An Origin Story

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 raisethemrighteous@gmail.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 raisethemrighteous@gmail.com.

How to use the blog: Scroll down, discover great books, buy the books, read the books!

Matt Mendez’s Barely Missing Everything

Barely Missing Everything

Matt Mendez’s emotionally demanding Barely Missing Everything (2019) explores the lives of working-class Mexican Americans living in El Paso, TX.  A teenage boy named Juan anchors the text, which focalizes his experiences as well as those of his mother, Fabi, and his best friend, JD.

Juan and JD are high school seniors planning life after high school, but just barely. They both have hazy visions of the future. JD, a film enthusiast, aspires to make movies and carries a camera wherever he goes. Juan, a high school basketball star on a mediocre team, doesn’t imagine himself doing anything else. Additionally, Fabi, a teen mom turned 30-something mom of a teenager, tends bar to make ends meet. Continue reading

Anika Aldamuy Denise’s Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Story Teller Pura Belpré (2019)

Written by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar, Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Story Teller Pura Belpré (2019), is an exceptional biography of New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian. In addition to accessibly and inventively capturing Pura’s story, the book provides a window into US history. It is also a timely tale of Arts-based activism that speaks to ongoing struggles to secure equal access to cultural representation. Continue reading

#Giveaway

I just reached over 2100 followers on my blog and over 2000 followers on Twitter – 4000+ total! To show my gratitude I’m giving away a couple righteous board books! To enter the giveaway follow me on Twitter @jlmiller516 and retweet the pinned post. The winner will receive both books – US only please. Winners will be drawn 4/17!

You Can BeFeminism is for Boys

Coming Soon: Isabel Sanchez Vegara’s Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi (Little People, BIG DREAMS)

Mahatma Gandhi, written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Albert Arrayas, will be available from Quarto Publishing Group – Frances Lincoln Children’s on April 30, 2019.  It is part of their Little People, Big Dreams series.

Arrayas’ captivating illustrations add a sense of whimsy to this picture book biography of Gandhi, a man deeply invested in justice. Continue reading