We are anticipating the February Read-In, created by the Black Caucus of the NCTE , but before that introspective time at the library is upon us, it’s time to announce two important events of January. First, Literacy with a capital L was feted well for a week in official ways here in Florida.
Bears of the kind that can be compelled to look at books enlivened Celebrate Literacy Week. They attended school where I volunteer. At the appointed hour we experienced the fun of DEAR – Drop Everything and Read . My Book Bear puppet snuggled in his always-attached purple sleeping bag, to read CATWINGS from Urusula K. LeGuin. I settled in a plastic chair to begin Tracy Barret’s channeling of teen angst in Classical (minotaur) times, THE KING OF ITHAKA. Celebrate Literacy Week ended for me with a surprise visit from The Cat In The Hat & a governor of the way past & Mrs. Governor at Children’s Day at the Mueum of Florida History. As one little girl said, whilst occupied in making an alligator book mark at my table for Children’s Day: “I am a STAR reader! ” She is. They all were. Are. Please let us enjoy more weeks like this.
Also in January I’ve been delighted to compose linking information about 10 particular books for our reading pleasure. The links are a work in progress, so check back.
Each title is newly deemed by the Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Feminist Task Force, of the American Library Association, to be worthy of association with the hallowed name of that wonderful editor, writer, public speaker & wife beloved by her husband, Dexter Bloomer, the one and only feminist Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) Dexter so adored Amelia that after her death, he collected her writings in a book. He was a journalist who urged Amelia, a teacher and caregiver to children, to publish in the first place. Her good name is lent to an annual list of 60 or so books, dynamic stories, both fiction and non, published each year, for readers from babies through age 18, that are written and illustrated in a way that is thought to “spur the imagination while confronting traditional female stereotypes.” AJB is, of course, remembered for the Turkish pantaloons that another feminist brought back from world travels. Amelia aquired some, wore them rather than 10 pounds of petticoats & stiff corsets, etc. & wrote about them in her newspaper, The Lily. One fine biography where some of this AJB material is from, is given us by Nebraska author Mary Lickteig, to whom I say a rousing, Thank You.
For 2011 (published in 2010) the Top 10 titles of the Amelia Bloomer Project List, announced Jan. 11, 2011 at the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting are:
CLICK: When We Knew We Were Feminists by Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan
FEARLESS FEMALE JOURNALISTS by Joy Crysdale
I AM NUJOOD, by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoul
PEMBA SHERPA by Olga Cossi with illustrations from Gary Bernard
SHE SANG PROMISE: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader by Jan Godown Annino with illustrations from Lisa Desimini & afterword from Moses Jumper, Jr.
SOAR, ELINOR! by Tami Lewis Brown with illustrations from Francois Roca
THE COWGIRL WAY: Hat’s off to America’s Women of the West by Holly George-Warren
THE FIREFLY LETTERS: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba by Margarita Engle.
WOMEN AVIATORS: From Amelia Earhart to Sally Ride, Making History in Space by Bernard Marck
(2 notes: I am publishing this now before February arrives & I expect to have more links up soon. The month got away from me with an unexpected out of town trip & …. life, sweet life. Thank you to Jennifer L. Holm for writing the wonderful Our Only May Amelia, from whence I stole the title idea for this post.)