Check out TLA’s Summer of Learning, featuring author panels and more resources!

Texas librarians! You can keep learning all summer long with new sessions & resources from the Texas Library Association. TLA launched its first-ever Summer of Learning – an extension of the TLA 2020 Virtual Conference.

Don’t miss author panels with Anna-Marie McLemore, Ngozi Ukazu, Christian McKay Heidicker, Echo Brown, and Karen Blumenthal. These pre-recorded sessions will be available for registrants to watch on demand through August 31. These sessions are free to those who already registered for the TLA Virtual Conference. Register or log-in here.

Plus, mark your calendar for their final live events on August 4, featuring a Q&A with New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu about her new YA fantasy, Skyhunter!

Find more event details here →

Stories to share with your community on Juneteenth and beyond

On June 19, 1865 in Galveston, TX, African American slaves were finally informed of their freedom, despite the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior. Juneteenth is also referred to as “Freedom Day”, “Emancipation Day”, and “Juneteenth Independence Day.” The first celebrations of Juneteenth was about honoring former enslaved people. Today celebrations of Juneteenth consist of gathering with family, BBQs, parades, festivals, beauty contests, and other celebratory events to remember the lives of African American slave ancestors.

For those who would like to learn more, we recommend reading “Juneteenth: The Growth of an African-American Holiday” and “So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth?

Tune in to The Juneteenth Book Festival, created by author L.L. McKinney and co-organized by Saraciea Fennell, and featuring authors Angie Thomas, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, Dhonielle Clayton, Alicia D. Williams, Mikki Kendall, Lamar Giles, Leah Johnson, Jay Coles, Kwame Mbalia, Justin A. Reynolds, Bethany C. Morrow, Ashley Woodfolk, Julian Winters, Tracey Deonn, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Kaylnn Bayron, Karama Horne, Karen Strong, Alyssa Cole, Eboni J. Dunbar, Patrice Caldwell, L.D. Lewis, Brent Lambert, Nivia Evans, Nichole Perkins, Farrah Rochon, Beverly Jenkins, Danny Lore, DaVaun Sanders, Roya Marsh, Zakiya Jamal, Claire Kann, and Candice Iloh.

Learn more about these books →

Author Interview with Dita Kraus, the Librarian of Auschwitz, and more books for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Dita Kraus grew up in Prague in an intellectual, middle-class Jewish family. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, fourteen-year-old Dita was one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. There, she met Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch, who put Dita in charge of protecting eight precious volumes that prisoners managed to sneak past the guards. And so, Dita became known as the Librarian of Auschwitz.

Dita shares her remarkable life story in her breathtaking new memoir for teens and adults, A DELAYED LIFE. Dita’s incredible story was also fictionalized in the outstanding young adult novel, THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ.

Read an interview with Dita Kraus and find more books to share with young readers for Holocaust Remembrance Day here.

Read an interview with Dita Kraus + find more books for Holocaust Remembrance Day here →

Storytime: Charles R. Smith Jr. reads BLACK JACK: THE BALLAD OF JACK JOHNSON

A great read-aloud for National Poetry Month! Author Charles R. Smith Jr. gives a read-aloud performance of BLACK JACK: THE BALLAD OF JACK JOHNSON, giving readers and listeners some fascinating historical insight throughout his reading.

Jack Johnson was one of the most renowned Black boxers of the twentieth century. Through hard work and persistence, he climbed the ranks, taking a swing and a jab and eventually busting the color barrier. As the first black man to win the Heavyweight Championship, there was more than a title on the line.

This beautiful picture book is an extraordinary marriage of poetry and fabulous collage artwork by Shane W. Evans.

“Charles Smith’s poetry surges along, with a forceful rhythm that joins ballad and rap, as he follows ‘a mighty, fightin’ man,’ challenging the color line as well as individual opponents around the world. Shane Evans’ illustrations make Johnson’s body a monument to intelligence and power.” —Chicago Tribune

★ “This book is sure to be championed by reluctant readers with energy and restlessness just like Johnson’s, but it is a strong selection for library and classroom read-alouds as well.” —School Library Journal starred review

★ “The elegant simplicity and rat-a-tat rhythms land some stunners . . . enhanced by Evans’ lithe and swaggering artwork, which lends a tremendous visual charisma, grace, and grandeur.” —Booklist starred review