We’re inspired by Marley Dias and her campaign for diverse children’s books

Marley Dias, age 11, is an inspiration!  When she got frustrated by the lack of diversity in her school’s required reading, she did something about it. One evening at dinner, she spoke to her mom about her frustration.  “I told her I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” Dias said, pointing specifically to “Where the Red Fern Grows” and the “Shiloh” series. Dias’ activist mother helped her realize that she could do something about it. Marley told her mother that she was “going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not the background characters or minor characters.”

Marley Dias

Photo of Marley Dias, from Janice Dias for The Philly Voice

Quotes and information from: Philly Voice interview.

To hear Marley talk about her campaign, listen to her wonderful interview on National Public Radio.

For further information or to contribute to her campaign, visit her website: http://welovebam.com/1000-black-girl-books/



New Movies!

Check these out!

History Lives @ Your Library: Celebrate Black History Month

Here are some recommended children’s and young adult books to celebrate Black History Month.  Share these with a child or teen in your life. We also have a display on the lower level of the library of African American autobiographies and memoirs.

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#colorourcollections: Coloring Pages from Library & Museum Collections

black and white drawn image of stereotypical college sports and other activities from the 1913 UNC-Chapel Hill Yackey Yak Yearbook

One of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Libraries’ #colorourcollection pages, including a football scene at the top. (Go, Panthers!)

It’s almost the weekend (yay!), and you may want to unwind a little and give yourself a mental break between study sessions and family responsibilities (and maybe a little football?).  Why not throwback to your childhood and take a mental break by coloring?

Several special collections libraries and museums across the US and UK decided to create “Color Our Collections” week (Feb. 1-5) by posting images from their collections with the color removed, creating pages that anyone can access and color in their own way.

For all you A&P students, check out the Oregon Health & Science University’s Historical Collections & Archives Coloring Book, featuring a wide variety of historical medical illustrations. (Skeletons! Amputations! Guts!)

For the animal and nature lovers out there, check out the BioDiversity Heritage Library‘s collection of images (scroll down for their coloring book).

For a more complete list of participating libraries and museums, see Book Riot’s roundup or search #colorourcollections on Twitter or Facebook.

What We’re Reading: The Brothers K

The Brothers K - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Title: The Brothers K

Author: David James Duncan

Genre: literary fiction

Why did you choose to read this book?

I have a Goodreads account and this book kept showing up on my recommendations, even though I’d never heard of the author.

In a small mill town in Washington State, a former minor-league baseball pitcher and his Seventh-Day Adventist wife raise five children. The book follows the members of the family from the late 1950s through the early 1970s.

What did you like about it?

I liked the development of all the characters. The children grow to become adults as the story reveals more about the past of older characters too. My favorite character is arguably the main character and the narrator’s father, Hugh Chance. Following characters for decades also provides a window into an earlier time in history.

Did it remind you of any other book, or a movie?

It reminds me of Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen, which also follows multiple characters over a period of time.

Was there anything noteworthy about the book?

It was a New York Times Notable Book. It is written in beautiful but accessible prose. Introducing each chapter or section of the book is a quote from a work of literature or philosophy.

What feeling did the book leave you with?

At 645 pages, it’s a long book, so I was glad finally to have finished it! I thought it was a great book, but felt like the ending, in which we learn what happened to each of the characters years down the road, was tacked-on and unnecessary, which diminished the overall experience of reading it.

Who would you recommend the book to?

I’d recommend this to fans of literary fiction and baseball. I would also suggest that people who are experiencing some sort of significant familial change may find this book to be an opportunity to reflect on their own situations.

What would you pair this book with?

Spicy Indian food and cold, cheap beer.

February New Books