Tag: children’s literature

J.K. Rowling Removes ‘Harry Potter’ Copyright To Allow Teaching

Many things have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that includes the way children are being taught. Now, author J.K. Rowling has granted open license for teachers to use the Harry Potter book series as a teaching tool while kids are being homeschooled.

 

 
image via forbes

Teachers are now allowed to read from Rowling’s books via video recording in order to teach their students. It is very important for children to keep reading, especially in times like these. So Rowling and her agents the Blair Partnership have temporarily taken away the copyrights to allow teachers to read the series to their students.

 

image via just jared

Of course there are certain guidelines that teachers have to follow when they teach by using Harry Potter. The guidelines have been posted on Rowling’s website. Teachers can record their videos only by using secure school networks or educational platforms. However, this license is only temporary and the videos will be deleted at the end of the school year.

Teachers anywhere in the world are permitted to post videos of themselves reading from Harry Potter books 1-7 onto schools’ secure networks or closed educational platforms from today until the end of the school year (or the end of July in southern hemisphere).

image via jk rowling

Teachers all over the world can now read Harry Potter to their students, allowing them to open the children’s eyes to magic and adventures while they are being homeschooled during these uncertain times. You can follow along with the hashtag #HarryPotterAtHome – just don’t read under the stairs.

featured image via vox

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Lady Gaga’s New Children’s Book

Lady Gaga is well known for her unique sense of style and her amazing singing voice. She has eleven Grammys and was  nominated for an Oscar for her starring role in A Star is Born. Gaga has accomplished so much over the years, and she even walked the red carpet in a meat dress back in 2010. Now, she has signed with Macmillan, one of the big five publishing houses, to publish a children’s book.

Image result for lady gaga channel kindness
Image via Oprah Magazine

The book will be filled with stories from young people, and words of encouragement from Gaga. The young people who will be contributing their stories are apart of the Born this Way foundation, started by Gaga and her mother. The foundation has a program called Channel Kindness, which helps young people elevate their acts of kindness and bravery. According to Gaga, the book will help uplift communities and instill hope in everyone. It will also showcase how no act of kindness is too small.

Children need a book that can help them better understand ways to be kind, and they need a book that encourages kindness. We hear a lot of stories about bullying, and we rarely hear any stories about acts of kindness. Those stories are few and far between, and now Gaga is using her voice to uplift kindness.

 

According to one of the publishers, Jean Feiwel, she believes this book is an anthem and an embrace that children and everyone around the world need. Jean is absolutely right, and it will definitely encourage children to want to be better and to do better. Kudos to Gaga for spreading her kindness with the world.

The book will be released on September 22, 2020. You can pre-order your copy here.

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Featured image via MTV

You Don’t Want To Miss Audible’s Top BHM Picks

As I should hope you’re all aware by now; February is Black History Month. It’s an international celebration of African-American leaders and artists, and Audible have some top titles to mark the occasion. Abby, Audible editor, says that Audible has chosen to “highlight luminaries who’ve taken the lead in shaping change and movement”. With activism as a core subject, here’s what they’ve picked:

 

Staff picks

The team at Audible have chosen Michelle Obama’s Becoming as a staff favorite, alongside Such a Fun Age and The Skin I’m InThese were chosen for a myriad of very valid reasons, but one thing they share is the incredible authors of color at their helm. Why not take a listen yourself and see if you agree with their choices?

 

MEMOIRS

In telling important stories of African-American experience, it’s important to have an authentic voice. These titles are memoirs from leading speakers and visionaries of color, such as Staceyann Chin and Nelson Mandela. Plus, with such a wide range of titles, there’s something in there to interest everyone.

 

image via shariffa

 

FICTION

Storytelling is an integral part of many different cultures, and in these titles, their authors have ingrained senses as storytellers. This is particularly noted for authors such as Zora Neale Hurston, who retains the vernacular speech in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Having a story told in the voice that would have originally told it heightens the entire experience.

 

politics

In activism, a political voice is always necessary. These titles “dive deep into the issues, both past and present”. There’s a wide range of diverse voices from Barack Obama to Stacey Abrams, most of which are narrated by the author themselves. Commemorations of Black History Month often take place in political spheres, too, making this section particularly necessary.

