We are outraged and heartbroken by the killing of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others, and by the systemic racism in our country. BLACK LIVES MATTER. The Children’s Book GuiId stands in solidarity with people across this country fighting racial injustice and white supremacy. It is a time for anger and empathy, solidarity and action. It is time for true and lasting change. We must ensure that equal justice under the law is real for all black Americans, and that every person has access to equal opportunities and equal education, and is treated with dignity, honor and respect.
It is the mission of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC to encourage and promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity in the field of children’s literature. Through our speaker series and our DC-Metro Youth Literary Grants, we are committed to this work. Books can be both mirrors and windows, to inspire empathy, self-esteem, strength, and community. We offer this list of Readings On Diversity & Inclusion, for children’s literature professionals, educators, authors, illustrators and for all readers.
To Volunteer or Donate, here is a list of organizations and resources fighting racial injustice and supporting black lives.
Digital Readings & Resources from CBG Members During the Pandemic
The 2020 Nonfiction Award Committee of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, is pleased to announce Catherine Reef as the Nonfiction Award Winner for 2020.
Please Note: The Children’s Book Guild Award Luncheon honoring Reef, previously scheduled for May 30, 2020, has been postponed until spring 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Those who have purchased tickets for the event will be contacted by email.
Through dozens of nonfiction books for young adults and middle school students, Ms. Reef has produced a body of distinguished and award-winning work, notable for impeccable research, insightful interpretations, and writing that keeps readers engaged.
Catherine Reef’s biographies offer an in-depth study of legendary figures who represent different eras and fields of endeavor such as Queen Victoria, Frida and Diego, and Sigmund Freud. Ms. Reef’s carefully hewn character portrayals are evident in all her biographies. Her ability to weave intricate research into a compelling narrative keeps youthful readers involved in the lives of authors such as E.E. Cummings and Ernest Hemingway. Her historical studies mainly cover topics in African American history: Buffalo Soldiers, Black Explorers, Civil War Soldiers, Africans in America, and the resettlement of African Americans in Liberia.
Twenty-one of her books written from 1996 to 2018 have all received significant distinctions. For example, her 2018 publication Mary Shelley: The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator, received the Junior Library Guild Selection 2018; NOBLE Book Award for Young Adult Nonfiction, 2018; YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction, 2019; Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices, 2019; and Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2019. The number of books honored show Catherine Reef to be a prolific writer who produces highly regarded works. Her newest book is Sarah Bernhardt: The Divine and Dazzling Life of the World’s First Superstar which will become available in June of 2020.
Nonfiction Award Committee members Liane Rosenblatt, Winifred Conkling, and Rashin Kheiriyeh, and adviser Maria Salvadore marveled at Catherine Reef’s ability to hook readers early and place characters in complex emotional and political contexts. Many thanks to them for their spirited discussions about Ms. Reef’s books.
Catherine Reef will be honored at the Children’s Book Guild Award Luncheon on May 30, 2020, from 12 noon to 3 p.m., at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, Washington, DC. Please note the date and time and bring family and friends to the Celebration. Download event flyer
The March – June 2020 lectures have been postponed, due to the coronavirus pandemic. CBG members are invited to attend three virtual meeting events in April, May, and June. Information about these events and how to attend will be sent to members by email.
Carole Boston Weatherford: 2019 Nonfiction Award Winner