NYPL’s Juneteenth Reading Recommendations for Kids

In honor of Juneteenth and the importance of conversations with children about race (related post– Kidlit Opens the Door to Conversation), today’s topic is the New York Post’s article by Hannah Frishberg “NYPL Releases Juneteenth Reading List For Kids.”

In honor of Juneteenth — now set to be a statewide holiday — the New York Public Library has released a Black Liberation Reading List for young readers.

The list comes from the NYPL’s 95-year-old Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and includes 65 book titles geared toward teaching children and teens about the black experience, history and current events.

“It is so important to remember, honor and celebrate Juneteenth, such a critical moment in the history of our nation, and one that continues to have tremendous impact on today’s events,” says Schomburg Center director Kevin Young in a press release. The June 19 holiday, one of the oldest in America, marks the freeing of the last US slaves — in Galveston, Texas — on June 19, 1865.

“Without honest contemplation and discussions, there won’t be progress,” Young continues, adding that if everyone takes the time to better understand the black experience, “real change can happen.”

The list includes the board books “A Is for Activist” and “Antiracist Baby,” as well as Jacqueline Woodson’s “Brown Girl Dreaming” and “The Day You Begin.”

The Library has made “as many e-copies as possible of the titles,” available to browse and borrow for free via the Library’s digital collections.

The Schomburg Shop’s manager, Rio Cortez, began compiling the list following the killing of George Floyd.

“Many of our patrons connect with the Schomburg Shop specifically for the books by black and brown authors whose work enables black and brown children to see themselves in complete and dynamic ways,” says Cortez.

Last week, the Schomburg Center released a Black Liberation Reading List for adults. In eight days, that list has already received 7,000 checkouts, the library says.

On Juneteenth and throughout the following week, several of the listed books will be read by authors, politicians and librarians on the library’s social channels. The full virtual programming roster will be shared on NYPL’s site.

Story Time in Sweet Sixteen

Grandma and my Plus One.
Grandma and my Plus One.

Happy New Year and Sweet Sixteen! (2016, that is)

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, after deciding what to change (exercise more/ eat less desserts), I try to accomplish those goals. Sometimes I’m successful. Oftentimes I’m not. But, I’ve been itching to make a Story Time Resolution this year. Hopefully, saying my goal “out loud” isn’t like blowing out birthday candles and then revealing a wish. Stories, characters, voice and plot fill my head. Can I put on paper what I see in my head? Most importantly, how will I get my stories in the hands of children?

Two recent articles in The New York Times were gifts to my goal. The quotes below are from The Gift of Reading by Frank Bruni and Long Line at the Library? It’s Story Time Again by Winnie Hu.

Winnie Hu quotes,

“It is clear that reading and being exposed to books early in life are critical factors in student success,” Anthony W. Marx, president of the New York Public Library, said.

Frank Bruni writes,

The list of what a child needs in order to flourish is short but nonnegotiable.

Food. Shelter. Play. Love.

Something else, too, and it’s meted out in even less equal measure.

Words. A child needs a forest of words to wander through, a sea of words to splash in. A child needs to be read to, and a child needs to read.

Reading fuels the fires of intelligence and imagination.

“Reading follows an upward spiral,” said Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of “Raising Kids Who Read,” which was published earlier this year. “Kids who read more get better at reading, and because they are better at reading, it’s easier and more pleasurable so they read still more,” he said. “And kids who read well don’t just do better in English class — it helps them in math, science and every other class, too.”

I’d go even further. Reading tugs them outside of themselves, connecting them to a wider world and filling it with wonder. It’s more than fundamental. It’s transformative.


Amen, Mr. Bruni. Amen.

winter 2005-06-25

Hon, if you are a “New-Year’s-Resolution-Person,” what are your goals this year?