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Our "Don't Miss" Books of 2018 PART 1 with Paula Chase Hyman and Kelly Starling Lyons (The Children's Book Podcast #478)

December 17, 2018

CO-FOUNDERS OF THE BROWN BOOKSHELF RECOMMEND...   

 

Paula Chase Hyman (@PaulaChase) and Kelly Starling Lyons (@kelstarly) join on behalf of THE BROWN BOOKSHELF to share a collection of "don't miss" books from 2018. THE BROWN BOOKSHELF is a website and collective designed to push awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers. Their flagship initiative is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by Black creators. Paula Chase Hyman is an inclusion jedi and author of the novel SO DONE. Kelly Starling Lyons is a teaching artist and author of the JADA JONES series. They each have an innate interest in uplifting Black kidlit creators and so I was so excited to ask Paula and Kelly if they’d like to join me to share those “don’t miss” titles they’ve been recommending to friends, colleagues, and readers of all ages. And, lucky for us, they even brought a couple books just for you!

 

  

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Paula Chase-Hyman doesn’t mind being known as a Jane of all trades, Queen of none.But a single theme has followed throughout her career in communications—keeping her finger on the pulse of teen culture. From starting her own mentoring group at Annapolis Senior High School in ’94 to coaching her Green Hornet cheerleaders to Grand Champion (ahem, twice), Chase-Hyman refuses to squash her inner teen diva. Luckily, her long memory for all things young led to a career writing young adult novels.

Learn more about Paula at paulachasehyman.com

 

And purchase any one of Paula Chase Hyman's books for you, your readers, a friend, or a library HERE.

Kelly Starling Lyons began her journey to become a children's book author in her hometown of Pittsburgh. She learned the art of storytelling from her mom who took her to productions at a children's theater, wrote plays and made up bedtime tales. Her grandparents, who showed their imagination through cooking and gardening, taught her to honor the magic of history and home. Surrounded by creativity, Lyons began to write.

 

She curled up near the radiator behind her bedroom door and allowed her pen to take her to other worlds. A canopy of trees transformed into a make-believe fortress, backyards hid treasure and tunnels to faraway lands, bridges that crossed the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio rivers spanned distance and time.

 

Now a children's book author, her mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her books include chapter book, NEATE: Eddie's Ordeal; CCBC Choices-honored picture book One Million Men and Me; Ellen's Broom, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award Book and Junior Library Guild and Bank Street Best selection; Tea Cakes for Tosh and Hope's Gift, Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People and One More Dino on the Floor, a Scholastic Reading Club pick. Her chapter book series debuted in September 2017 with two titles - Jada Jones: Rock Star and Jada Jones: Class Act. Forthcoming 2019 titles include: Jada Jones: Sleepover Scientist, Jada Jones: Dancing Queen, Going Down Home with Daddy and Sing a Song.

Learn more about Kelly at kellystarlinglyons.com

 

And purchase any one of Kelly Starling Lyons's books for you, your readers, a friend, or a library HERE.

 

 

SHOW NOTES:

 

 

PAULA AND KELLY'S "DON'T MISS" BOOKS: 

Mommy's Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn

Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You

 

A young Muslim girl spends a busy day wrapped up in her mother’s colorful headscarf in this sweet and fanciful picture book from debut author and illustrator Jamilah Tompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn.

 

A khimar is a flowing scarf that my mommy wears.Before she walks out the door each day, she wraps one around her head.

 

A young girl plays dress up with her mother’s headscarves, feeling her mother’s love with every one she tries on. Charming and vibrant illustrations showcase the beauty of the diverse and welcoming community in this portrait of a young Muslim American girl’s life.

 

SEE ALSO: Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn (The Children's Book Podcast #439)

 

Like Vanessa by Tami Charles and Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Charlesbridge

 

Middle graders will laugh and cry with thirteen-year-old Vanessa Martin as she tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America.

 

In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin's real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with a mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa's view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn't need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.

 

Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story by Rita Lorraine Hubbard and John Holyfield

Lee & Low Books

 

Born into slavery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, William "Bill" Lewis learned the blacksmith trade as soon as he was old enough to grip a hammer. He proved to be an exceptional blacksmith and earned so much money fixing old tools and creating new ones that he was allowed to keep a little money for himself. With just a few coins in his pocket, Bill set a daring plan in motion: he was determined to free his family.

 

Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award, Hammering for Freedom tells the true story of one man's skill, hard work, and resolve to keep his family together.

 

Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender

Scholastic Press

 

Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child.

 

Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She's hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won't stop following her, and -- worst of all -- Caroline's mother left home one day and never came back.

 

But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline's luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline's first and only friend -- and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush.

