Monday, February 28, 2011

Something Like Democracy: 20 Kinds of Detergent

We Have Chosen Hope Over Fear by M.A. Reilly

When I read Nick Kristof's Unfit for Democracy, in the Sunday NY Times -- it really resonated. In the column (and I urge you to click on the link and read it), Kristof outlines not only why the Middle East is "mature enough" for democracy (their extraordinary courage), but also makes quite clear that by asking the very question, we show our ignorance and prejudice.  He writes: "I'm awed by the courage I see, and it's condescending and foolish to suggest that people dying for democracy aren't ready for it."

Yet, the question (and I am going to suggest only a question an empire could ask) is not whether or not people who are willing to die will be able to develop and manage democracy, but whether those of us who come by our democracy not through any self-sacrifice or conviction, are cognizant of the responsibilities that accompany democratic states?

Kristof's description of the people he has met (double amputee who rolled his wheel chair to the front line of the Cairo demonstrations or the former political prisoners in Bahrain who were told they must confess or their wives would "promptly be raped") show that their courage is a formidable force. It also made me wonder about my life here in the States and if any of my neighbors or me would sacrifice as greatly as the people in the Middle East are doing. 

Am I willing to die for democracy? Am I willing to not simply complain to my spouse or neighbors about undemocratic practices, laws, and policies in the country where I live, but am I willing to take action? Is the limit of my action signing a Move On petition? Am I so removed from questioning the absence and presence of democracy I and others experience, that my level of conviction is difficult to know? What policies does my government act on that cause me shame?  What actions have Presidents taken that jeopardize, limit, or corrupt our or others' democratic process? What laws have the Supreme Court upheld, that I know are unjust?  What actions have Congressional representatives embraced and acted upon, that I know to be cruel and unjust to some? With what voice do I speak and to whom? What civic responsibilities do I accept and act on?

Someone recently told me that we (in the United States) have confused having 20 different types of detergent in an aisle in the local Stop & Shop with democracy.  A few years ago I posted a brief essay that examined democracy and consumerism.  I repost it here:

Centuries ago, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:
In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.
Wondering what you think about this? Is democracy and its roles and responsibilities palpable forces in your life, in your community, in your country? 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Recommended Books for High School

Mirror & Window Books
 Alexie, Sherman. 2007. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little Brown.
Budhos, Marina. 2007. Ask Me No Questions. NY: Simon Pulse.
Cardenas, Teresa. 2006. Letters to My Mother. Translated by David Unger. Toronto: Groundwood Books.
--------------------. 2006. Cartas a mi mama. Toronto: Groundwood Books.
Combres, Elisabeth. 2011. Broken Memory: A Novel of Rwanda. Toronto:  Groundwood Books.
de la Pena, Matt. 2010. Mexican WhiteBoy. NY: Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
Herrera, Juan Felipe. 1999. CrashBoomLove: A Novel in Verse. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.
Jaramillo, Ann. 2006. La Linea. New Milford, CT: Roaring Brook Press.
Luen, Gene. 2006. American Born Chinese. New York: First 
Quinonez, Ernesto. 2000. Bodega Dreams: A Novel. NY: Vintage.
1. Beyond Plot: Vignettes & Writer's Notebooks
Alvarez, Julia. 2010. How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents.NY: Algonquin Books.
Bradbury, Ray. 1985. Dandelion Wine. New York: Bantam Books.
Cisneros, Sandra. 1991. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage.
Cofer, Judith Ortiz. 1996. An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio. NY: Puffin.
Herrera, Juan Felipe. 2002. Notebooks of a Chile Verde Smuggler. Phoenix: University of Arizona Press. 
Myers, Walter Dean. 2010. Lockdown. NY: Amistad.
------------------------. 2001. 145th Street: Short Stories. New York: Laurel Leaf.
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. 1993. Make Lemonade. New York: Henry Holt.

2. Exploring the Essay
Baca, Jimmy Santiago. 1994. Working in the Dark: Reflections of a Poet from the Barrio. Santa Fe, NM: Red Crane Books.
Baxter-Stoltzfus, Amelia. 2009. “Returning to What’s Natural.” This I Believe.
Disney, Stephanie. 2008. Seeing with the Heart. This I Believe essay.
Dunsworth, Holly. 2008. I Believe Evolution. This I Believe Essay.
Gallagher, Hugh. 1990. College Essay. Harper's Magazine, p. 36.  (Very funny).

Gutierrez, Thelma and Wayne Dresh. 2008. Girl from Iconic Depression Photo: "We Were Ashamed" . 12.3.2008.
Hogan, Linda (Chickasaw). 2007. Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World. NY:
W.W. Norton.
Kingsolver, Barbara. 2003. Small Wonder: Essays. NY: Harper.
"Migrant Mother, 1936" Eyewtness to History.
Orlean, Susan (Ed.). 2005.  The Best American Essays. Boston: Houghton.
Redsand, Anna S. 2006. Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living. NY: Clarion Books.
Stone, Lucy. Disappointment Is the Lot of Women. ClassZone. 1855.
This I Believe essays from NPR
Urrea, Luis Alberto. 2004. The Devil’s Highway: A True Story. New York: Little Brown.

