings up, in addition to looking at nurture (culture, parental influence) instead of just nature (genetics, biology), like the fact that test-taking and intelligence aren’t perfectly correlated. Perhaps most importantly, it points out the vast diversity with the group we call “Asian American”; Asia is huge, and Asian Americans come from a variety of cultures with their own expectations, priorities, and assumptions. It’s a helpful reminder that labels tell part of the story but never the whole story.

A Different Kind of Book Art

We talk a lot about art in books and on books—covers, more covers, and illustrations. Art that’s part of the book. But what if we go in the other direction?

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This Week in Diversity: Here, There, Everywhere

Welcome back! We’re still getting used to writing “2010” instead of “2009,” but it’s time for the year’s inaugural issue of This Week in Diversity.

Harlem and its demographic shifts have been the talk of the town lately, starting with a NYTimes piece, “No Longer Majority Black, Harlem Is in Transition,” looking at Harlem’s history from 1910 through recent changes. That’s followed by “#gentrification,” in which a former urban planner for Manhattan Community Board 10—Harlem, basically—talks about Harlem in the ’90s, the difference between the neighborhood of Harlem and the idea of Harlem, and the good side of gentrification. Ta-Nahisi Coates agrees, and goes on to discuss African Americans deciding how and where to live.

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Westerns and Modern Movies

Here’s a great look at the portrayal of Native Americans in classic Hollywood movies:

They do a great job highlighting the portrayal of American Indians as violent, uncivilized, and animalistic, and the effect that has on Native American moviegoers. I did notice, though, that all the movies they showed were fairly old, and that such blatant racist rhetoric would have a harder time now. But does that mean the problem has actually gone away, or has Hollywood just stopped portraying Indians at all, negatively or positively? Or have more subtle, insidious stereotypes slipped in to take the place of what we see here?

Exploring Children's Books Through the Lens of Diversity