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21st Century Storytelling: W.A.R. Persons of the Year (Congratulations!)


Without further ado… The 2010 W.A.R. Persons of the Year Award: The posthumous award goes to the late Virginia Hamilton who said, “I hope teachers realize their power and the importance of kindness and fairness as well as firmness. How one mixes the magic potion of the creative process, heritage, ethnicity, place and time, and […]

21st Century Storytelling: W.A.R. Person of the Year (more nominees)


“People talk about books acting as both a mirror and window (thanks mainly to Rudine Sims Bishop), playing an important roll in reflecting a child’s experience and also allowing access to different/other experiences. And I think that’s key. When we read books we inhabit their world, experience the thoughts and emotions of their characters. That […]

21st Century Storytelling: W.A.R. Person of the Year (more nominees)


“Writers who write race, gender, class, sexuality, and the “other” experiences consciously, reshape the world we live in to reflect a certain sensibility. This sensibility positions the “other” smack dab in the middle of the narrative rather than on the fringe or in the margins. This, in itself, is quite radical, given the mainstream depictions […]

21st Century Storytelling: W.A.R. Person of the Year (more nominees)


Girls For Breakfast was my attempt to write that book. The protagonist, Nick Park, is obnoxious, self-loathing, and projects his frustrations in ways that are far from admirable, which is to say that I tried to offer an utterly real Asian American teenager, warts and all, which in turn offers the polar opposite of some […]

21st Century Storytelling: W.A.R. Person of the Year (more nominees)


“Literature, and in very special ways, children’s literature, offers unique opportunities for making meaning and crossing borders. Readers can both be safe and take risks when they’re in a relationship with a book, and the reading of books helps us read the world and each other in new and different ways.  Literature can transform ways […]

21st Century Storytelling: W.A.R. Person of the Year (More nominees)


Fiction is often a better textbook than non fiction because fiction allows readers to “live” what’s happening on the pages. That’s why I think novels that promote tolerance and understanding of EVERYONE in our society should be required reading. I honestly can’t say this better than my dear writer friend, Jim Bruce, who lives in Dublin, Ireland: […]

21st Century Storytelling: W.A.R. Person of the Year (More Nominees)


“But books can free me of my snobbery. And not just books for a certain kind of reader either. Literary, commercial, and just plain fun books about people of various backgrounds who in a real life I might have felt “better” or “lesser” than have, at times, helped me reawaken to the truth that, in […]

21st Century Storytellers: W.A.R. Person of the Year (More Nominees)


“I am a strong believer of the power that literature can have as a way of crossing cultural and linguistic borders. As writers, if we can envision and create worlds in which people co-exist then we can plant the seeds of change. My books have connected me with writers in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. But […]

21st Century Storytelling: More W.A.R. Nominees for Person of the Year


“Throughout my life I have seen that fiction is a far better way of building understanding than statistics. Only fiction can bring you fully into someone’s world, can let you see through a different pair of eyes. And I wanted readers to see through this narrator, not to feel sorry for him, and not even […]

21st Century Storytelling: W.A.R. Person of the Year (Edi & Doret at NDLC)

Over the summer I was asked to speak at the National Diversity in Libraries Conference, alongside blogger/librarian Edith Campbell from CRAZY QUILTS and Doret, a blogger at  the HappyNappy Bookseller. Both Edi and Doret were featured during the W.A.R. postings and I am submitting their names as nominees for W.A.R. Person of the Year. Here are clips from the […]