3. Because the Environment Matters

Abbey, Edward. 1990. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. Drawings by Peter Parnall. NY: Touchstone.
Berry. Wendell. 1996. The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture. Sierra Book Clubs.
Carson, Rachel. 1962/2002. Silent Spring. Boston: Mariner Book.
Dillard, Annie. 2007. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. NY: Harper.

Harr, Jonathan. 1996. A Civil Action. NY: Vintage.
Jacons, Jane. 1961/1992. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. NY: Vintage.Leopold, Aldo. 1986. A Sand County Almanac.NY: Ballantine.
Lopez, Barry. 2004. Field Notes: The Grace Note of the Canyon Wren. NY: Viking.
---------------. 1989. Crossing Open Ground. NY: Vintage.
McKibben, Bill. 2006. The End of Nature. NY: Random House.
Momaday, N. Scott (Kiowa-Cherokee). 1976. The Way to Rainy Mountain. University of New Mexico Press.
Powers, Richard. 2009. Gain: A Novel. NY: Picador.
Smith, Kimberly K. 2007. African American Environmental Thought: Foundations. Wichita, KA: University Press of Kansas.
Suzuki, David. 1997/2007. The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature. Vancouver: Greystone Books.

From: Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea.

Text to World
Delisle, Guy. 2005. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea. Translated by Helge Dascher. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly.
Jansen, Hanna. 2006. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda.
Kubert, Joe. 1998. Fax from Sarajevo. Milwaukee, OR: Dark Horse Comic.
Siddiqui, Haroun. 2008. Being Muslim (Groundwork Guides). Tornoto: Groundwood Books.

Creating Visual Images
Translated by Tomás H. Lucero and Liz Fania Werner.

Saco, Joe. 2010. Footnotes in Gaza. NY: Metropolitan
Satrapi, Marijane. 2004. Persepolis.
Stafford, William. 1994. The Darkness Around Us is Deep. NY: Harper.
Wilson, August. 1988. Joe Turner's  Come and Gone. NY: Plume.

Asking Questions
Bruchac, Joseph (Abenaki). 1999. No Borders. Duluth, MN: Holy Cow Press.
Libura, Krystyna, Claudia Burr and Maria Cristina Urrutia. 1997.  Broken Shields. Toronto: Groundwood Books.
Merrell, Billy. 2003. Talking in the Dark: A Poetry Memoir. NY: Push.
Osa, Nancy. 2005. Cuba 15. NY: Delacorte.
Rosoff, Meg. 2006. How I Live Now. New York: Wendy Lamb Books.

A Chance of Sunshine (Creative Editions)Making Inferences
Lester, Julius. 1998. Othello. New York: Scholastic.
Liao, Jimmy. 2003. Chance of Love. NY: Hallmark.
---------------. 2000. A Chance of Sunshine. Creative Education.
Lightman, Alan. 2004. Einstein's Dreams (6th printing ed.). NY: Viking.
Small, David. 2010. Stitches. NY: Norton.
Smith. Sheri L. 2010. Flygirl. NY: Speak.
Spiegelman, Art. 1986. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History. New York: Pantheon.

Determining Importance
Heiligman, Deborah. 2009.  Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith. NY: Henry Holt.
Hemphill, Stephanie. 2010. Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials. Kindle Edition.
Miller, Arthur. 2003. The Crucible. NY: Penguin (Kindle Edition).
Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. 2009. Last Night I Sang to the Monster. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.

Alvarez, Julia. 2004. Before We Were Free. New York: Laurel Leaf.
----------------. 2004. Antes de ser libres. New York Laurel Leaf.
Anaya, Rudolfo. 1972. Bless Me Ultima. NY: Warner Books.
Laxer, James. 2006. Empire. Toronto, Ontario: Groundwood Books.
Springer, Jane. 2007. Genocide. Toronto, Ontario: Groundwood Books.
Vonnegut, Kurt. 1999. Slaughterhouse-Five. New York: Dial.

Sensational Second Grade Books

Mirror & Window Books
Dole, Mayra L. 2004. Birthday in the Barrio. Illustrated by Tonel. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.
Frame, Jeron Ashford. 2003. Yesterday I Had the Blues. Illustrated by R. Gregory Chrisite. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle.
Greenfield, Eloise. 1996. Night on Neighborhood Street. Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. New York: Puffin.
Greenfiled, Eloise. 2011. Brothers and Sisters: Family Poems. Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist NY: Harper Collins.
Hallworth,  Grace. 2011. Down by the River: Afro-Caribbean Rhymes, Games, and Songs for Children. Illustrated by Caroline Binch. NY: Frances Lincoln Children's Books.
Herrera, Juan Felipe. 2004. Featherless/ Desplumado. Illustrated by Ernesto Cuevas, Jr. San Francisco: Children's Book Press
Jam, Teddy. 1997. The Fishing Summer. Illustrated by Ange Zhang. Toronto: Groundwod Books.
Khan, Rukhsana. 2010. Big Red Lollipop. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. NY: Viking.
Kirk, Connie Ann. 2004. Sky Dancers. Illustrated by Christy Hale. New York: Lee & Low.
Lacamara, Laura. 2010. Floating on Mama's Song/Flotando en la cancion de mama. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales. NY: Katherine Tegen Books.
Pilkey, Dav. 1999. The Paperboy. New York: Orchard.
Thompson, Colin. 2008. The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness. La Jolla, CA: Kane/Miller Book Publishers.
Text Sets

