A Mighty Girl Creators

  • Artwork of Hope, Love, & Support from the Children's Book World

    35 Posters for Children With Uplifting Messages of Support & Solidarity.

    safetypin-blog-webOver the past few days, children's book illustrators have been creating images featuring their beloved characters coupled with messages of love and support. Many of these images show their characters with a safety pin (#KidLitSafetyPin), others show the characters hugging (#HugsfromKidLit), but all are symbols to kids feeling vulnerable or being targeted with harassment that they are not alone -- that they are loved and valued. Moreover, these drawings, which the artists hope teachers and librarians will post in schools (you can click on any image below to open a printable version), send an important message to all students that now is the time to come together with friends and classmates to stand against any hateful speech or actions motivated by differences in gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, country of origin, or ability.

    Along with sharing these messages of love, hope, and solidarity with children, author Kate Messner also expressed the importance of taking the next step: "If this is something you plan to share with students, please also take time to talk about what it means to have someone's back when it comes to fighting bullying and bigotry. Wearing a safety pin (or putting up a poster) doesn't really help unless it's accompanied by a promise of action. Speaking up and standing beside people who are being targeted requires courage, commitment, and planning. Here's a resource [from the Southern Poverty Law Center] that I think is great for talking with middle grade kids and older."

    With young children, picture books offer an excellent way to emphasize the importance of kindness and acceptance of others. And, of course, literature is also a powerful way to explore topics ranging from misogyny to bigotry to xenophobia with older children and teens, as well as a vehicle for encouraging discussion on how we can build a more just and inclusive society now and in the future. In the resource section below, you can find a variety of such reading recommendations for all ages.

    We hope you will print the images below, share them, and let all of the kids in your community know: they can find safety, hope, and love in books and with you. Continue reading

  • Girls Matter: Author Katie Quirk on the International Day of the Girl

    By Katie Quirk, Author, A Girl Called Problem

    Today, Friday, October 11th, the world is celebrating the second annual Day of the Girl Child, and I couldn’t be more excited. I have a personal stake in the growing awareness that educating and empowering girls can transform whole communities — all of us do I suppose, but my dear friend and sister, Modesta, exemplifies that notion for me in a very personal way.

    Modesta

    Modesta Pounds Rice 2 Modesta Pounds Rice

    I met Modesta in Tanzania in 1998. I was an American volunteer, teaching in a newly-formed university on the southern shore of Lake Victoria. Modesta was a spunky, 12-year-old girl with an infectious laugh who sold papayas and mangoes door to door. She also turned out to be the key to my survival in Tanzania.

    In addition to teaching me how to speak Swahili, Modesta schooled me in village living — everything from how to carry buckets of water on my head, to how to bargain with vendors at the vegetable market, to how to rid my mattress of bedbugs. In return, I tried to do whatever I could for Modesta. I didn’t have a lot to offer — an open ear, a willingness to play with her on days when she had energy to spare after going to school, selling fruit, gathering firewood, washing her laundry by hand, cleaning dishes, carrying water…you get the picture. Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl Creators Series: Interview with Jeanette Winter, Author and Illustrator

    by Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    photo posted on post-gazette.comToday we continue our Mighty Girl Creators Series with our latest installment: an interview with esteemed author and illustrator Jeanette Winter. Ms. Winter is the creator of numerous highly regarded picture books, many of which feature the true stories of amazing women.

    Ms. Winter loves writing about artists, since her own desire to be one growing up has resulted in a fascination with the artistic process, though she also writes about any story that captures her interest. Her latest book, due for release in the summer of 2013, is Henri’s Scissors, the story of Henri Matisse’s work in his later life.

    On A Mighty Girl’s website, we feature several of Winter’s books, including the picture book biographies My Name Is Georgia, about artist Georgia O’Keeffe; The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps; and Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa about Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Her book The Librarian of Basra: A True Story From Iraq tells the amazing story of Alia Muhammad Baker’s rescue of the books during the invasion of Iraq. And Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan is a testament to the power that reading and books can have to heal even the deepest wounds.

    Winter lives in New York City with her husband, painter Roger Winter. You can read more about Winter’s life and writing at her Macmillan author page or her Simon and Schuster author page. Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl Creators Series: Interview with Doreen Rappaport, Storyteller and Historian

    doreen-rappaport2[1]By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    We are pleased to continue our new blog series, A Mighty Girl Creators, with our latest installment: a conversation with author Doreen Rappaport. An award-winning creator of nearly forty books for children and young adults, Ms. Rappaport often shares the true stories of remarkable individuals from over the course of history. In particular, she likes to feature those figures whom she calls “not-yet-celebrated.” She is an especially appropriate subject for Women’s History Month, as her writing so often celebrates the lives and contributions of women while making their stories accessible to young readers.

    On A Mighty Girl’s website, you will find multiple books from Ms. Rappaport’s pen, and the selections cover a wide range of non-fiction territory. There are picture books presenting engaging biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen Keller, and a gripping tale of female baseball legends. Older children will be invited to read stories of danger and bravery in Escape from Slavery: Five Journeys to Freedom, a collection of five true tales, four of which focus on girls or women. A young adult audience will discover fascinating historic content within the covers of The Flight of Red Bird: The Life of Zitkala-Ša and American Women: Their Lives in Their Words, two publications that heavily feature primary source material. Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl Creators Series: Interview with Ingrid Law, Author of "Savvy"

    Author Ingrid Law Author Ingrid Law

    By Elizabeth Alarid, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    We are thrilled to launch our new blog series on "A Mighty Girl Creators" with our interview with Newbery Honoree Ingrid Law, author of Savvy and Scumble. Savvy, A Mighty Girl Top Pick book, is the story of 13 year old Mississippi "Mibs" Beaumont and her extraordinary family, all who possess a "savvy", a special ability akin to a super power, that can range from raising mountains to controlling the weather to hearing the thoughts of others.

    A moving and hilarious coming of age tale, Savvy follows Mibs on a rollicking adventure aboard a bus as she grieves for her hospitalized father, has her first kiss, makes new friends, and transitions into her teenage years. Though Mibs discovers her savvy along the way, she comes to realize that each person has their own special strengths that make them exceptional, even if it's a normal kind of special ability, like being caring, resilient, or nurturing. Filled with adventure, humor, and delightfully playful language, "Savvy" is a book that celebrates the strength, perseverance, and tolerance housed within each individual, magical or otherwise.

    Savyy's author, Ingrid Law, is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been placed on over 25 state reading lists, and have earned multiple awards, including a Newbery Honor citation, a Boston Globe - Horn Book honor, and the Lamplighter Award. Her work has received accolades from Publisher's Weekly, Oprah's reading list, the Today Show's Al Roker's Book Club for Kids, and Smithsonian. Ingrid lives in Colorado, where she writes full time and is currently working on her next novel. You can find her on her website and on Facebook. Continue reading

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