 

image via amazon

 

What’s new?

Some of their titles are free to Audible members for the month of February, like Malcolm and Me written and performed by Ishmael Reed, or Our Harlem written and performed by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

On February 18th, two new titles are being released as part of The Great Courses:

African American Athletes Who Made History, written and performed by Louis Moore

Great Figures of the Civil Rights Movement, written and performed by Hasan Kwame Jefferies

Not only are these great titles for the series, they are perfect for Black History Month.

 

Audible have tonnes more to offer from Children/YA literature, to author interviews and profiles. Check out their Black History Month portal here for all of their February content to mark the occasion.

 

Featured Image via amazon


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Celebrate Shel Silverstein’s Birthday!

Shel Silverstein is possibly one of the most famous children’s authors in literature, famed thanks to being the author of the world renowned The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends.

 

 

A musician and poet in addition to being a children’s author, Silverstein established himself as a composer in Chicago where he was born. He wrote some notable songs you may have heard of, including A Boy Named Sue (which was popularized by Johnny Cash) and One’s on the Way for Loretta Lynn. Silverstein began his career by enlisting in the army in 1950 and served in both Korea and Japan. He became a cartoonist for the Stars & Stripes, learning to draw for the magazine.

 

Image via Encyclopedia Britannica

 

Afterwards, he continued his work as an illustrator and found acclaim when he began drawing for Playboy magazine. He doodled short cartoons for the magazine, his work appearing in every issue from 1957 to the mid 70s, where he found great popularity with the readership. While working for Playboy, he began exploring other areas of his imagination, writing songs, poems, along with self-publishing his own original cartoons. He also recorded his first album during this period, in 1959, which was entitled Hairy Jazz.

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

In 1963, Shel Silverstein was approached by Ursula Nordstrom, who convinced him to try and write material for children. He did so on short notice, producing The Lion Who Shot Back, A Giraffe and a Halfand The Giving Tree in rapid succession. The third title became Silverstein’s most popular work, as its themes were ambiguous in intent and left an open question of what it meant, which made publishers initially balk. Although criticized by some for a bleak or hash worldview, The Giving Tree was nonetheless translated into 30 languages and has been a mainstay of the best children’s books of all time.

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

Shel Silverstein went onto write two more children’s books in the 1970s, Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the AtticHe passed in 1999, right at the turn of the millennium. His legacy will live on for producing some of the most thoughtful children’s books of all time and showcasing that children’s literature can be truly thought provoking while also being fun to read.

Go on and introduce your own kids to his work to celebrate his birthday!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Scholastic

“Wheelchairs aren’t scary,” NJ Resident Writes in New Book

A resident of Wayne, New Jersey, is doing his part to help children with the power of reading. According to Norfolk Daily News, the man is Zach Jorgensen, a 22 year old resident of Wayne who is a graphic designer, author, motivational speaker, vlogger, and hip hop artist. Zach has published a picture book, intending to show kids that wheelchairs aren’t scary.

The subject is important to Jorgensen, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is a genetic mutation that prevents the body from producing a specific protein muscles need to work properly. He requires a wheelchair for obvious reasons but is often upset at how children view his disability, saying:

“Throughout my whole life of being in a wheelchair, I have noticed that children are scared of my wheelchair. Some would even cry and try to hide from me.”

 

Zach

Image via Northfolk Daily news

 

His new book, Wheelchairs Aren’t Scaryis intended to help inform kids that, well, wheelchairs aren’t something to be afraid of. The book will showcase to kids that people with wheelchairs are just like you and me, they just move a little differently.

Jorgensen did research to see what publishing entailed before he wrote the book, which he intends to self-publish through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon. The book is to be targeted towards 3-8 year olds, who are often the most uneasy around wheelchairs or other handicapped people. For his part, Jorgensen hopes the book is a fun learning experience and gets kids to be much more comfortable around wheelchairs.

The book will release on Amazon on August 12th. Go and pick yourself up a copy! This should surely be a fun education opportunity, for kids and maybe even some adults.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon