Stories to share with your community on Juneteenth and beyond

On June 19, 1865 in Galveston, TX, enslaved African Americans 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 were 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 their enslaved 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?

Learn more about these books →

MacKids Spotlight: Randi Pink

This month we’re interviewing Randi Pink, author of Angel of Greenwood. May 31, 2021 marks 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre. In this historical fiction account of the tragedy, the thriving Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, OK is destroyed by an angry mob of white people. Randi Pink honors the real victims of Greenwood by acknowledging the strength and resilience in this community and two teenagers who fall in love in the midst of chaos. 

Randi shares more about her inspiration for the story and what she hopes young readers will learn here.

Read a Q&A with Randi here →

Teacher’s Guide: CHANCE: Escape from the Holocaust

Chance: Escape from the Holocaust: Memories of a Refugee Childhood by Uri Shulevitz

From a beloved voice in children’s literature comes this landmark memoir of hope amid harrowing times and an engaging and unusual Holocaust story.

With backlist sales of over 2.3 million copies, Uri Shulevitz, one of Farrar, Straus and Grioux’s most acclaimed picture-book creators, details the eight-year odyssey of how he and his Jewish family escaped the terrors of the Nazis by fleeing Warsaw for the Soviet Union in Chance.

It was during those years, with threats at every turn, that the young Uri experienced his awakening as an artist, an experience that played a key role during this difficult time. By turns dreamlike and nightmarish, this heavily illustrated account of determination, courage, family loyalty, and the luck of coincidence is a true publishing event.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

Request a digital ARC of MIGHTY JUSTICE + read co-author Katie McCabe’s letter to teachers & librarians

“Dovey Johnson Roundtree set a new path for women and proved that the vision and perseverance of a single individual can turn the tides of history.”—Michelle Obama

Katie-McCabe is the co-author of two inspiring new books about the life of civil rights trailblazer Dovey Johnson Roundtree: We Wait for the Sun (a new picture book stunningly illustrated by Raissa Figueroa) and Mighty Justice (Young Readers’ Edition), adapted by Jabari Asim, from Dovey’s memoir for adults.

In a letter to educators and librarians, Katie McCabe shares why Dovey Johnson Roundtree’s story is so important to share with young readers as we teach them about the fight for civil rights and racial equality.

You can request a digital ARC of Mighty Justice (Young Readers’ Edition) on NetGalley today! Keep reading to learn how.

Request a digital ARC + read Katie McCabe’s letter →

Teacher’s Guide: Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh
Now Available in Paperback!

A timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

Set against the backdrop of the Syrian refugee crisis, award-winning author of Jepp, Who Defied the Stars Katherine Marsh delivers a gripping, heartwarming story of resilience, friendship and everyday heroes. Barbara O’Connor, author of Wish and Wonderland, says “Move Nowhere Boy to the top of your to-be-read pile immediately.”

ALA Notable Children’s Book 2019
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2018
New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Books of 2018
ILA Social Justice Literature Award

★ “This well-crafted and suspenseful novel touches on the topics of refugees and immigrant integration, terrorism, Islam, Islamophobia, and the Syrian war with sensitivity and grace.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Marsh skillfully weaves the historical parallels with a touching story of friendship. She ratchets up the tension and suspense, until it becomes unbearable; readers will fly through the last hundred pages… Thoughtfully touching on immigration, Islamophobia, and terrorism, this novel is a first-purchase. Hands to fans of Alan Gratz’s Refugee.” —School Library Journal, starred review

Find more teacher’s guides here.

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 →