Have you ever been to a store with custom made name bracelets, keychains, birthday banners, coffee mugs, notepads and pens and not find your name? Well that is just one trouble with having a unique name. The other part of having a unique name is having others mispronounce. So what do you do? Politely correct them each time or let them give you a pet name? This was the story of the main character Kareemalayyesseenadeen. This story was told creatively, compassionately, and with inspiring and empowering tones. This is a story I recommend for every child, parent, and teacher to read. It highlights issues of self-esteem, self-love, cultural sensitivity, ethnic diversity, childhood teasing, and the role of family in socioemotional development. It is very important for children to see themselves in the books they read and the stories they hear. This one is truly a mirror, window, and door for children to have that experience. Using watercolor illustrations and not mentioning specific countries allows any reader to connect with the story. I highly recommend.
It reminded me of a speech given by Uzomaka Aduma. She shared of an incident where she told her mother the difficulty her American friends had saying her name. Her mother told her “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”
A student asking bravely to have her or his name said correctly is simply a matter of advocating for oneself. It reminded me of a Key and Peele skit, where the subsitute teacher got all the names wrong, and Denise insisted on being called Denise, not Dee-nice.
This amazing book was written by Huda Essa, who has positively influenced countless communities around the nation through her engaging and thought-provoking learning opportunities. Huda utilizes her extensive experience as a Cultural Competency Consultant, former Teacher and English Language Development Specialist to support organizations in successfully meeting their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Her focus is to empower children to take pride in their many identities while showing respect for themselves and others. Huda continues to write culturally relevant children’s books and is also the producer of a series of short films focused on matters of social justice. To learn more visit www.culturelinksllc.com
On April 27, 2018, Olivia Lauren and I, Melissa-Sue John met this awesome mother daughter duo at Pitkin Elementary’s Vendor Fair, where the mission of the school was to fundraise for an accessible playground. Karen Opper and her 19-year-old daughter, Belle Opper were getting ready to open a bookstore and informed us they would be delighted to carry our books. Their dream fully materialized on July 15th when they opened their brick and mortar store located at 446 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield, CT. We are so happy for them. All of this is #motherdaughterbosses #womenpreneurs #womenempowerment has us feeling very hopeful, confident, and assured that hard work and passion do pay off. We are inviting our readers to support this business. Our youth need to read more and see the power of a dream realized. Their website carries all the books if you are unable to attend in person.
Written by: Jessica Kenskey & Patrick Downes
Illustrated by: Scott Magoon
Published by: Candlewick Press
Recommended age: 8 to 12
Written by husband and wife team, "Rescue and Jessica" is a sad but uplifting story of a young disabled girl who becomes friends with a black lab, who is a service dog. Together Rescue and Jessica helped each other get over sadness, anxiety, and disappointment. The story is based on a true story but give the sensitively told version of the incident. The authors were both injured in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, which changed their lives but brought them together with their dog, Rescue.
Lauren Simone Publishing House loves meeting new young authors and illustrators around the country. We recently discovered Bailey C. Moore on Instagram and invited him to do a live online interview.
On Thursday, May 17, 2018, Olivia Lauren and I (Melissa) had a great time learning about Bailey and his book. He is such a warm, kind, and friendly young man. It was a pleasure to get to know him and think you will love him and his book too.
Written by: Melissa-Sue John, Ph.D.
In the United States of America, the national average for per pupil expenditure is approximately $12,000. Significant disparity exists across the country. For example, New York and Alaska spend more than $20,000 per student; North Carolina spends $8,940; while Utah spends less than $4,000 (Governing, 2017; US Census, 2015).
Teachers in schools who receive significantly less spending per student believe an increase in funds per student would make a difference in achievement and overall student well-being (Valdosta Times, 2018). These disparities translate to some students having access to new text books, state of the art technology, personalized laptops, field trips, small class sizes, nurses and psychologists on staff, and brand-new text books, while other schools have students with insufficient books, outdated or dilapidated text books, and no money for educational field trips. The low-income children are certainly feeling it and are expected to compete at the same rate. No wonder the academic achievement gap remains persistent.
Hello readers!!!! Welcome to LSP Blogs. My name is Olivia Lauren. I am a child author and publisher. My mom, sister, and I created Lauren Simone Publishing House to provide a place for talented youth to share their stories and their art. Today I am interviewing my friend and fellow mini-author, Imani Ariana Grant.
Olivia: Hello Imani. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Imani: I am a nine-year-old girl who loves to dance, sing, do art, play the violin, and play with my friends. I also love fairy tales, myths, and animation. So far, I love to write! I also love my new book!
Olivia: What inspired you to write a book?
Imani: My baby brother inspired me to begin to write and still does! One day, I was sitting on my porch and I saw my brother watching a show about planets. And that is who inspires me and why.
Before 2017 ended, I wanted to review the books I received so as to start the new year fresh with all promises completed and wishes granted.
The first book I will be reviewing today is Danielle's Disastrous Days by Liza D. Osae-Kwapong. Liza is a youth author. She wrote self-published her first book in the 5th grade. Her younger sister, Jasmeen is also an author.
Childhood is no stranger to pain. As an elementary student you struggle to maintain grades, keep behavior aligned to the school's expectations, demands of extracurricular activities, and balancing home life (chores, siblings, parents, pets, etc.). Thirteen year old, Danielle has the sad experience of losing her father, Matthew Heart when she was only a few years old. Her younger sister, Beth barely remembers him. Her mom, Isabelle stuggled to maintain finances as a single mom, so they left New Jersey and moved to Columbus, Ohio for a better life. But like wasnt better for Danielle who had to face Martha, a mean, rich girl and missing her best friend, Nicole. However, with the help of Josh and some new friends, she finds a way to build a new, enriching life and overcome the obstacles in her way. Martha is running for student government and everyone is afraid to face her. But Danielle goes against her. Find out what happends in Danielle's Disastrous Days sold on Amazon in print and kindle formats. This book is an inspiring story to teach children persistence, honesty, and the power of friendship.
Three best friends
Author: Robbin Miller
Editor: Jennifer Niles
Publisher: Self-published, 2017
Robbin Miller has published her second picture book entitled, Three Best Friends. Meet Max Thomas, a wheel chair bound boy who is excited about the opening of a new playground and the opportunity to play with his able bodied, best friends, Sophia and Xavier. To his disappointment, the park is not accessible for wheel chairs and leaves him feeling humiliated and stigmatized. In a very child appropriate tone, the story introduces children to the topic of ability, diversity, and bullying. The moral of the story is that all children should be able to play together, however inclusive playgrounds are costly to build. The illustrations were brightly colored and had diverse main characters (White, Black; male, female; abled, disabled). I give this book 5 stars for its creativity, important social content, and representation. You can get your copy here.
While reading this book, things the reader may consider: Is handicapped or special, acceptable terms to use for a child in wheel chair? Why aren’t more parks made accessible to all children? How important do parents think it is for children to play with a variety of children? According to the Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Survey (2014), 74% of parents who responded think it is important. Inclusive environments foster increased social interactions, meaningful friendships, appreciation and acceptance of individual differences, understanding of diversity, respect, empathy, and emotional growth.