A “Grand” Experience

Dear Kids and Other Readers,

The current Pandemic has separated many grandparents and grandchildren.

Wouldn’t it be fun to bring them together safely in a Zoom Book Club?

That’s just what I’m organizing with a local non-profit agency that has a bank of grandparents waiting to interact in this fun online activity. Better yet, they’ll be using my book, Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets!

“Grand” Book Clubs can promote reading for fun, family dynamics, and getting my book into kids’ hands and hearts. The Grand pairs will read together at their leisure however they like. I will provide book club discussion ideas and ways to improve reading comprehension and kids’ engagement in the process from my years of teaching.

On a selected day, all the Grand pairs will come together on Zoom to meet me, have more book discussions, and ask questions! I’m so excited to see this unfold and to continue to hone my Zoom skills.

So, get a clue, Grands and All Readers. Stay tuned for more information in future blogs . . .

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10, 9, 8 . . . Cover Reveal RSVP Time!

Dear Kids, Teachers, Parents, and All Readers,

Well, the countdown is finally on for my much-anticipated Cover Reveal for Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse, Book 2 in my Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series!

 

IMPORTANT DETAILS

What: My Online Book 2 Cover Reveal live on Facebook!    There will be Giveaways all day!

Who:  It’s being hosted by Adam Ross, a bookstore owner in Colorado, who kindly helps indie authors, especially during the COVID-19 shutdown. I will co-host.

When: Thursday, July 9, beginning at 8 a.m. PT.              ***I will go live at 2 p.m. PT.***    (That’s 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT, and 5 p.m. ET.)

I hope many of you–especially teachers, kids, librarians, and parents–will join in all day, but especially when I go live!  Please mark your calendars.

Where: The online Reveal will be on July 9 on Facebook. You can drop in and out during the day, but I hope to see you live at 2 p.m. PT.

How:  Please RSVP now  as “Going” using the following link. Use the same link to join in on July 9:

https://www.facebook.com/events/991029194648242/

Or go to the Events tab on my website at sherrilljoseph.com/events for the link beginning July 1.

Or go to my website and click on one of the floating social media icons on July 8 or 9 for the link.

Why:  It’s time to celebrate virtually my stunning new cover in anticipation of Book 2’s October 20 launch.

 

So, get a clue, Readers. Join me for my Cover Reveal on July 9. Then, please share the cover on your social media platforms. That’s how you can help me build excitement for the book’s October. release Thanks so much for helping!

 

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“Window, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors”

Dear Teachers, Librarians, and Other Adult Readers,

In seeking anti-racist resources for my last two blogs/news items (June 4 and 11), I discovered Rudine Sims Bishop. She is professor emerita of education at Ohio State University and considered the “Mother of Multicultural Children’s Literature.” You can Google her name for more fascinating information about her and her work.

She explains the value of acquiring and reading books to teach diversity via these three metaphors:

  1.  “Mirrors”:  Books are mirrors that allow readers to see themselves within the pages, thus affirming their own cultural beliefs, social values, and self-worth.
  2.  “Windows”:  Books are windows that introduce cultures different from the reader’s own, thus fostering changes of negative attitudes and stereotypes, appreciation of differences and similarities, and gaining knowledge of the history of another culture. Bishop says kids need both “Mirrors” and “Windows.”
  3.  “Sliding Glass Doors”:  Books are the glass doors that can provide a safe environment for readers to look through, open, and walk through in their imaginations to enter and become part of whatever world, new or known, the author presents.

So, get a clue, Readers. When looking for books for kids, think about Bishop’s three metaphors. All kids deserve a bookshelf full of Sliding Glass Doors that are both Mirrors and Windows to help create happy, confident, anti-racist citizens.

 

 

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Sad Stats But More Resources

Dear Readers,

According to HealthyChildren.org, “As early as six months, a baby’s brain can notice race-based differences. By ages 2 to 4, children can internalize racial bias. By age 12, many children become set in their beliefs–giving parents a decade to mold the learning process so that it decreases racial bias and improves cultural understanding.”

So, get a clue, Readers. Amidst the peaceful protests and the anger, hate, and injustice around us and via the news and social media, there is hope–hope for a better future. Books can help. Children need to see not only themselves but others different from themselves in books they read. And such books can provide a great way to start conversations about race with kids.