 

Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother -- before Caroline loses her forever.

 

 Auntie Luceas Talking Paintings by Francie LaTour and Ken Daley

Groundwood Books

 

Every winter, a young girl flies to Haiti to visit her Auntie Luce, a painter.

 

The moment she steps off the plane, she feels a wall of heat, and familiar sights soon follow -- the boys selling water ice by the pink cathedral, the tap tap buses in the busy streets, the fog and steep winding road to her aunt's home in the mountains.

 

The girl has always loved Auntie Luce's paintings -- the houses tucked into the hillside, colorful fishing boats by the water, heroes who fought for and won the country's independence. Through Haiti's colors, the girl comes to understand this place her family calls home. And when the moment finally comes to have her own portrait painted for the first time, she begins to see herself in a new way, tracing her own history and identity through her aunt's brush.

 

Includes an author's note and a glossary.

 

Naomis Too by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick

Balzer + Bray

 

A heartfelt, sweet, social justice-themed ode to blended and unconventional families—perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia, Lisa Graff, and Sara Pennypacker.

 

In this sequel to Two Naomis, now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges.

 

Trusting her gut has worked for Naomi E. all her life, and she figures that it will be an asset to her role as a Peer Mediator—until she realizes how much of the job requires the Art of Compromise, which she’s only just starting to get used to at home.

 

Naomi Marie is excited about making new friends—but she wants to keep old ones too. And when she sees that some in the school community have a hard time with the realities of “diversity in action,” she wonders if the new members of her family can see those realities as well.

 

As the girls deal with the ups and downs of middle school and the mysteries of family dynamics, they learn that even when life and school try to drive you apart, it’s ultimately easier to face everything together.

 

Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan and R. Gregory Christie

Calkins Creek

 

This historical fiction picture book presents the story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final stand for justice before his assassination--when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest.

 

In February 1968, two African American sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in Memphis, Tennessee. Outraged at the city's refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. The strike lasted two months, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called to help with the protests. While his presence was greatly inspiring to the community, this unfortunately would be his last stand for justice. He was assassinated in his Memphis hotel the day after delivering his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" sermon in Mason Temple Church. Inspired by the memories of a teacher who participated in the strike as a child, author Alice Faye Duncan reveals the story of the Memphis sanitation strike from the perspective of a young girl with a riveting combination of poetry and prose.

 

SEE ALSO: Alice Faye Duncan (The Children's Book Podcast #475)

 

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

Greenwillow Books

 

Calling My Name is a striking, luminous, and literary exploration of family, spirituality, and self—ideal for readers of Jacqueline Woodson, Jandy Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Sandra Cisneros.

 

This unforgettable novel tells a universal coming-of-age story about Taja Brown, a young African American girl growing up in Houston, Texas, and deftly and beautifully explores the universal struggles of growing up, battling family expectations, discovering a sense of self, and finding a unique voice and purpose.

 

Told in fifty-three short, episodic, moving, and iridescent chapters, Calling My Name follows Taja on her journey from middle school to high school. Literary and noteworthy, this is a beauty of a novel that captures the multifaceted struggle of finding where you belong and why you matter.

 

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

 

A young man searches for answers after the death of his brother at the hands of police in this striking debut novel, for readers of The Hate U Give.

 

When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

 

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.

 

Tyler Johnson Was Here is a powerful and moving portrait of youth and family that speaks to the serious issues of today--from gun control to the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices by Wade Hudson (Editor) and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Editor)

Crown Books for Young Readers

 

Fifty of the foremost diverse children's authors and illustrators--including Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander--share answers to the question, "In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?" in this beautiful, full-color keepsake collection, published in partnership with Just Us Books.

 

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.

 

Featuring poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works from such industry leaders as Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (All American Boys), Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair), Sharon Draper (Out of My Mind), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Ellen Oh (cofounder of We Need Diverse Books), and artists Ekua Holmes, Rafael Lopez, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and more, this anthology empowers the nation's youth to listen, learn, and build a better tomorrow.

*This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will support the costs of maintaining the podcast, webcomic, and other materials associated with this site. 

 

 

SHOUT OUT TO OUR PATRONS!

 

Thank you, JENNY SUE, AMY, SARA, KATE, LISA, DARSHANA, MARIANNE, JARRETT, ANITRA, MIKE, LYNN, LINK, CORRINA, CYNTHIA, ELAINE, DOUG, JUDI, AMANDA, RUTH, LARA, TERESA, and others who are coming with me on this journey. You’re welcome to join us. Just visit Patreon.com/matthewcwinner and pick the support tier that’s right for you. All the hugs and high fives for all of the many, many ways all of out there listening support this show.

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