1. Celia Cruz
Brown, Monica. 2004. My Name Is Celia:! The Life of Celia Cruz/Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz. Illustrated by Rafael López.! Flagstaff, AZ: Luna Rising.
Chambers, Veronica. 2005. Celia Cruz: Queen of Salsa. Illustrated by Julie Maren. New York: Dial.
Da Colo, Ivar. 2005. Azucar. NY: Lectorum Publications.
Sciurba, Katie. 2007. Oye, Celia! A Song for Celia Cruz. Illustrated by Edel Rodriguez. NY: Henry Holt.

2. Homelessness
Bunting, Eve. 1993. Fly Away Home. Illustrated by Ronald Himler. NY: Sandpiper.
Disalvo-Ryan, Dyanne. 1997. Uncle Wilie and Soup Kitchen. NY: HarperCollins.
Gunning, Monica. 2004. A Shelter in Our Car. Illustrated by Elaine Pedlar. San Francisco: Children's Book Press.
Hazen, Barbara Shook.  1983. Tight Times. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. NY: Puffin Books.
McGovern, Ann. 1999. The Lady in the Box. Illustrated by Marni Backer. NY: Turtle Books.
Smothers, Ethel Footman. 2003. The Hard-Times Jar. Illustrated by John Holyfield. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Rosen, Michael. 1992. Home: A Collaboration of Thirty Authors and Illustrators of Children's Books to Aid the Homeless. NY: HarperCollins.

3. Songs, Rhyme and Stories
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. 2006. Shake It, Morena! And Other Folktales from Puerto Rico. Illustrated by Lulu Delacre. Minneapolis. MN: Millbrook Press.
Bouchard, David. 2003. The Song Within My Heart. Illustrated by Allen Sapp. Vancouver: Raincoast books.
Bryan, Ashley. 2007. Let it Shine Three Favorite Spirituals. NY: Atheneum.
Canpoy, Isabel & Alma Flor Ada. 2006. Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection. Illustrated by Felipe Dávalos, Viví Escrivá, Susan Guevara, and Leyla Torres. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Griego, Margot; Bucks, Betsy L.; Gilbert, Sharon S. and Laurel H. Kimball. 1988. Tortillitas para Mama and Other Nursery Rhymes. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. NY: Henry Holt.

Hallworth, Grace. 2011. Down by the River: Afro-Caribbean Rhymes, Games and Songs for Children. Illustrated by Caroline Binch. NY: Frances Lincoln Children's Books.
------------------. 2003. Sing Me a Song! Song and Dance Stories from the Caribbean. Illustrated by John Clementson. NY: Frances Lincoln Children's Books.
Hinojosa, Tish. 2004. Cada Niño / Every Child: A Bilingual Songbook for Kids (English and Spanish Edition). Illustrated by Lucia Angela Perez. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.
Orozco, Jose-Luis. 1999. De Colores and Other Latin American Folk Songs for Children. Illustrated by Elisa Kleven. NY: Puffin.
Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2000. Hush Songs. Illustrated by Brenda Joysmith. NY: Hyperion.
Zemach, Margot. 2001. Some from the Moon, Some from the Sun: Poems and Songs for Everyone. NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

4. Local & Global Matters
Cohn, Diana. 2002. ¡Si, Se Puede!/Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. Illustrated by Francisco Delgado. El Paso: Cinco Puntos.
Heide, Florence Parry and Judith Heide Gilliland. 1995. Sami and the Time of The Troubles. Illustrated by Ted Lewin. New York: Clarion.

Krull, Kathleen. 2008. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight. Illustrated by Amy June Bates. NY: Simon & Schuster.
-------------------. 2003. Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales. New York: Harcourt.
Kyuchukov, Hristo. 2004. My Name is Hussein. Illustrated by Allan Eitzen. Honesdale, PA: Boyd Mills Press.
Tafolla, Carmen & Sharyll Teneyuca. 2008. That's Not Fair!/ No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice/La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justica. Illustrated by Terry Ybanez. San Antonio, TX: Wings Press.
Yolen, Jane. 1995. Letting Swift River Go. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. Boston: Little, Brown.

Books That Inspire Me To Create Mental Images

Gunning, Monica. 1999. Not a Copper Penny in Me House: Poems from the Caribbean. Illustrated by Frane Lessac. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Herrera, Juan Felipe. 2003. Super Cilantro Girl/ La superniña del cilantro. Illustrated by Honorio Robleda Tapia. San Francisco: Children's Book Press.
Lee, Spike & Tonya Lewis Lee. 2011. Giant Steps to Change the World. Illustrated by Sean Qualls. NY: Simon & Schuster.
McNaughton, Colin. 2005. Once Upon an Ordinary School Day. Illustrated by Satoshi Kita-mura. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux.
Nolen, Jerdine. 2003. Thunder Rose. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. San Diego: Harcourt.

