A Literary Weekend in Providence, RI

Since coming to college, Providence has become a beloved second home. But as a newly minted book blogger, I often find myself longing to be in New York, the storied center-of-it-all where everyone seems to be brushing shoulders, having deep and impassioned conversations beside a cupcake spread.

But this weekend, Providence showed its love for children’s books in this city’s own, quietly eminent ways. Read on for more about the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books Authors and Illustrators and a reading from an author who brings authentic, diverse stories to children’s bookshelves across the country.

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I, Too by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.


I’m sharing one of my favorite poems because there are no better words to reflect the problematic, fractious nature of an American history we are called upon to challenge today; and yet, there are no better words to muster pride.

It is from a place of intention and reflection (on what America is, on how I want to recognize the dignity of my fellow Americans) that I say I am celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day today. I hope you and your loved ones are having a wonderful weekend as well.

6 Things I’m Thinking About

The 6 things that intrigued me from this past week. Read on for diversity in literature news and how schools can support immigrant/first-gen children!

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  1. October is Filipino American History Month! Celebrate with these books by Filipino authors. Look out for Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz on this blog soon.
  2. Diverse books meets Netflix:  Publishers Weekly reports the We Need Diverse Books organization will soon be launching OurStory, an app that curates #ownvoices stories written from traditionally marginalized perspectives. One of my favorite picture books, Juna’s Jar, is in the database!
  3. If you’re looking for new ways to visualize “mirrors” and the need for diversity in children’s books, ReadingSpark has a thought-provoking  infographic. The illustrations underscore the fact that kids do take notice. So let’s do better!

  4. A Nashville middle school that specializes in nurturing the needs of recent immigrant students is the topic of this story from Chalkbeat. How do they do it? “Creative teaching,” article explains, so that teachers “aren’t just relying on English to help students master grade-level material.” But isn’t it so that creative, adaptive teaching methods benefit all students?
  5. I encourage readers from California to consider Proposition 58, which would give schools more freedom to expand bilingual programs for some of the most linguistically diverse kids in the country. So proud of my multilingual home state.
  6. The latest episode of the This American Life podcast follows a Somali refugee who wins a lottery that could make his dreams of living in the United States come true. Gripping, honest, and told with journalistic integrity above all, “Abdi and the Golden Ticket” invites reflection on the privilege of citizenship, and what it takes to become a naturalized citizen.
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A corgi walks onto campus and suddenly life is filled with new meaning. Have a happy Indigenous Peoples Day weekend!