March music

March is a month with a perfect (English-language) name. And it carries a perfect theme- Women’s History Month. Either way, March dwells in the world of movin’ on,  heading out.

PLUS, for a good cause you can bid on She Sang Promise, my picture book about Betty Mae Jumper, at the link below.

TWO BOOKS

I think of two important books for young readers,  one about a real girl who is still a girl,  far across the ocean, and one about the girlhood of a real Canadian woman. Two titles about lives where a person’s struggle to gain the right of individual choice, paid off.

As the first story I share opens, NUJOOD ALI  is living a restricted life in Yemen, the land of the Queen of Sheba, as her book relates. This helps set  the exotic scene of men who wear curved daggers in public, while girls and women are expected to remain heavily veiled and to follow all wishes that their father desires. Nujood’s father arranges her marriage. She is beaten and held a prisoner by her husband and in-laws. She is raped by her husband, who has promised not to have intercourse until at least her first period. She is a child, after all. Her  true story is told in matter-of-fact and page-turning fashion, with the help of international journalist Delphine Minoui, in I AM NUJOOD, AGE 10 AND DIVORCED.

For the experience of MARGARET POKIAK-FENTON, travel far north of the United States into the realm of Arctic Canada. Margaret’s childhood shimmers with the love of her family and her community. She is a skillful Inuit child, able to direct her own dog sled across the vast Northwest Territory ice. And like Nujood, she is ten. Her parents make a mistake. They yield to Margaret’s insistence that she be allowed to go with the exotic nuns, who pluck Inuit children from remote villages to educate them far away in harsh boarding schools for native children. Margaret will be gone an entire school year. The humiliations and emotional abuse she experiences, both from the staff and other students, along with her  strong spirit that carries her through, are a journey similar to Nujood’s. Her book is FATTY LEGS. It is illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes. And it is expertly told by Christy Jordan-Fenton.

Each of these titles is a noted Amelia Bloomer book, listed by Feminist Task Force of the

Social Responsibilities Round Table , of the American Library Association.

FOUR RESOURCES of DEPTH

KIDLIT Celebrates Women’s History Month. This link connects to a lively post-a-day blog, hosted by two librarians. It only occurs in March. It’s a treasure to bookmark, to pass along & to return to online. I learned about it last year when it debuted. So happy to welcome the KIDLIT team back.

National Women’s History Museum

National Women’s History Project This is the link where my book is part of a fund-raising auction.

National Women’s Hall of Fame

mother earth

http://www.nmai.si.edu

Look at Eartrh Day 2010 events but also plan ahead for August 2010, Living Earth Fest

Earth Day Program
Honoring the Living Earth: Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Communities in Colombia

Thursday, April 22, 2010
12–1:30 p.m.
National Museum of the American Indian
Room 4018, Fourth Level
4th Street and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C.

This program will also be webcast live.

program flyer

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY with special presentations by Luis Gilberto Murillo-Urrutia and Dr. Alicia Rios Hurtado. Murillo was elected governor of Chocó, Colombia, at the age of 31 after successfully instituting pioneering programs to protect biodiversity and the tropical rainforest, and to defend the land rights of Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities.  As governor, Murillo won wide praise for his innovative proposals and strategies for sustainable development and environmental protection. He is currently the Vice President for Programs and Strategy at Phelps Stokes in Washington, DC.

Alicia Rios Hurtado has served as Vice-President for Research and Director of the Institute of Biodiversity at the Technological University of Chocó and currently leads the university research group on sustainable use of biodiversity. Dr. Rios Hurtado received Colombia’s prestigious National Award for Scientific Merit in 2004. She is one of the nine members of the National Council of Science and Technology, and is the only woman and the only Afro-Colombian on the Council.

Presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Embassy of Colombia.

To RSVP or for more information, please email NMAI-SSP@si.edu.

happy earth day copyright Jan Godown

Write on

This announcement in my email brightens my day.

Young Native Writers Essay Contest

The National Museum of the American Indian, in partnership with the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, is pleased to announce a call for entries for the annual Young Native Writers Essay Contest.

Five selected essayists, and the teachers that inspired their participation, will win an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. in July 2010 and a $2,500 scholarship.

Learn more.

<< Image: Mariah Oney (Navajo) from Phoenix, Arizona, was the top scholarship recipient in 2009.

Please don’t keep this a secret. Pass it on. And many thanks to the National Museum of the American Indian for the alert

www.nmai.si.org

& gratitude to the sponsors, Holland & Knight.   Good luck to the young writers.

D.C. days

Try to remember when you first visited Washington, D.C.

For me, as a child.

Tall, white buildings.

Giant animals frozen in time.

Glittering Hope Diamond. And rubies. And emeralds.

The actual monster space travelers from NASA.  (see the re-entry scars!) These were in OUTER SPACE!

Fountains.

Big carved rocks of men on horses at every traffic circle.

I also remember touring The White House with my family in the 1960s. This was before the days of

heritage tourism.  There were no rest room facilities for the public. But a member of our party needed one.

So this person received an unusual private tour to a lovely room reserved for VIP guests.  And the sneak peeks

down halls & opening & closing doors as staff performed their duties, was the top topic the rest of the day.

I visit D.C. as often as I can, which is made sweet by having a longtime college pal who

is generous in sharing her townhouse with friends. And another pal who also shares. Thank you folks!


Recently the trip turned judicial, because my public interest lawyer husband was involved in an important juvenile justice  case at the Supreme Court. First visit to that august body. And naturally there wasn’t time enough to learn enough. A return visit expected.  Let me just say: Go Justice Sonia, Go!

 

 

http://www.culturaltourismdc.org

WALKING D.C.

The connected folks at Cultural Tourism D.C.

www.culturaltourismdc.org

sent me & my walking boots to their site, to  explore with my eyes before I arrived.

I settled on a tour of The Mall.

Our leader with the blue umbrella, Tim Stewart, a retired h.s. guidance counselor, knew the hills & vales to lead us to,

the front porch & back porch gossip, & the best place to adjust soggy situations.  (I used the automatic hand dryer in a women’s restroom to remove puddles that my boots soaked up.)  For nearly 2 hours – and I’m sure he could have brought us to more sites – he regaled us with his love of our Mall.  We were of U.S., Paraguay & Asian heritage.  Ask for Tim when you make your plans.

Although I have to say that my trip with my husband to gaze with love at our Nation’s Sacred Documents of Freedom &  one of the the Brit’s original Magna Cartas (1297!!!) at the National Archives sits at the top of the list on this visit,  Walking the Mall with our  Guide is a close 2nd.

This was on Memorial Day, folks, we were in the midst of poignant moments, floral tributes, military honor guard at the Vietnam Memorial (s). And it was funeral, the gray sky, the chizzle (chill drizzle).  My heart leapt. My father, the American Legion Commander of his post in Our Hunterdon County, N.J. town, honored his Memorial Days. I placed my hand over my

heart, for our troops’ brave service. Then I hummed as a prayer, brilliant John Lennon’s words,  war is over … So be it.

World War II Memorial

Washington, D.C.  Nov. 11, 2009