Books that Make Me Want to Ask Questions
All the Water in the WorldBruchac, Joseph. 2000. Crazy Horse’s Vision. Illustrated by S. D. Nelson. New York: Lee & Low.
Chin, Charlie. 1997. China’s Bravest Girl: The Legend of Hua Mu Lan. Illustrated by Tomie Arai. San Francisco: Children’s Press Books.
Haskins, Jim. 2008. Delivering Justice: W.W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights. Illustrated by Benny Andrews. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.
Lyon, George Ella. 2011. All the Water in the World. Illustrated by Katherine Tillotson. NY: Atheneum.
McDonad. Margaret Read. 2006. Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur! A Palestinian Folktale. Illustrated by Alik Arzoumanian. NY: Marshall Cavendish.
Park, Frances. 2000. The Royal Bee. Illustrated by Christopher Zhong-Yuang Zhang. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Park, Linda Sue. 2004. The Firekeeper’s Son. Illustrated by Julie Downing. New York: Clarion.
Williams, Karen Lynn. 2010. A Beach Tail. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.

Drawing Inferences
Lee, Milly. 1997. Nim and the War Effort. Illustrated by Yangsook Choi. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
McDonough, Yona Zeldis. 2002. Peaceful Protest: The Life of Nelson Mandela. Illustrations by Malcah Zeldis. New York: Walker.
Raven, Margot Theis. 2004. Circle Unbroken. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. New York:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Ruddra, Anshumani. 2011. Dorje's Stripes. Illustrated by Gwangjo Park and Jung-A Park. La Jolla, CA: Kane/Miller Book Publishers.
Tran, Truong. 2003. Going Home, Coming Home. Illustrated by Ann Phong. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.
Warner, Jody Nyasha. 2010. Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged. Illustrated by Richard Rudnicki. Toronto: Groundwood Books.
Weisner, David. 1999. Sector 7. New York: Clarion Books.

Determining Importance
Ancona, George. 1993. Powwow. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.
Arnosky, Jim. 2002. Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-Watching and Shore Walking. New York: Harper Collins.
Brown, Don. 2002. Far Beyond the Garden Gate: Alexandra David-Neel’s Journey to Lhasa. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Hopkinson, Deborah. 2006. Skyboys: How They Built the Empire State Building. Illustrated by James Ransome. New York: Schwartz & Wade.
Locker, Thomas. 1995. Sky Tree: Seeing Science Through Nature. New York: Harper Colins.
Ray, Mary Lyn. 2004. Welcome, Brown Bird. Illustrated by Peter Sylvada. New York: Harcourt.
Rylant, Cynthia. 2006. The Journey: Stories of Migration. Illustrated by Lambert Davis. New York: Blue Sky Press.
Zolotow, Charlotte. 2002. If You Listen. Illustrated by Stephan Vitale. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press Book Pubisher.

Demi. 2007. The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching. NY: Margaret K. McElderry.
-------. 2003. Muhammad. NY: Margaret K. McElderry.
Hunter, Sara Hoagland. 1996. The Unbreakable Code. Illustrated by Julia Miner. Flag- staff, AZ: Rising Moon.
Kalman, Maira. 2002. Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey. New York: Putnam.
Louis, Catherine. 2003. Liu and the Bird: A Journey in Chinese Calligraphy. Calligraphy by Feng Xizo Min. New York: North-South Books.
Mills, Lauren. 1991. The Rag Coat. Boston: Little, Brown Young Readers.
Shange, Ntozake. 2004. Ellington Was Not a Street. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Woodson, Jacqueline. 2004. Coming on Home Soon. Illustrated by Earl B. Lewis. New York: Putnam.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Exploring LGBT Books for Children & Teens

