2019 was a wonderful year for Raise Them Righteous! I’ve reviewed over 200 books since beginning my blog in June 2018. 125 of those reviews are of LGBTQ+ children’s picture books! I am so happy to bring more attention to diverse, inclusive, social justice-oriented books for young people! My blog has over 4500 followers and my Twitter account has an additional 4000. I hope to grow my followers in 2020 as I continue to review excellent books!
In 2019 I participated in Multicultural Children’s Book Day and will participate again at the start of 2020. I also participated in the Cybils Awards again! This time as a Round One Judge for the Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category. I stepped a bit out of my comfort zone and read some amazing middle grade books! I hope to participate again in 2020.
In 2020 I will continue to review picture books, middle grade, and young adult literature with a focus on LGBTQ+ content. I’m finishing my book project about LGBTQ+ children’s picture books this spring and it will come out spring 2021! The project is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi.
I’ve made so many great author/publisher connections this past year and am continuing to learn about more great books. As a result, I plan on expanding my reviews to include English-language children’s picture books that focus on global cultures, including religion, food, geography, and day-to-day life. Although I’ve posted some reviews of books that fall into this category I will be making it a focus in the coming year!
Thanks so much for following my blog! I appreciate your support.
Jennifer Miller, PhD
Greg van Eekhout’s Cog (2019) is a surprisingly philosophical middle-grade novel featuring emotionally proficient robots, maniacal scientists, and hotdog eating challenges. The title character, Cog, was created to help scientists research cognitive development. On the outside Cog looks like a brown-skinned twelve-year-old boy, but he’s all metal and wire on the inside. Continue reading
Written by Jane Severance and illustrated by Tea Schook, When Megan Went Away (1979), is the first book about lesbian moms published in the US. It was published by Lollipop Power, Inc., a small feminist press deeply invested in producing children’s picture books that challenged gender stereotypes as well as the absence of lesbian and gay representation in children’s culture. Continue reading
Published by Two Lives Publishing, The Different Dragon (2006), was written by Jennifer Bryan and illustrated by Danamarie Hosler. Hosler’s warm illustrations pair well with Bryan’s sweet story of a little boy, Noah, his sister, many pets, and two moms. Continue reading
Today I was matched with a book for my Multicultural Children’s Book Day review. I’m so excited to participate. Look for my upcoming review of Art Coulson’s Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army!
Written by Christine A. Emery and illustrated by Kellie R. Emery, The Black Cloud Blues does the important work of acknowledging childhood depression. In doing so it makes a valuable contribution to children’s literature. Kellie Emery’s deliberate illustrations provide access to the unnamed narrator’s feelings as he takes readers on a journey into his experience with depression. Continue reading
Elise Gravel’s board book, You Can Be, subtly rejects gender stereotypes while introducing very young readers to a range of characteristics through images of diverse children embodying them.
Steely-blue and bright-red images leap off the glossy-white background of each page. The cover features the back of a young child with light-brown skin and long black hair running in a garden. It sets the tone for the text, welcoming young readers into the book to explore all the things they can be. Continue reading
This Makes Me Sad, written by Courtney Carbone and illustrated by Hilli Kushnir, is one of several books in Rodale Kids’ Dealing with Feelings series. This easy reader does a great job teaching emotional literacy through simple sentences that build an accessible and engaging story about a boy and his lost dog.
The story is told in the first-person by a little boy who accidentally left the gate on his fence open, which allowed his dog, Kit, to escape. His parents try to reassure him that everything will be okay, but he is anxious and sad. Continue reading
I’ve been reviewing children’s picture books exclusively, but I’m going to expand into YA with a review of Chandra Prasad’s Damselfly – coming soon!