 

To that end, here are a few more anti-racist resources and links that I found beyond what I already reported in my June 4 Blog:

  1. readbrightly.com/anti-racist-resources-for-kids/     “Books and Resources to Help You Raise Anti-Racist Children”
  2. publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/     “A Children’s and Young Adult Anti-Racist Reading List”  (Fiction and nonfiction books for various ages are categorized into lists entitled, “Understanding Race and Racism”; “Raise Your Voice: Activism and Protest”; “Windows and Mirrors from Black #OwnVoices Creators”; and, “Novels for Teens.”)
  3. SocialJusticeBooks.org/booklists/     “60+ Carefully Selected Lists of Multicultural and Social Justice Books for Children, Young Adults, and Educators”
  4. nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/5-books-read-your-children-celebrate-diversity-ncna1224351     “Five Books to Read to Your Children that Celebrate Diversity”
  5. bookshop.org/lists/diverse-indie-author-titles     “Forty-One Multicultural Books by Multicultural Indie Authors”   (There are titles for children and adults.)
  6. blog.leeandlow.com/2020/06/10/10-fun-and-joyful-black-childrens-book/     “10 Fun and Joyful Black Children’s Books”
  7. nymag.com/strategist/article/anti-racist-childrens-books.html     “7 Books About Race to Read to Your Kids”
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Resources to Help Kids

Dear Adult Readers,

I worry these days about how kids are reacting to the pandemic and rampant racism.

EmbraceRace.org, says, “[Kids] are fully realized people with observations and opinions about the worlds they live in and aspirations about the ones they want to bring into being.”

As a parent, grandparent, retired teacher, and kids’ author, I hope parents, teachers, and those who love or work with kids will please embrace your opportunity. Take all the peace, charity, illness, death, anger, and violence that kids are witnessing or living through, and watch for teachable moments.

Start by giving kids a chance to vent, ask questions, and express their concerns. Read books together. Let kids draw pictures about how they’re feeling and use them as springboards for discussion. Their sharing should guide your teaching.

You don’t have to have kids to know that children are the future. Soon, they will be making and enforcing the laws that will affect us all and which will leave a legacy for the generation that follows them. Let’s hope those laws and that legacy are grounded in a strong foundation of inclusion, altruism, peace, and anti-racism. Please do what you can to help, now.

So, get a clue, Readers. Children are smarter than many people think. Currently, however, many need our help to sort through their confusion and to learn how to create a world free from racism and hate. Let’s give them the tools and hearts to improve their future–and the world. Resources follow.

 

Here are some resources that might be helpful for teaching anti-racism:

scbwi.org/black-lives-matter-resources/     This is the website of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: anti-racism resources; recommended reading; political/justice organizations; petitions; funds

embracerace.org/resources/     31 chapter books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance; anti-racist activism; Zoom meetings with expert panels

readbrightly.com/important-talk-child-racism-hate/     How to talk to kids about race–books and resources

harpercollins.com/children’s/books-with-diversity    22 picture books to inspire conversations about diversity

amightygirl.com/blog/?p=14276     75 books about extraordinary black mighty girls and women

 

Here are some resources that might be helpful for talking with kids about COVID-19:

aacap.org     Articles from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry are listed under these sections: Talking with Kids About Coronavirus; Talking to Kids About Sick Adults and Lost Loved Ones; Supporting Parents of and Kids with Disabilities; Activities for Kids; General Coping Tips; Helping Parents Cope

hopkinsmedicine.org     Articles from Johns Hopkins Medicine include What is COVID-19 for All Children?; Why Can’t I Visit? How to Talk with Kids About COVID-19; COVID-19 Activity Book; Videos for Parents and Kids.

cdc.gov     Articles from the Centers for Diseases Control include Tips for Talking to Children; Facts About COVID-19 to Discuss with Children; and, many other subtopics.

childlife.org     Articles from the Association of Child Life Professionals are listed under these sections and include many subtopics:  Resources for Children and Teens; Reading Materials and Handouts; Videos; Resources for Parents and Professionals; Handouts; Videos and Podcasts; and others.

prodigygame.com     Resources from Prodigy for Educators, Families, and Prodigy Users. Included is Prodigy’s Top 5 #LearnFromHome Resources for Parents.

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Judging a Book By . . .

Hello, Kids and All Readers,

I’m so excited to tell you that my publisher, Acorn, and I have started working on the cover design for Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse. It’s Book 2 in my Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series and releases on October 20.

The next few weeks will reveal to me how the designer captured on paper the scene I chose to depict. This is not a quick process, and sometimes, disagreements occur. But compromise will be key to design the best cover possible. After all, a cover is what we look at first when looking for a book, right? We really DO judge a book by its cover, for better or for worse.

What is YOUR favorite book cover of all time? I have many since they come from a series. You guessed it. Nancy Drew! I especially liked one of the later covers for The Mystery at Lilac Inn, Book 4 in that series. It shows a ghostly, iridescent image that prompted me to want to read the book, for the first time, as a child. The book’s insides did not disappoint, either!

So, get a clue, Readers. Watch my newsletter for updates about Book 2’s cover and, in the future, the big Cover Reveal. Then, you can judge for yourself!

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