Exploring Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Relationships

1. Longer Fictional Works for Teens
Bauer, Marion Dane (Ed.). 1995. Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence. NY: HarperCollins.
Baldwin, James. 1956/1988. Giovanni's Room. NY: Laurel.
Benduhn, Tea. 2003. Gravel Queen. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Blacker, Terrance. 2005. Boy2Girl. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Boock, Paula. 2009. Dare Truth or Promise. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Burd, Nick. 2009. The Vast Fields of Ordinary. NY: Dial.
Cameron, Peter. 2009. Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You. NY: Picador.
De Oliveira, Eddie. 2004. Lucky. NY: PUSH/Scholastic. 
Doyle, Myra. 2008. Down to the Bone. NY: HarperTeen.
Frost, Helen. 2003. Keesha's House. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Garden, Nancy. 2007. Annie on My Mind.  NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
------------------. 2005. Good Moon Rising.  Lincoln, NE:
Goldman, Mitchell. 2008. Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about The Grapes of Wrath. NY: Bloomsbury Children's Books.
Hartinger, Brent. 2007. Attack of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies/Bride of the Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies. NY: HarperTempest.
-------------------. 2005. Order of the Poison Oak. NY: HarperTempest.
-------------------. 2004. Geography Club (The Russel Middlebrook Series) . NY: HarperTeen.
Hegamin, Tonya. 2008. M+O 4EVR. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Johnson, Maureen, 2004. The Bermudez Triangle. NY: Razorbill. 
Jones, Carrie. 2007. Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend. Woodbury, MN: Flux.
Katcher, Brian. 2010. Almost Perfect. NY: Delacorte.
Kluger, Steve. 2008. My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park. NY: Dial. 
Koertge, Ron. 2007. Boy Girl Boy. Boston: Graphia.
Koja, Kathe. 2008. Talk.  NY: Square Fish.
La Rochelle, David 2005. Absolutely, Positively Not. NY: Arthur A. Levine Books.
Lecesne, James. 2008. Absolute Brightness. NY: HarperTeen.
Lieberman, Leanne. 2008. Gravity. Victoria, B.C.: Orca Book Publishers.
Levithan, David. 2005. Boy Meets Boy. NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
Maloy, Brian. 2008. Twelve Long Months. NY: Scholastic.
Matthews, Andrew. 2003. The Flip Side. NY: Delacorte. 
Merrell, Billy. 2003. Talking in the Dark: A Poetry Memoir. NY: Push.
Moore, Perry. 2009. Hero. NY: Hyperion
Myracle, Lauren. 2007. Kissing Kate. NY: Speak.
Noyes, Katia. 2005. Crashing America. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson.
O'Neil, Jamie. 2003. At Swim, Two Boys. NY: Scribner.
Peters, Julia Anne. 2007. grl2grl. Boston: Little, Brown.
----------------------. 2006. Luna. Boston: Little, Brown.
Poole, Blair R. 2005. Breathe. Princeton, NJ: Burrows Publishing LLC.
Revoyr, Nina. 1998. The Necessary Hunger. NY: ST. Martin's Griffin.
Ryan, Patrick. 2008. Saints of Augustine.  NY: HarperTeen.
Ryan, Sara. 2007. The Rules for Hearts. NY: Viking.
-------------. 2003. Empress of the World. NY: Speak.
Saenz, Benjamin Alire. 2004. Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood. El Paso, TX : Cinco Puntos Press.
Sanchez, Alex. 2007. The God Box. NY: Simon & Schuster.
-----------------. 2003. Rainbow Boys. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Shimko, Bonnie. 2002. Letters in the Attic. Chicago : Academy Chicago Press.
Smith, Emily Wing. 2008. The Way He Lived. Woodbury, MN: Flux. 
Tamaki, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. 2008. Skim. Toronto: Groundwood Books. 
Wittlinger, Ellen. 2008. Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Woolf, Virginia. 1928/2006. Orlando: A Biography. Orlando, FL: Mariner Books.
Wright, Bill. 2000. Sunday You Learn How To Box: A Novel. NY: Touchstone.
Yamanaka, Lois-Ann. 2000. Name Me Nobody. NY: Hyperion.

2. Longer Fictional Works for Pre-Teens/Early Teens
Bauer, A.C.E. 2009. No Castles Here. NY: Yearling/Random House.
Huser, Glen. 2003. Stitches. Toronto: Groundwood Books.
Howe, James. 2005. Totally Joe. NY: Ginee Seo Books/Atheneum.
----------------. 2003. The Misfits. NY: Atheneum.
Sanchez, Alex. 2004. So Hard to Say. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. 2001. True Believer. NY: Atheneum. 
Woodson, Jacqueline. 2008. After Tupac & D Foster. NY: Putnam.
-------------------------. 2003. The House You Pass on the Way. NY: Speak.
3. Nonfiction
Alsenas, Linas. 2008. Gay America: Struggle for Equality. NY: Amulet Books.
Belge, Kathy and Mark Bieschke. 2011. Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens. San Francisco, CA: Zest Books.
Garden, Nancy. 2007. Hear Us Out! Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress and Hope, 1950 to the Present. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Gillespie, Peggy (Ed). 1999. Love Makes a Family: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Parents and Their Families. Foreword by Kath Weston. Photographs by Gigi Kaeser. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
Hames-García, Michael,  Javier Martínez, Tomás Almaguer, and Luz Calvo. 2011. Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader. Duke University Press. 
Huegel, Kelly. 2011. GLBTQ: the Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens, 2nd Ed. Minneapolis MN: Free Spirit Publishing. 
Keen, Lisa. 2007. Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know About their Legal Rights. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Levithan, David & Billy Merrell. 2006.  The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities. NY: Knopf.
Rachel, T. Cole and Rita D. Costello (Eds.). 2004. Bend, Don't Shatter: Poets on the Beginning of Desire. Brooklyn, NY Red Rattle Books.
Savin-Williams, Ritch C. 2006. The New Gay Teenager. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Shohat, Ella (Ed.) 1998. Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age. Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press.   
Trope, Zoe. 2003. Please Don't Kill the Freshmen: A Memoir. NY: Harper/Tempest.
Windmeyer, Shane. 2006. Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students. NY: Alyson Books.
Winick, Judd. 2000. Pedro and Me. NY: Henry Holt.

