Today on KLTV, we are sharing our favorite new picture books about activism. We want to inspire and charge our KLTV community to use literacy to encourage and assist those who are facing difficulties on how to read and write. These lovely books remind us that even though you may be small, you are never too little to make a difference.
Bestselling author Brittney Cooper is a leading Black feminist voice of our times. From her New York Times bestseller Eloquent Rage, selected by Emma Watson as an Our Shared Shelf Book, to her frequent guest appearances on MSNBC, to her regular features on Cosmopolitan.com and Salon.com, and her TED Talk with over 800K views, there’s no question Brittney Cooper is one of the most preeminent Black influencers of today. Now, this author, professor, activist, and cultural critic brings her immense talents to the children’s space with a seven-title publishing deal at Scholastic, spanning from picture books to middle grade, and launching with this momentous picture book debut: Stand Up!
Stand Up! tells the story of ten historic female figures who changed the world by standing up for what’s right, including legendary Civil Rights activists like Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks and spanning to contemporary role models like Bree Newsome, who removed the confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds, and Mari Copeny, a youth activist who fought for clean water in Flint, Michigan.
This inspirational biographical collection will live side by side with bestselling classics like Little Leaders and She Persisted yet offers a wholly original, powerful new voice and approach that make this story so singular, personal, and groundbreaking. Cooper’s enlightening text depicts both famous and unsung Black women who took a stand and made the world a better place for future generations. Each heroic figure is interconnected by a united quest for equity, and offers young readers a stirring, inspirational call to action, reminding them that they are mighty too, and can be forces for change when they stand up!
STAND UP! 10 Mighty Women Who Made A Change Written by Brittany Cooper, Illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson, Published by Scholastic (Orchard Books)
A picture book biography celebrating the life and work of disability rights activist and icon Judith Heumann, highlighting one of her landmark achievements–leading the historic 504 Sit-in in 1977.
From a very young age, Judy Heumann heard the word NO. When she wanted to attend public school, the principal said, “NO.” When she wanted her teaching license, the New York Board of Education said, “NO.” Judy and people with disabilities everywhere were tired of hearing “NO.”
In the 1970s an important disability rights law, Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was waiting to be signed. Judy and other disability rights activists fought for “YES!” They held a sit-in until Section 504 was signed into law. Section 504 laid the foundation for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was established thanks in large part to the ongoing work of Judy and her community.
Along with a personal reflection from Judy herself, this picture book biography captures the impact and influence of one of America’s greatest living activists.
FIGHTING FOR YES Written by Maryann Cocca-Leffler, Illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger, Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers
Jamie and classmates learn self-advocacy skills and help adults understand them better.
Jamie is excited for Family Day and all the visitors that will be coming to the classroom. As the class prepares, they share how they feel when adults don’t listen closely enough to what the kids want, need, like, and don’t like or when adults place unfair, often gendered expectations on them. Together, they decide to use their Family Day celebration to practice self-advocacy skills and help adults understand them better.
Part of the Jamie Is Jamie series, Jamie’s Class Has Something to Say is a lighthearted, sweet story that gives young children language and self-advocacy skills to help them speak up for themselves when adults aren’t listening carefully enough. A special section includes tips for adults for expanding on the concepts in the book and for talking with children about how to communicate their needs and identities to adults.
JAMIE’S CLASS HAS SOMETHING TO SAY by Afsaneh Moradian, Maria Bogade, Published by Free Spirit Publishing
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Bethany Edwards is an elementary educator as well as a reading and literacy specialist. On Biracial Bookworms, she focuses on multiracial and multicultural resources for teaching literacy skills using reading, travel, and learning multiple languages. Additionally, she offers online and self-paced courses for parents and caregivers on Biracial Bookworms Academy.