Thursday, January 29, 2015

Day of Diversity coming to ALA Midwinter!

Join the Association for Library Service to Children-Children’s Book Council's Day of Diversity on Friday, January 30th at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Chicago! Adriana Dominguez will be representing Full Circle at the Day of Diversity opening panel.  We’re proud to add to the discussion and highlight some of key Full Circle Literary titles published in 2014 and coming in spring 2015!

Join the conversation and read more here: Day of Diversity: Dialogue and Action in Children’s Literature and Library Programming | Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

Monica Brown speaks about "the power of words" on NPR

English Professor and Author Monica Brown Weighs In On The Power Of Dehumanizing Language in response to Rep. Steven King. 

Language is powerful. Monica Brown knows that. She's an English professor at Northern Arizona University, a children's author and a Latina. Until last week, Brown had never heard the term "a deportable" used to describe an immigrant to the U.S., and it left her with an uneasy feeling. In this commentary, Brown says there's a ripple effect of negativity when we use language that dehumanizes people.

NAU English professor Monica Brown
NAU English professor Monica Brown

Deportable. The prefix de signifies removal, separation, reduction or reversal, as in deforestation or demerit. De reverses a verb's action, as in defuse or decompose. De is not often used with a noun, but it was last week. That's when Republican Representative Steve King referred to one of First Lady Michelle Obama's guests as "a deportable." He tweeted it.

When I heard this description of 21 year old Ana Zamora, a hardworking college student and DREAMer, it felt like a blow to the chest. When President Obama enacted his 2012 executive order on immigration, Ana Zamora wrote him a thank you letter. She said, "I am finally a person in the United States..."

Not according to Representative King. To him, she is a deportable.

Listen to Monica Brown on National Public Radio, here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

LITTLE MELBA named a 2015 Notable Book for a Global Society!

We're all so proud to see LITTLE MELBA AND HER BIG TROMBONE on the just announced 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society list by the International Reading Association (IRA). These top books of the year reflect diversity in the broadest sense, celebrating a wide variety of voices and topics!

See the complete list here, and download a pdf flyer to share.

At Full Circle Literary we're always looking for voices that bring diverse viewpoints and new topics to readers, and look forward to hearing from writers and artists that celebrate being citizens of the world! If this sounds like your next book, we'd love to hear from you in the new year. Please visit our Full Circle submission guidelines and we look forward to reading!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A star for Emery Lord's THE START OF ME AND YOU!

Thrilled to announce a starred review for Emery Lord's ya novel THE START OF ME AND YOU from School Library Journal! Congratulations Emery!

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love & second chances. Coming from Bloomsbury in March.
Aspiring screenwriter Paige Hancock is determined to redefine herself one year after her boyfriend, Aaron, drowned. Paige creates a checklist of tasks that she intends to accomplish during her junior year to finally shake off the label of “the girl whose boyfriend drowned” in small-town Oakhurst, IN. With the support of a solid core of best friends, Paige succeeds in her “plan to become normal again.” The crew also helps her recover from the devastating loss of her beloved and supportive grandmother and to cope with her divorced parents dating each other. She also finds a budding romance in an unexpected place—with Max Watson, nerdy cousin of heartthrob Ryan Chase. 

In sharp contrast to darker, more issue-driven YA books, this title keeps truer to the problems that most teens face. The protagonist’s upbeat attitude will inspire readers to persevere even during the low points in life.–– School Library Journal (starred review)

A second star for DRUM DREAM GIRL!

We're getting excited about the March release of DRUM DREAM GIRL the first picture book collaboration by Newbery Honor writer Margarita Engle and Pura Belpré Award winner Rafael López, to be published by Houghton Miflin Harcourt.

Thrilled to share the second starred review from SLJ! Hooray!

    cid:1A1DEBCB-A845-4791-A9E5-68C4C3629FD8Engle, Margarita. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music. illus. by Rafael López. 48p. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544102293. 

Gr 1-4–Engle’s spare, rhythmic text gets at the heart of the struggle to achieve a dream in this picture-book biography about a Chinese African Cuban girl who aspired to play drums even when society’s double standards stood as a barrier. Growing up in tempestuous 1930s Havana, during a time when universities were often shut down because of their opposition to the dictatorial President Machado, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga dared to dream of playing percussion instruments—timbales, congas, bongós—but her father was adamant that “only boys should play drums.” But still she persisted in her hopes and eventually, with the help of her sisters and music teacher, became a member of the renowned Anacaona, Cuba’s first all-girl dance band, founded by her sister, Cuchito Castro. 

López’s zinging, neon-tinged art highlights the island’s diversity, depicting the drum girl’s flights of fancy set against the backdrop of carnival scenes and outdoor cafes. Details of Cuba’s and the protagonist’s Chinese, African, Taíno, and Spanish roots are seamlessly interwoven into the lyrical narrative and luminous acrylic paintings. The alliterative text parallels the snappy syncopation of the subject’s instruments. The heroine’s tenacity in the face of naysayers will inspire all dreamers, and the illustrator’s smile-inducing cameo on the last page emphasizes the universality of Millo’s story. For those looking for more nonfiction titles about female musical powerhouses, such as Monica Brown’s My Name Is Celia/Me llamo Celia (Cooper Square, 2004), Katheryn Russell-Brown’s Little Melba and Her Big Trombone (Lee & Low, 2014), and Carole Boston Weatherford’s Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century (Knopf, 2014). An author’s note gives more background on the groundbreaking percussionist. –Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

A star for picture book debut I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG!

Thrilled to share picture book debut writer Dev Petty receives a starred review from Publishers Weekly! If you are looking for a laugh get ready for this new release coming from Random House in March 2015. Congratulations Dev and illustrator Mike Boldt!

Dev Petty, illus. by Mike Boldt. Doubleday, ISBN 978-0-385-37866-6,  Ages 3–7

First-time author Petty’s dialogue between a frog father and his son makes its point about accepting one’s nature with a big grin. Boldt (Colors Versus Shapes) draws the two with exaggerated stringiness: the son is all rubber lips and sticky toes, his bespectacled father working as straight man. 

The young frog would rather be a cat, or perhaps a rabbit. “You can’t be a Rabbit,” says his beleaguered father. “Why not? Look, I can hop!” “Sure, but where are your long ears?” The small frog looks up, purses his lips, and feels around his head—nothing! “Besides,” his father adds, “what’s wrong with being a Frog?” “It’s too slimy,” the young frog replies. He wants to be a pig, then an owl, until a wolf appears—one who loves to eat cats, rabbits, pigs, and owls, but considers frogs “too wet and slimy and full of Bugs.” Now the frog sees his existence in a delightful new light. 

The story might create similar gratitude in the minds of readers—or it might just make them giggle. ---Publishers Weekly (starred review)


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