2021 RISE Book Project Announces Top 10 Feminist Titles for Young Readers and More | News Bites

The RISE annual list is out; Jacqueline Woodson adds Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence to her many honors; K.C. Boyd named winner of the EMIERT Distinguished Librarian Award; and two new lines of books will bring "Chicken Soup for the Soul" to kids in this edition of News Bites.

The annual list of best feminist books for young readers is out; Jacqueline Woodson adds Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence to her list of positions and honors; K.C. Boyd named the winner of the EMIERT Distinguished Librarian Award; and two new lines of books will bring "Chicken Soup for the Soul" to kids in this edition of News Bites.

Rise announces booklist

Rise: A Feminist Book Project, formerly known as the Amelia Bloomer Booklist, has released its annual book list and Top 10 feminist books for young readers.

"2020 challenged all of us," the group wrote in its announcement. "A pandemic physically separated us. In the midst of loss, isolation, and injustice, we forged new paths of togetherness. We created new models of community. We developed new tools. We connected with our loved ones virtually. We took to the streets in protest.

"We are not finished. There is still work to be done."

Rise recommends books with significant feminist content for readers from birth to 18. The Top 10 (listed alphabetically by author) are:

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold

Consent (For Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of You by Rachel Brian

Say Her Name by Zetta Elliott

The Women Who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Daniel Minter

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh

It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Ritu Weds Chandni by Ameya Narvankar

Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Eric Velasquez

The full list has categories for Early Readers, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. Each category has separate fiction and nonfiction lists.

Jacqueline Woodson named the next Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence

Author and poet Jacqueline Woodson will be the next Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence. Woodson will follow Mo Willems, who was the first person to have the position and had his two-year residency plans disrupted by the

Photo: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation


Woodson will begin her residency in January 2022. Her plans include bringing two of her books to the stage—adapting The Other Side into a dance piece and creating a “book in concert” from Newbery winner Show Way, with music by Tyrone L. Robinson.

“What I really hope my residency means is a chance for us to come together as communities and understand that the KC is for everyone,” Woodson said in a video posted as part of the Center’s announcement.

K.C. Boyd receives EMIERT Distinguished Librarian Award

Washington, DC, school librarian K.C. Boyd has earned the 2021 American Library Association’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) Distinguished Librarian Award. The award is given annually to a librarian with  “significant accomplishments in library services that are national or international in scope and include improving, spreading, and promoting multicultural librarianship.”

Boyd is a speaker and advocate who is working tirelessly to keep librarians in the schools of DC's 7th and 8th Wards.

“These wards, primarily African-American and Hispanic-American, have experienced severe budgetary reductions in staffing/programming,” said nominator Richard Ashby, immediate past president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). He said that Boyd "has demonstrated selfless voluntary service, leadership, and advocacy in the field of library information science for 23 years.”

Boyd is active in many organizations. She is on the executive boards of the DC Library Association and BCALA, a chapter council member of ALA; a national ambassador for the News Literacy Project; and a committee member for several library-associated groups and the Washington Teachers' Union Equity Collaborative.

As the recipient of the award, Boyd will receive a commemorative plaque and a $500 honorarium.

USDA extends free lunch program

The USDA announced it will extend the waivers that grant universal free lunch program through the 2021-22 school year. The waivers allow for more flexibility for schools to adapt the service to meet the needs of students and families, including serving free meals outside of school hours and with pandemic precautions in place. 

Up to 12 million U.S. children live in homes facing food insecurity, according to the USDA.

Chicken Soup for children

Charlesbridge and Chicken Soup for the Soul LLC announced a new joint children’s publishing program that will launch two new lines of books in the fall. Chicken Soup for the Soul BABIES (for ages 0-3) and Chicken Soup for the Soul KIDS (for ages 4-7) will focus on childhood social and emotional well-being. Each picture book will include an excerpt from an original "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book and activities related to the topic.

The first four books are scheduled for September 2021. Additional titles will follow seasonally through 2022.


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