Something We Must Learn

I often find myself sinking into despair when thinking about the news these days. I can only imagine how overwhelming it must be for children and young adults who are experiencing their formative years in these troubled times. That makes it all the more important that we find stories of people who are doing allContinue reading “Something We Must Learn”

Make Sure They All Stand Out

One of the most challenging tasks a teacher can have can be recognizing when a student is not safe at home. When children are treated as though they have no value by the people who should value them the most, they often internalize that lack of value and are afraid to talk about it withContinue reading “Make Sure They All Stand Out”

Finding a Community

In Iowa, where I live, Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed a bill that will allow legislators to deny state funding through the Medicaid program for transition-related care to transgender Iowans. This means that reassignment surgeries would have to be paid for exclusively by the patient. Considering that reassignment surgeries can cost over $30,000, these oftenContinue reading “Finding a Community”

Progress is not Always Linear

Carol Anderson has written about race and equality (or the lack thereof) for many years now. I read one of her most recent books for adults, One Person, No Vote, and was blown away by the research and analysis contained within. While I have not read her work White Rage, her version for teens, WeContinue reading “Progress is not Always Linear”

All Kinds of Powerful

Slowly but surely, children’s and young adult publishing is getting better at reflecting all of the diversity in society. There is still a long way to go to make sure that authors and illustrators from all identity groups are represented, but things at least seem to be heading in the right direction. One book thatContinue reading “All Kinds of Powerful”

Why Can’t You Just…

“You’re such a girl.” “Man up.” “Tomboy.” “Boys will be boys.” “He’s a guy’s guy.” These are just a few of the gender-based phrases that students hear throughout their daily lives. In Girl Mans Up, M-E Girard explores the concept of gender through the lens of a teenager, Pen, who doesn’t fit into a specificContinue reading “Why Can’t You Just…”

You Are Enough

We know that young people often struggle to define their identities and their place within society. However, once comfortable in one’s identity, new challenges often arise. One of those challenges is feeling uncertain of whether you live up to society’s expectations of someone who is (insert identity here) . I am Jewish, but I amContinue reading “You Are Enough”

To Whom Does this Body Belong?

One of the most common topics in Our Stories, Our Voices edited by Amy Reed, is the use of women’s bodies for the pleasure of others. Twenty-one young adult authors write autobiographical essays about their experiences of being female in America. While there are many topics covered within this volume including immigration, racism, and homophobia;Continue reading “To Whom Does this Body Belong?”

A Resolution Worth Keeping

I have never been the best at making, or keeping, New Year’s resolutions. However, this morning when I was looking at the books on my bookshelves, I noticed how many of them were books of poetry. These books actually made up a fair amount of my collection, which surprised me. I have always considered poetryContinue reading “A Resolution Worth Keeping”

Putting a Stop to the Vicious Circle

The top result for vicious circle when searching on Google is the following definition, “a sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation.” So many issues involving hate, prejudice, and stereotypes seem to be part of one orContinue reading “Putting a Stop to the Vicious Circle”