NonTraditional Families & Parenting: LBGT

1. Picture Book
Aoki, Elaine M and Jean Davies Okimoto. 2002. The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption. Illustrated by Meilo So. NY: Clarion Books.
Brannen, Sarah S. 2008. Uncle Bobby's Wedding. NY: Putnam.
Burks, Stephanie. 2004. While You Were Sleeping. Illustrated by Kelli Bienvenu. Victoria, B.C.: Burks/Trafford.
Combs, Bobbie. 2000. ABC, A Family Alphabet Book. Illustrated by Desiree Keane and Brian Rapa. Two Lives Publishing. 
Considine, Kaitlyn. 2005. Emma and Meesha My Boy. Illustrated by Binny Hobbs. Twomomsbooks.
De Haan, Linda. 2004. King and King and Family. Illustrated by Stern Nijland. San Francisco, CA: Tricycle.
------------------. 2002.  King and King  Illustrated by Stern Nijland. San Francisco, CA: Tricycle. 
Elwin, Rosamund and Michele Paulse. 2000. Asha's Mums. Illustrated by Dawn Lee. London: Woman's Press.

Garden, Nancy. 2005. Molly's Family. Illustrated by Sharon Wooding. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
González, Rigoberto. 2005. Antonio's Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press. 
Gordon, Sol. 2000. All Families Are Different. Illustrated by Vivien Cohen. NY: Prometheus.

Lindenbaum, Pija. 2007. Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle. Translated by Elisabeth Kalick Dyssegaard. Stockholm: R & S Books.
Newman, Leslea. 2011. Donovan's Big Day. Illustrated by Mike Dutton. San Francisco, CA: Tricycle.
--------------------. 2009. Mommy, Mama, and Me. Illustrated by Carol Thompson. San Francisco, CA: Tricycle.
--------------------. 2009. Daddy, Papa, and Me. Illustrated by Carol Thompson. San Francisco, CA: Tricycle.
-------------------. 2007. The Boy Who Cried Fabulous. Illustrated by Peter Ferguson. San Francisco, CA: Tricycle.
Parr, Todd. 2003. The Family Book. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.
------------. 2001. My Really Cool Baby Book. Boston: Little Brown & Co.
------------. 2001. It's Okay to Be Different. Boston: Little Brown.
Quinlan, Patricia. 1994. Tiger Flowers. NY: Dial.
Richardson, Justin. 2005. And Tango Makes Three. Illustrated by Peter Parnell. NY: Simon & Schuster.
Setterington, Ken. 2004. Mom and Mum Are Getting Married. Second Story.
Tompkins, Crystal. 2009. Oh the Things Mommies Do! What Could Be Better Than Having Two? Illustrated by Lindsey Evans. Oh The Things Mommies Do Publishers.

2. Longer Fictional Works for Teens
Cart, Michael (Ed.) 2003. Necessary Noise: Stories about Our Families as They Really Are. NY: HarperTempest. 
Garsee, Jeannine. 2009.  Say the Word. NY: Bloomsbury. Harmon, Michael B. 2009. The Last Exit to Normal. NY: Laurel Leaf.
Homes, A.M. 1990. Jack. NY: Vintage.
Kerr, M.E. 1995. Deliver Us from Evie. NY: HarperTeen.
Koertge, Ron. 2005. The Arizona Kid. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.
Peters, Julie Anne. 2006. Between Mom and Jo. Boston: Little Brown.
Wilson, Barbara. 2002. A Clear Spring. NY: Girls First/Feminist Press. 
Wilson, Martin. 2010. What They Always Tell Us. NY: Delacorte.
Woodson, Jacqueline. 1997. From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun. NY: Scholastic.

3. Nonfiction Works for Pre-Teens and Teens
Coontz, Stephanie. 2000. The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap. NY: Basic Books.
Drucker, Jane. 2001. Lesbian and Gay Familes Speak Out: Understanding the Joys and Challenges of Diverse Family Life. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.
Garner, Abigal. 2005. Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is. NY: Harper.
Howey, Noelle and Ellen Samuels (Eds.). 2000. Out of the Ordinary: Essays on Growing Up with Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents. NY: St. Martin's Press.
Snow, Judith E. 2004. How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parents: A Book by Kids For Kids of All Ages. NY: Routledge.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

On Leaving Home: Children’s Books that Explore Immigration and Residential Boarding Schools

The drama, stories, conflicts, and issues related to and in response to immigration are significant. Often lost in the national "debate" are the human stories, especially those of children whose voices we need to hear. When I think of immigration (perhaps because I am an immigrant and the mother of an immigrant) I think about the several dimensions related to leaving home. In thinking about leaving home, I also think about the forced removal of Native children from their homes and relocation into residential schools, a government-sanctioned practice (in USA and Canada) that did not end until 1984. Children’s literature offers us the opportunity to come to understand some of the dynamics behind these histories, to share stories, to learn empathy, and to question policies, laws, practices, and beliefs. In this post, I recommend a few children’s books related to specific immigration issues and Native residential school practices. The list is not meant to be exhaustive and focuses specifically on contemporary (not historical) immigration issues. 

