Author Kathleen Krull Remembered After Unexpected Death | News Bites

The children's literature world was shocked by the unexpected death of author Kathleen Krull, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Also in this edition of News Bites, Ibram X. Kendi makes a deal with Netflix; opportunities for funding; and more.

The children's literature world was shocked by the unexpected death of author Kathleen Krull, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Also in this edition of News Bites, Ibram X. Kendi makes a deal with Netflix; opportunities for funding; this year's student Google Doodle contest has launched; and registration is open for a planned in-person AASL National Conference in October.

Kathleen Krull Remembered

Children’s author Kathleen Krull died unexpectedly over the weekend.

Her sister-in-law announced her death on Krull’s Facebook page, sharing that Krull had been diagnosed with cancer a few months ago but the original prognosis was good. Her family believes the chemotherapy was too much for her body and she died of a stroke or heart attack, the announcement said, before discussing Krull’s legacy in children’s literature.

photo: HMH/ Sandy Huffaker

“Kathy wrote over one hundred books for children, among her most beloved books are the series: The Lives of the Artists, The Lives of the Musicians, Writers, Presidents and many others in the Lives of Series,” her sister-in-law wrote. “Her most recent books—Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil DeGrasse Tyson , No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg , and Stay Curious! A Brief History Of Stephen Hawkingattest to her unquenchable passion and curiosity for awakening the light of knowledge in the minds of children.

“Kathy was a voracious reader who had a mercurial mind and talent for translating enough knowledge into a language filled with wit and humor so that a child's mind would be swept away into this rich world that Kathy loved.”

The nonfiction author recently collaborated with Jill Biden on Joey: The Story of Joe Biden , which was released in August 2020. Fans and fellow authors expressed their sadness on Twitter.

“I am just hearing about Kathleen! She and her partner, Paul, were such a marvel to me when I teamed up with her to make my first book, Harvesting Hope,” Yuyi Morales tweeted. “Our work together sealed my love for picture books. With the story of César Chavez, Kathleen gave me a most beautiful gift.”

Kendi, Netflix Partner on Antiracist Adaptations

Historian Ibram X Kendi is partnering with Netflix on three projects adapting his writing.

The author and founding director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research will collaborate with Roger Ross Williams, Mara Brock Akil, and Chris Nee, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news.

"Stamped from the Beginning" will be a hybrid documentary/scripted feature based on Kendi’s 2016 book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You, which Kendi co-authored with Jason Reynolds) will be the basis for a documentary for the YA audience, aimed at creating a companion to Stamped From the Beginning documentary that “will explain how racism in America originated and has persisted, in hopes of learning how to counter it," according to the announcement.

And Antiracist Baby will adapt Kendi’s best-selling board book into as a series of musical animated shorts focused on the nine steps to being antiracist from the book. The series will be executive produced by Kendi and Chris Nee, creator of Doc McStuffins.

“I’m elated these projects landed at Netflix. What a wonderful partner,” Kendi said in a statement. “I’m elated to work with Roger Ross Williams, Mara Brock Akil and Chris Nee. They are such ambitious, innovative and passionate creators who are committed to racial justice. But I’m really elated for the viewers, for the adults and children who will be captivated, informed and transformed by these projects.”

Possibility Grant

The 2021 Possibility Grant Sweepstakes, presented by the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, offers five Title 1, K-12 schools an opportunity to win a $5,000 STEM grant to purchase supplies and technology for any STEM-related initiative.

Through April 30, educators and educational professionals can enter daily for a chance to win. Five schools will be selected as Grand Prize Winners in June 2021.

LOC Literacy Awards

Applications are being accepted for the 2021 Library of Congress Literacy Awards , which “honor and support organizations working to promote literacy both in the United States and abroad.”

Three prizes will be awarded in 2021:

• The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) is given to a U.S. or international organization for its “outstanding and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels.”

• The American Prize ($50,000) goes to a U.S.-based organization for a “significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels or the national awareness of the importance of literacy.”

• The International Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a “significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels in a country other than the United States.” The winning organization can be based in the U.S. or abroad.

The application deadline is March 5.

Student Google Doodle

The 2021 Doodle for Google contest theme is “I am strong because…” Google asks students to “creatively share how they keep moving forward when things get tough. When you make mistakes or get scared, what helps you clear the clouds above your head? When people around you are feeling down, how do you use your inner strength to lift them up?”

The Doodle for Google contest is open to students in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Entry deadline is February 26. The winning artist will see their work on the Google homepage for a day, receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and their school will receive a $50,000 technology grant.

Registration Open for AASL National Conference

Registration is open for AASL National Conference , which is currently planned to be in person October 21-23 in Salt Lake City. The AASL is working on contingency plans, if necessary, and creating extra space for distancing on the exhibit floor, in the eating areas, etc.

NYPL Launches Story Line

The New York Public Library has created a new story time service that lets kids and caregivers call and hear free recordings of children’s books over the phone. "Story Line” will have a new story every Monday and be available in three languages: English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.

Anyone can access the stories for free at 917-ASK-NYPL.

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