Happy New Year!

Image result for happy new year books image2019 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

 

Natalie Lloyd’s Over the Moon (2019)

Over the MoonNatalie Lloyd’s Over the Moon (2019) will have readers immediately rooting for Mallie, the middle-grade fantasy novel’s twelve-year-old protagonist. Mallie lives with her parents and younger brother in Coal Top, a bleak town where joy is scarce. Coal Top’s inhabitants have no hope for a better future. Serving inhabitants of the wealthy valley below is the only option for girls and boys must work in coal mines where they eventually lose their sight, like Mallie’s father. Mallie has already begun serving a family in the valley but she is fiercely protective of her young brother and will do whatever she can so he can avoid toiling in the coal mines. Continue reading

Pat Cummings’ Trace

TraceA series of interrelated events assemble to create a haunting tale of intergenerational salvation in Pat Cummings’ debut middle-grade novel Trace. The title character loses his loving parents in a car crash that he miraculously survives and mistakenly blames himself for causing.

Trace moves to Brooklyn to live with his aunt, Lea, an artsy and kind woman who doesn’t have much experience with children but makes up for it with compassion. Continue reading

Aida Salazar’s The Moon Within

Aida Salazar’s The Moon Within features a beautifully dimensional cast of Latinx characters who are evocatively brought to life through her poetic vignettes. However, at its core the book is a coming-of-age story about 11-year-old Celi Rivera, a shy and sensitive black Puerto Rican Mexican American girl.

Celi desires privacy and a skater boy named Iván’s attention. Her mother, on the other hand, confuses her shyness for shame, and demands her blushing pre-teen celebrate her changing body in a moon ceremony, far more publicly than she would like. Celi’s father teaches world music and isn’t as excited at the thought of his little girl growing up. Additionally, Celi has a little brother, Juju, who respects her privacy about as much as her mom does. Continue reading

Cybils Awards 2019

Screenshot_2019-09-23 Cybils Awards Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary AwardsI’m excited to announce I am participating in the Cybils Awards again this year. This time as a Round One Judge in the Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category!

Cybils Awards Mission

The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.

Check back for reviews after October 1st when book nominations start pouring in! In fact, you should prepare to nominate your favorites! I know I will. Find out how.