Language Arts

Articles from Vol. 94, No. 2, November

A Ride with Nana and CJ: Engagement, Appreciation, and Social Action
We DO need diverse books. We need diverse books because all our children deserve to know that they have a voice in the choir that sings the song of America. When diversity is absent from the literature we share with children, those who are leftout infer...
Counter-Storytelling through Graphic Life Writing
In a 2014 op-ed for The New York Times, award-winning children's book author and illustrator Christopher Myers (2014) wrote that young people view books as maps. According to Myers, children "create, through the stories they're given, an atlas of their...
Critical Texts in Literacy Teacher Education: Living Inquiries into Racial Justice and Immigration
Midway through the semester, in an introductory literacy methods course in a public university that is 35 minutes from a major city in the Northeast, a group of preservice teachers engaged in an animated discussion about the benefits and risks of incorporating...
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
2016 Orbis Pictus Award Winner Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans Written and illustrated by Don Brown Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 96 pp., ISBN 978-0-54415777-4On August 29, 2005, at 6:10 a.m., Hurricane Katrina crashed ashore and obliterated...
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
Honor Books Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras Written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh Abrams, 2015, 40 pp., ISBN 978-1-4197-1647-8"Skeletons riding bicycles . . . skeletons wearing fancy hats . . . skeletons dancing and strumming...
Growing Up Pedro: How the Martínez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues
Growing Up Pedro: How the Martínez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues Written and illustrated by Matt Tavares Candlewick, 2015, unpaged, ISBN 978-0-7636-6824-2The story of Pedro Martínez, a living baseball star,...
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France Written by Mara Rockliff Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno Candlewick, 2015, 45 pp., ISBN 978-0-7636-6351-3When you hear about a new drug coming to market after a clinical trial, Ben...
On Listening to Children: Family Variation in an After-School Reading Club
Day One: Seven first graders are participating in my study on family variation in literature and in communities. For four months, the children and I will meet weekly to talk about books, families, and everyday encounters. As the instructor, I've promised...
Social Justice Literature and Writing: The Case for Widening Our Mentor Texts
When I started my career as a teacher, I struggled to find mentor texts that represented the faces of my children. It began when I realized that my children were writing about topics that I wasn't covering in my meticulous literature and writing lessons....
Stella by Starlight
Charlotte Huck Winner Stella by Starlight Written by Sharon Draper Atheneum, 2015, 320 pp., ISBN 978- 1- 4424- 9497- 8Ten- year- old Stella Mills is the embodiment of #blackgirlmagic, a hashtag for the purpose of celebrating, inspiring, and motivating...
Stories Still Matter: Rethinking the Role of Diverse Children's Literature Today
In February 2015, NCTE members approved a Resolution on the Need for Diverse Children's and Young Adult Books. The official background statement about this resolution reads as follows:In the world of literature for young people, the kinds of print and...
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova Written by Laurel Snyder Illustrated by Julie Morstad Chronicle, 2015, unpaged, ISBN 978-1-4521-1890-1Snow is everywhere the night Anna first attends the ballet, and as the scenes of Sleeping Beauty surround her,...
Tales and Testimonies: Viewpoints on Diverse Literature from Duncan Tonatiuh and Violet J. Harris
For this issue of Language Arts, I had the pleasure of speaking with two accomplished authors and champions of diverse children's literature: Mr. Duncan Tonatiuh and Dr. Violet J. Harris. Our conversation centered on issues of diversity in literature...
Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America
Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America Written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 229 pp., ISBN 978-0-544-31367-5Today's headlines warn of pandemics, vilifying both known and possible carriers...
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