Teacher’s Guide: She Sang for India

She Sang for India: How M.S. Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice for Change by Suma Subramaniam; illustrated by Shreya Gupta
Ages 4-8
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A picture book biography about M.S. Subbulakshmi, a powerful Indian singer who advocated for justice and peace through song.

Before M.S. Subbulakshmi was a famous Carnatic singer and the first Indian woman to perform at the United Nations, she was a young girl with a prodigious voice.

But Subbulakshmi was not free to sing everywhere. In early 1900s India, girls were not allowed to perform for the public. So Subbulakshmi busted barriers to sing at small festivals. Eventually, she broke tradition to record her first album. She did not stop here. At Gandhi’s request, Subbulakshmi sang for India’s freedom. Her fascinating odyssey stretched across borders, and soon she was no longer just a young prodigy. She was a woman who changed the world.

Teacher’s Guide: Call Him Jack

Call Him Jack: The Story of Jackie Robinson, Black Freedom Fighter
By Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long
Ages 10-14
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An enthralling, eye-opening portrayal of this barrier-breaking American hero as a lifelong, relentlessly proud fighter for Black justice and civil rights.

According to Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson was “a sit-inner before the sit-ins, a freedom rider before the Freedom Rides.” According to Hank Aaron, Robinson was a leader of the Black Power movement before there was a Black Power movement. According to his wife, Rachel Robinson, he was always Jack, not Jackie—the diminutive form of his name bestowed on him in college by white sports writers. And throughout his whole life, Jack Robinson was a fighter for justice, an advocate for equality, and an inspiration beyond just baseball.

From prominent Robinson scholars Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long comes Call Him Jack, an exciting biography that recovers the real person behind the legend, reanimating this famed figure’s legacy for new generations, widening our focus from the sportsman to the man as a whole, and deepening our appreciation for his achievements on the playing field in the process.

Find out more about CALL HIM JACK here →

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?

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Earth Day Resource Center

Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) with these books! Keep reading to discover an entire collection of books that will inspire your young readers to become environmentally conscious.


Oceans of Possibilities

Are you participating in the Oceans of Possibilities Collaborative Summer Library Program? Add these books to your shelves today!

View our full collection of environmental books here →

Book Round-up: Talking to Kids About Current Events: Ukraine

Not sure how to talk to kids about what’s happening in world events? We’ve rounded up some books that provide an accessible way to talk to kids about lessons we can learn from history, and also included some books to use as resources for media literacy. Plus, see below to find journal entry prompts to help your kids process their emotions.

A Note:

Because talking about current events–especially those involving war–can be a triggering experience for people at any age, it can be a good idea to allow kids to process what they’ve already seen and heard before starting any new conversations. By creating a space for kids to journal, they can start digesting their own emotions and responses. Keep in mind that some children have experienced the effects of war and may feel a personal connection to the Eastern European population closely impacted by Putin’s actions. To provide you with some talking points, we’ve found a list of sources that can help educators talk about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with students.


Sources for Talking to Children About the Attack on Ukraine

Teachers can offer a safe space for students to talk about the war in Ukraine and help them take action – with entry-level talking points for kids at varying ages

Talking to Kids About the War in Ukraine – from San Diego County Office of Education, many resources for talking to children of all ages and includes social-emotional resources

Hear what teens have to say about the war in Ukraine – teen posts from the New York Times forum


Journal Entry Prompts for Processing Current Events:

Prompt 1 for early education: Think about the news events that you’ve watched or heard adults talk about this week. What was the news? Do you think it is important? How do you feel about this news?

Prompt 2 for middle graders: Think about the news events that have happened this week. Choose the one event that you think is important, and write a paragraph journal entry about it. What happened? Why do you think it is important? How do you feel about what you’ve heard?

Prompt 3 for high schoolers: Think about the current events that have happened in the world this past week. Choose a specific event that you think is important, and write a multi-paragraph journal entry about it. What happened? Why is it important? Do you feel personally impacted by this? How can you empathize with those affected by the event?


Click the tabs below to view more books in each age category.

Find a list of recommended books here →

Celebrate LATINITAS during Women’s History Month!

Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today in Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers by Juliet Menéndez, a gorgeous collection of biographies accompanied by stunning hand-painted illustrations! Don’t miss Latinitas (Spanish Edition): Una celebración de 40 soñadoras audaces available on March 1st!

Download free educator resources and teacher’s guides (available in both English and Spanish!) to use alongside the book. Plus, enter to receive a free Latinitas art print to display in your classroom or library.

Find more resources to celebrate LATINITAS here →

Teacher’s Guide: Rise Up!: How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy by Dr. Crystal M. Fleming

Rise Up!: How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy
Ages 12-18
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This urgent book explores the roots of racism and its legacy in modern day, all while empowering young people with actionable ways they can help foster a better world and become antiracists.

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Why are white supremacists still openly marching in the United States? Why are undocumented children of color separated from their families and housed in cages? Where did racism come from? Why hasn’t it already disappeared? And what can young people do about it?

Rise Up! breaks down the origins of racial injustice and its continued impact today, connecting dots between the past and present. By including contemporary examples ripped from headlines and actionable ways young people can help create a more inclusive world, sociologist Crystal Marie Fleming shares the knowledge and values that unite all antiracists: compassion, solidarity, respect, and courage in the face of adversity. Perfect for fans of Stamped: RemixThis Book is Antiracist, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy, and The Black Friend.

Learn more about RISE UP! here →