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A learning and sharing community for
DC-area children’s literature professionals since 1945

2023 Nonfiction Award Event

Don Brown Wins CBG 2023 Nonfiction Award

By Betsy Kraft



October Program

Amina Luqman-Dawson

The speaker for October 19 is Amina Luqman-Dawson. This is an in-person event at Busboys and Poets at 12:00 p.m. The location is 450 K Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Amina Luqman-Dawson loves using writing to tell stories and to build an understanding of race, culture and community. Her published writing includes op-eds in newspapers, magazine articles, travel writing and book reviews. She authored the pictorial history book Images of America: African Americans of Petersburg. She has a BA in Political Science from Vassar College and a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley. Her debut novel, Freewater, is a New York Times Bestseller, a John Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winner. Amina, her husband, and 14-year-old son, reside in Arlington, VA.

September Program

Monica Valentine and Sasha Dowdey

Resources and Happenings

at the Library of Congress

Our 2023-24 Guild President Monica Valentine also leads Young Readers Center and Program Lab, now part of the Informal Learning Office at the Library of Congress.  Along with her colleague Sasha Dowdy, program specialist for the Literary Initiative Team, they shared many of the current LOC resources and initiatives during the Guild’s first Zoom meeting of the season. 

The Young Readers Center itself is now in a smaller space in the opposite corner of the Jefferson building. The new visitor experience master plan for the library is intended to engage people more directly with the Library collection – including children.  Here are some of the many resources available:

  • Programming for specific audiences – Girl Scouts, families, cultural events tied to heritage celebrations (check the calendar)

  • Bookmarked is a blog, often written by Sasha, celebrating contemporary books and writes at the library. The most recent blog features author talks from LGTQ+ authors who spoke at the National Book Festival. Sasha is already contributing to plans for the 2024 National Book Festival (August 24, 2024).  Here are many of the conversations from the 2023 Festival now on YouTube. Sasha says the festival is smaller but also offers more table for nonprofit groups like We Need Diverse Books and Shout Mouse Press.

  • Can You Solve It? Family Mystery Day   Sunday October 21 10am – 4pm

  • Live at the Library 5-8pm Thursday

  • Poet Laureate Ada Limón has written a poem that will be engraved on the Europa Clipper spacecraft, which will travel 1.8 million miles to explore Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter.

  • The LOC is also supporting the spread of Story Cubes, a partnership with previous Young People’s Literature Ambassador Jason Reynolds and shortédition. Story Cubes are already featured at Planet Word, enabling visitors to press a button and receive a story receipt that look much like a grocery or drug store receipt – but with a story!

Questions about LOC resources for kids and families?

Reach out to Monica at and Sasha at

National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (and Guild member) Meg Medina is organizing a national tour. At each stop, she will offer a public event at a local library and a private program at an area school. Teachers may apply for a visit or free resources here. Meg is also scheduling family office hours to meet individual children and families; October 7 is already full but there will be more “office hours” on January 23.

2023 Nonfiction Award Event

Don Brown Wins CBG 2023 Nonfiction Award

By Betsy Kraft

The chair of this year’s Nonfiction Award Selection Committee was Tammar Stein (now living in Singapore); committee members included Kathie Meizner, Yukari Matsuyama and Edie Ching. Abby Nolan chaired the award event at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D. C.

Don Brown loved comics as a kid.  Among his favorites were Prince Valiant, Pogo, Superman --even Mary Worth.  Later he copied the style of cartoonist Bill Mauldin who drew images of two GI Joes on the battlefield during World War II.  It was decades before Brown, this year’s Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award winner, became the widely popular author/illustrator of more than forty children’s books.


Brown feels history has been pushed aside in primary and secondary schools. So, he began to create stories showing both known facts but also their broader implications in the country and the world.  When reading history, he looks for the actual events, but then “stays on for the story.”  Read the rest of the story here.

2023 Children’s Book Guild

Youth Literacy Awards

At this year’s Nonfiction Award celebration, the Guild presented its 9th annual Youth Literacy awards to Twinbrook Elementary School (Montgomery County, MD), Langdon Elementary and Charles Hart Middle Schools and School Without Walls (Washington, D.C.), and Summer Fun Stuff/Do Kind Works (Montgomery County, MD/Washington, D.C.).  Each winning school or organization received a $500 gift certificate to First Book.

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The Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, is committed to the fight for racial justice and support for Black lives. Please click on the links above for information on organizations to support, and readings to help educate and inspire positive change. 

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