In recent months there has been a resurgence of book banning, especially books for children and teens that depict a diversity of experiences. Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. The theme for Banned Books Week is Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us. These Magination Press books have been challenged recently: Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP is included on the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2020. It was challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views. Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children's questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives. It includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues. Hear Something Happened in Our Town read aloud by the authors. This Day In June by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD was Named one of the Top 11 Most Challenged Books of 2018 by American Library Association and is included in the American Library Association’s”Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Past Decade. In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day In June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united. Also included is a Reading Guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a Note to Parents and Caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways. This Day In June is an excellent tool for teaching respect, acceptance, and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart, PhD A positive tool for celebrating a wide range of human diversity and all kids of familial love. —Booklist A must-have primer for young readers and a great gift for pride events and throughout the year, beautiful colors all together make a rainbow in Rainbow: A First Book of Pride. This is a sweet ode to rainbow families, and an affirming display of a parent's love for their child and a child's love for their parents. With bright colors and joyful families, this book celebrates LGBTQ+ pride and revealsRead More
About Eileen HanningEileen Hanning, M.Ed., has more than twenty years designing reading curriculum for underserved kids and training for their parents and social service providers about reading and child development. Her passion for children’s books and hands-on learning has lead her to review children’s books, learn, research and write about education, child development and toxic stress, and to create her own consulting company, ReadLearnReach, where she serves a variety of clients with their curriculum, children’s book and writing needs.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we highlight APA children’s books featuring Latinx families. Each of these books celebrates family and highlights the richness of culture and the strength of community and love. Explore them with your child. Something Happened to My Dad: A Story About Immigration and Family Separation by Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP, and Vivianne Aponte Rivera, MD Algo Le Pasó a Mi Papá: Una Historia Sobre Inmigración y la Separación Familiar by Vivianne Aponte Rivera, MD and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP “A well-researched, deeply affecting picture book examines deportation and its effects on communities and immigrant families. ...An important, empathetic, and well-told immigration story that strikes a hopeful note of resilience. (glossary of immigration terms, illustrator’s note, further reading, Spanish edition).” –Kirkus Carmen loves doing magic with her Papi. She is sad and scared when she learns he has been detained because he is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. Carmen learns she can find strength in herself and maintain her connection with Papi, no matter what happens. Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD “This is a reassuring story, emphasizing that though we may be different we can find common ground, an especially important message for multiracial/multiethnic children who can often feel pulled between competing identities… "—Kirkus Reviews Abuelo speaks Spanish. Opa speaks German. Both play the accordion. The little boy in Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music, shows great creativity and wisdom as he finds a way to help his grandfathers connect through music. Marvelous Maravilloso: Me and My Beautiful Family by Carrie Lara, PsyD “A wonderfully presented picture book story from the point of view of a young interracial child about what color means within the dynamics of race, ethnicity, and culture." —Midwest Book Review Our colors make us beautiful and unique. Explore the colors of the world, including the peoples’ beautiful and unique colors, with a little girl and her family. The Heart of Mi Familia by Carrie Lara, PsyD “A child explores what being bicultural means to them in ways that feel familiar to young readers… Bicultural kids will feel seen in this sweet family story. " —Kirkus Review Follow a young girl as she works with her abuela and her grandma to create a wonderful birthday present for her brother. She creates a gift that celebrates her multicultural family and honors both sides and generations of her family. This follow up to the award-winning Marvelous Maravilliso: Me and My Beautiful Family is a must-read for all families. My Singing Nana by Pat Mora “A winning story that also serves as a useful family resource." —Publishers Weekly Billy and his Nana are very close. They love to sing together. When Billy notices that his Nana is forgetting things, his mom explains that she sometimes needs help. When Nana is having a hard day, Billy draws on his special connection with her to include her in family events.Read More
GREAT NEWS! Three of our books are finalists in this year’s KIDS’ BOOK CHOICE AWARDS. The awards are organized by the Children’s Book Council. The Kids' Book Choice Awards are the only national awards that are chosen by kids. Please, encourage your kids to vote for their favorite books in several categories. Voting will end November 13. VOTE HERE! Magination Press finalists by category are: For Favorite Book Cover: All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal With Climate Change, by Leslie Davenport, cover by Jessica Smith All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal With Climate Change is a timely, thoughtful book that will help young readers work through their feelings of anxiety about climate change. Through informative text and activities, the book gives children age-appropriate information about the climate crisis and gives them the tools they need to manage their anxiety and work toward making change. For Best Info Meets Graphic: Big Brain Book: How It Works and All Its Quirks, by Leanne Boucher Gill This is a fun primer on psychology and neuroscience that makes complex psychological phenomenon and neural mechanisms relatable to kids through illustrations, interesting factoids, and more. For Favorite World Changer: The Heroes from The Hero Handbook, by Matt Langdon Heroes take chances, do hard things, and sometimes even change the world. To become a hero, kids can surround themselves with supportive people, boost their self-esteem and self-awareness, find their passion, and have the courage make things happen. This book shows them how to be the hero of their own story and discover their own hero journey. What makes a hero? Activists, advocates, allies, and friends. Sometimes heroes are our parents, teachers, or siblings. The truth is, heroes are inside everyone, and kids can and discover their inner hero, too!Read More