Mary Ann

I. Detained, Deported & Waiting for the Green Card

One of the most significant fears and difficulties children of immigrants in the United States face is the reality that their parent(s) may be detained or deported.  This uncertainty and the quick removal of a parent from home alters children’s lives.  In Juan Felipe Herrera’s bilingual (English & Spanish) story Esmeralda Sinfronteras worries when her mother is detained in Mexico (she went there to visit) because she does not have a green card. Herrera situates Esmeralda’s worries within a magical dream realm: Esmeralda becomes Super Cilantro Girl, a green giant who flies to the border to rescue her mother.  This dream sequence is powerful. The next morning, Esmeralda learns that her mother is home and safe. The young girl’s fears about the absent green card are manifested in her becoming a super green figure. The child’s fears associated with green cards are well shown and offer teachers an opportunity to discuss how one child attends to her fears, as well as the substance of that fear.

InJosé whose mother is sent back to Mexico for not having citizenship papers. The fears and uncertainty associated with family separation are well illustrated in this recent picture book in both the prose and the oil paintings done by Joe Cepeda. Missing from home now that Mamá is gone are her tortillas and her bedtime stories. José and his father visit Mamá at El Centro Madre Assunta, an actual center in Mexico for woman and children waiting to be reunited. Although José and his father must return to their home in San Diego without Mamá, they return with the hope to carry on and persevere. This is an important story to share with children who may be experiencing similar situations, as well as for children whose lives are untouched by US immigration policies.

In nine-year-old America Soliz, an illegal immigrant living in the violent Pilsen section of Chicago, wants to return to her native Oaxaca. Author Luis Rodriguez lets the reader know that feels unwelcomed in America. When a poet visits her ESL class, she is encouraged to be a poet of the world.

In Belle Yang’s Hannah is My Name, we see that Na-Li adjusts to her unfamiliar American name, Hannah after she and her family emigrate from Taiwan to Chinatown in San Francisco. In this story, we learn how important a green card is to an immigrant family, and the anxiety and worry associated with procuring a green card. The threat of deportation as the family waits for green cards and hides from officials allows the reader to imagine the level and duration of fear a child experiences.

For older readers (5th grad and older), Ann Bausum's Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration provides a longitudinal look an U.S. immigration practices and policies.
Bausum, Ann. 2009. Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration
5.     Yang, Belle. 2004. Hannah is My Name. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.

II. Being New. Longing for Home

Young Danilito leaves his Caribbean island home to come to the United States in winter.  The first half of the book traces his journey and explicates his fears regarding language, customs, schools, and work. Danilito and his family settle for the first night and the reader learns that Danilito does not want to go to school.  The next morning, the world beyond the window has changed because it has snowed. Danilito describes the scene: “Outside, there were millions of white rose petals floating downwards.” The father and son play in the snow before Uncle Berto arrives to take Danilito to school and Pap to a factory. Playing in the snow and stepping in his father’s shoes as they walk up a snow-covered hill relieves much of Danilito’s anxiety.

Similar to Danilito, young Sumi, a Korean child, is lonely and scared as she starts school in the United States, because she does not speak or understand English. She experiences school as  “a scary place” and as “a mean place”.  After she connects with her teacher and then a new friend on the playground, Sumi rethinks her feelings.  Readers can easily connect with Sumi’s fears in Joung Un Kim’s Sumi’s First Day of School Ever.  Soyunk Pak’s use of oil crayons produces softened illustrations that extend the sense of relief Sumi feels as she connects to others.

In Kim Mak’s My Chinatown: One Year in Poems, the reader follows a young boy from Hong Kong after he moves to Chinatown in New York City.  Like Danilito and Sumi, this child also worries about speaking English. He tells the reader, "The English words taste like metal in my mouth." Told through four free verse poems based on the progression of the seasons, the reader comes to experience the relief the child feels as the unfamiliar becomes familiar.

Young Jangmi does not want to move to leave Korea and move to Brighton, Massachusetts in Good-Bye, 382 Shin Dang Dong. She does not want to leave all that is familiar: her friend, the tree in the yard, comforts of home, and specific food. It is only after she begins to “replace” these memories of home with new experiences that Jangmi begins to feel at home.  Similar to Jangmi and the young boy in My Chinatown, Angelina also longs for home, in this case--Jamaica. The setting for Jeanette Winter’s Angelina Island is Brooklyn, NY.  Like the characters mentioned above, Angelina is lonely and scared until she begins to make connections with people and customs in her new home. It is only after Angelina prepares and participates in the annual Carnival parade in Brooklyn, that she begins to redefine home.

In Allen Say's Grandfather's Journey, the boy and his grandfather long to be back in Japan.  Yet once there the boy says, "The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other."  In all of these stories, loss is no easy thing that can tucked away and forgotten. Making connections, reaching out to someone new, understanding that critical people and possessions may have been left behind when a child emigrates are all important aspects to share with children n an effort to develop each learner’s empathy and potential actions.

