My name is Jennifer and I’m a 30-something with a doctorate in Cultural Studies and a MA in Literary Studies. I also have a toddler. I didn’t give children’s picture books much thought until I was pregnant; until then my research focused on “grown-up” culture: films, literature, even pornography. But, as a Lefty mama with a PhD I understood the role cultural texts, like picture books, play in shaping how we perceive ourselves, the world, and all the people in it (and the animals, environments, ideas, ext.). I wanted the hours a week I knew we’d spend reading to help my child understand the most important lesson I think a parent can teach – you are good if you do good.
This blog reviews some of our favorite children’s books. I hope it helps other parents find awesome books! Feel free to email recommendations, comments, and questions to email@example.com.
For Publishers and Authors: I review diverse, LGBTQ* inclusive, and social justice themed children’s picture books, early chapter books, middle grade books, and young adult books. I prefer hard copies (especially for children’s picture books and graphic novels). But, I understand the cost can be prohibitive and accept E-books. *It is currently taking me 4 – 6 weeks to review picture books and 8 – 12 weeks to review MG and YA. Email me with requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to use the blog: Scroll down, discover great books, buy the books, read the books!
Jacob’s Room to Choose (2019), by Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman, reintroduces readers to Jacob, the protagonist of their 2014 children’s picture book Jacob’s New Dress.
In Jacob’s New Dress the protagonist shares his desire to wear a dress with his parents. They take a little convincing but are quite supportive; in fact, Jacob’s mom helps him sew a dress. Jacob does deal with bullying when he wears his new dress to school, but his best friend Sophie, a supportive girl who reappears in Jacob’s Room to Choose, stands up for him. Continue reading
One of the best things about book blogging is having access to Advanced Reader Copies of amazing books through NetGalley and, more directly, from authors and publishers. I am currently reading two amazing books for middle-grade readers, but I think both will be enjoyed by audiences 12 and up.
The first, Kwame Mbalia’s Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky will spark curiosity and excitement about African and African American folklore. It needs to be in every 6th grade+ classroom.
Tristan is a well developed complex character who young readers are sure to admire. He is brave even when he is scared and loyal even when he is annoyed. Mbalia’s descriptions of settings and artifacts are cinematic. I’m a reader and rarely think a book must be made into a film but this book must be made into a film. I want to see this movie. I want to see Tristan and Gum Baby and Brer Rabbit.
The second, Lindsay Lackey’s All the Impossible Things, uses subtle doses of magical realism to allow readers to access the protagonist, Red’s, inner thoughts. Red’s mom is in prison and she is bouncing around from foster home to foster home… so far. I’m only a few chapters in but felt compelled to declare my love!!
More on these books soon!
I just returned from the American Sociological Association annual meeting where I presented my chapter in the forthcoming collection I co-edited – The Dialectic of Digital Culture. My chapter, “Queering the Straight World?: Mommy Blogs, Queer Kids, and the Limits of Digital Advocacy,” is a case study of Lori Duron’s mommy blog RaisingMyRainbow.
Now I am back and ready to review the middle grade fiction I’ve been burying my head in on planes and buses for the last week! Stay tuned.
Perez Hilton’s The Boy with Pink Hair (2011) is a bubblegum pink drenched story of an exceptional pink-haired boy who is loved and supported by his family but bullied at school because of his unique appearance. The Boy with Pink Hair isn’t given a proper name, instead he is identified by the one thing that sets him about from everyone else.
Getting girls excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as recognizing structural barriers to the participation of women and girls in STEM fields, have been part of public discourse for awhile now. I’ve reviewed several children’s picture books that explore important contributions women have made to STEM fields, including books written by Julia Finley Mosca for Innovation Press’ Amazing Scientists series about Patricia Bath and Temple Grandin. Other available books seek to make STEM accessible and exciting to young readers while prompting them to imagine themselves as creators. Picture books that take that strategy include Josh Funk’s How to Code a Sandcastle and Laura Roettiger’s Aliana Reaches for the Moon.
It’s my one year blogiversary!
I started RaiseThemRighteous a year ago with a review of Jessica Love’s Julian is a Mermaid.
It was about a month after I attended the Children’s Literature Association’s 2018 conference and I wanted to share my research about queer children’s picture books with a larger audience. At the conference I met with an editor from the University Press of Mississippi who was interested in publishing my work. I’ve since signed a contract with Mississippi and my book about queer children’s picture books should be out Spring 2021. As excited as I was, and am, to publish academic work, it’s also very important to me that I have an audience outside academia. I want this audience to include parents, educators, librarians, and of course, queer kids, who need the books I research and review! I’ve since reviewed over 100 queer children’s books all of which can be found on my blog under “Snapshots of LGBTQ Kid Lit.” Continue reading
Authors: Erin Twamley and Joshua Sneideman
Illustrator: A Collective
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
If asked to name STEM careers many of us will immediately form a mental image of an astronaut, maybe even a paleontologist or zoologist, but few of us are likely to imagine many of the careers explored in Everyday Superheroes Women in STEM Careers (2019). These careers include virtual-world creator, cartographer, environmental lawyer, and machine learning engineer. This book provides a much-needed look at a variety of science, technology, math, and engineering jobs as well as women’s contributions to them. Continue reading