A few kids. A crash landing. An island that may or may not be inhabited (or possessed). It’s the stuff of a story we don’t seem able to stop telling.
William Golding’s 1954 version, Lord of the Flies, lives on in our collective imagination, resurfacing in songs by Iron Maiden and on random television shows like The Simpsons. Golding’s take was inspired by The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean, an 1858 book by R. M. Ballantyne. In Ballantyne’s version the kids who crash on the island are moralistic cherubs with a penchant for converting cannibalistic barbarians (yes, it is racist). Golding wasn’t buying the moral simplicity proffered by Ballantyne and created a dystopian parody emphasizing human nature as well as the relationship between humans and nature. Continue reading
Ruth Lehrer’s gritty realism is reminiscent of Dorothy Allison, as is her exploration of poverty, abuse, neglect, miraculously strong girls, and the failure and promise of family. But, Lehrer’s pace and unrelentingly complicated descriptions of young teen subjectivity set Bring Fishkill firmly within the field of YA literature.
*A few spoilers but nothing major.
Being Fishkill, by Ruth Lehrer, is the story of Carmel Fishkill, a thirteen-year old girl growing-up in poverty. Carmel is mistreated by both family and society. She spends the first twelve-years of her life in a rundown home with a violent grandfather and incapable mother. When her grandfather dies and her mother disappears, Carmel reinvents herself in order to survive. 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
The 2018 Nomination categories include:
Follow this link to nominate your favorite books in all our categories. You have until October 15th.
I’m a judge for Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books. Put me to work!
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My name is Jennifer Miller and I started Raise Them Righteous in July 2018 after giving a presentation about LGBTQ+ children’s picture books at the Children’s Literature Association’s annual conference. I wanted to connected with a larger audience and help educators, librarians, and caregivers find inclusive children’s picture books that represented racial, ethnic, religious, physical, mental, gender, and sexual diversity. As the mother of a now four-year-old child, I understand the importance of sharing diverse identities and ideas with young people. As an academic trained in literary and cultural studies, I understand the politics of culture, particularly children’s culture, as well as the important role it plays in early socialization.
Feel free to email recommendations, comments, and questions to email@example.com.
For Publishers and Authors: I review inclusive 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 6+ weeks to review picture books and 6+ months to review chapter books. Email me with requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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