1.     Figueredo, D. H. 2003. When This World Was New. Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez. NY: Lee & Low
2.     Figueredo, D. H. 2000. Un Mundo Nuevo. Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez. Trans. Eida De La Vega NY: Lee & Low
3.     Kim, Joung Un. 2003. Sumi’s First Day of School Ever. Illustrated by Soyung Pak. NY: Viking Juvenile.
4.     Mak, Kim. 2001. My Chinatown: One Year in Poems. NY: HarperCollins.
5.     Parks, Frances. 2002. Good-Bye, 382 Shin Dang Dong. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Books.
6.     Say, Allen. 1993. Grandfather's Journey. Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin.
7.   Winter, Jeanette. 2007. Angelina’s Island. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

III. Leaving Home

imagecoverIn Luis Garay’s stunningly illustrated book, The Long Road, Jose and his mother must leave EL Salvador and make the long journey to the United State across deserts, mountains, and multiple borders.  Similarly, in Rene Colato Lainez’ My Shoes and I, Mario and his father walk from El Salvador to the United States and Mario is pleased when he is given a new pair of shoes for the journey.  In both picture books, the reader experiences the immense physical and emotional challenges each family faces in their journey North. At the center of each work is the understanding that journeying requires leaving behind family, friends, and familiarity of place and that the journey North requires the child to live with immense uncertainty. 

In learns of the journey from Juarez, Mexico,to Los Angeles through a diary kept by Amada. She, like other children, is nervous about learning English and how she and her family will live.

Without doubt Mary William's Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan presents a most harrowing journey. The reader learns of a young Sudanese boy, Garang Den, who walks nearly 1000 miles from Sudan to Ethiopia and then Kenya in in order to escape a genocide and learns also about an American, Tom, who helps Garang to come to the United States. This book alone could well be studied for weeks as it opens the potential for discussions about Sudan, genocide, who the lost boys are, the emigration of the Lost Boys to the United States, and the return of some of the Lost Boys to Sudan. R. Gregory Christie's illustrations are also significant and offer insight into the journey visually.

Helping students to understand the bravery and challenges that children who emigrate demonstrate and experience are important life lessons for all. 

  1. Garay, Luis. 1997. The Long Road. Toronto, Ontario: Tundra Books.
  2. Lainez, Rene Colato. 2010. My Shoes and I. Illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broeck. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  3. Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. NY: Lee & Low.

IV. Forced Removal of Native Children from their Home: Indian Residential Schools in Canada and the United States

Larry Loyie’s first person account of his life with his family Cree family in Alberta, Canada before his removal in order to attend a residential school for native children provides a significant work for students to study. The contrast between the wisdom he learns via his elders and the immense fear he feels when he is taken by “strange white men” and forced to attend a boarding school is highly evocative. Readers will learn that the children were forced to attend these government boarding schools or their parents would be put in prison.

In gentler-told stories by Nicola Campbell, but no less heart wrenching, Shi-shi-etko and her brother prepare to be taken from their family at the tender ages of five and six and forced to live at church-run residential boarding school.  In Shi-shi-etko, the reader follows the child during her last four days with her family before she will be forced to attend a residential school. In the sequel, Shinchi’s Canoe, the reader learns of the influence of church-run Indian boarding schools as we follow 6-year-old Shinchi who is barred from speaking to his sister, must attend mass, and who nonetheless finds ways to hold on to his native beliefs.

In Chioro Santiago’s Home to Medicine Mountain, the author bases the fictional account of two brothers forced to attend a Native boarding school in California and their adventurous return home one summer on her father’s and uncle’s story. Like the previous stories mentioned in this post, the contrast between the harsh, unkind life inside residential schools and the spirited life beyond and at home is significant and worth discussing with children.

In Tim Tingle’s Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light, tells the story of his Mawmaw, who is blind and is undergoing surgery to restore her sight.  The reader learns that when Mawmaw was a child she was forced to attend a residential boarding school in the United States.

For older readers (middle school and high school), Shirley Sterling’s autobiographic and emotionally challenging book, My Name is Seepeetza, chronicles the harsh and violent treatment of Native children forced to reside in an Indian residential school in British Columbia. Seepeetza, who is given the Anglo name, Helen, is beaten for speaking her native language. A goal of residential schools was to make Native children more Anglo, by requiring them to learn English and the dominant culture’s ways.

What makes governments believe that stripping youth of their language and culture and forcing them to learn the language and ways of the dominant culture is ethical, moral or worthwhile? Parallels to contemporary language use policies at schools and in communities (i.e. Only English advocates) would make for important conversations.

1.     Campbell, Nicola I. (Interior Salish and Métis). 2008. Shin-chi’s Canoe. Illustrated by Kim LaFave. Toronto: Groundwood.
2.     --------------------. 2005. Shi-Shi-etko. Illustrated by Kim LaFave. Toronto: Groundwood.
3.     Toronto: Groundwood.
4.     Santiago, Chioro. 2002.  Home to Medicine Mountain. Illustrated by Judith Lowry. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
5.     Sterling, Shirley (Salish Nation). 1992/1998. My Name is Seepeetza. Toronto: Groundwood.
6.     Tingle, Tim (Chocktaw). 2010. Saltypie: A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light. Illustrated by Karen Clarkson. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.