Connecting Cultures & Celebrating Cuentos: National Latino Children’s Literature Conference

April 23rd – 24th, 2010
University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, AL

Conference Description:
This April 23rd and 24th celebrate the rich traditions and diversity within the Latino cultures at the National Celebration of Latino Children’s Literature Conference. Discover how to meet the informational and literacy needs of Latino children via high quality, culturally-relevant literature and the latest educational strategies. Engage in unique networking opportunities with librarians, teachers, educators, and researchers from across the nation as we explore how to make intercultural connections and serve this rapidly growing, uniquely diverse population. Read more here.

Call for Proposals:
The Latino population has been rapidly growing in the United States for several years, with 1 in 6 (approximately 46.9 million) residents identifying as Latino. Population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that 1 of every 2 people added to the nation’s population is of Latino heritage and that 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 are Latino. At the same time, the U.S. has the 2nd largest population of “Latinos” in the world, surpassed only by Mexico whose population is 110 million.

Considering this tremendous growth in the Latino population, the need for information, resources, mentoring, and research on how to serve the informational, educational, and literacy needs of this richly, diverse population is critical now more than ever. It is imperative that schools and libraries reach out to Latino families in ways that are culturally and linguistically relevant. As preservice and practicing educators and librarians, we must strengthen our understanding of the Latino cultures and learn ways to create intercultural connections.

The Connecting Cultures & Celebrating Cuentos conference was created for the purpose of promoting high-quality children’s literature about the Latino cultures and to offer a forum for librarians, educators, researchers, and students to openly discuss strategies for meeting the informational, educational, and literacy needs of Latino children and their families. Featuring nationally-acclaimed Latino literacy scholars and award-winning Latin@ authors and illustrators of children’s books, this exclusive conference is truly an unforgettable experience.

Request for Proposals: In keeping with the idea of celebrating Latino children’s literature and creating intercultural connections, we invite poster and program proposals that contribute to and extend existing knowledge in the following areas: Latino children’s literature, bilingual education, Latino family involvement in the school curriculum, Latino cultural literacy, library services to Latino children and their families, literacy programs utilizing Latino children’s literature, educational needs of Latino children, educational opportunities and collaborations with El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Latino children’s responses to culturally-responsive literature, social influences of children’s media on Latino youth, Noche de Cuentos literacy programs in schools and libraries, and other related topics. Presentations and posters can share recent research or provide practical suggestions for current or preservice librarians and educators.

Program Proposals: To submit your program proposal, please provide the following information: a 250 word (maximum) abstract of your presentation along with the program title; the name of the program organizer; the names of all presenters and their affiliations along with their preferred contact phone, email, and address; and your preferred presentation day (Friday or Saturday) to conference chair Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo at Please be sure to put “program proposal” in your subject heading.

Poster Proposals: To submit your poster proposal, please provide the following information: the title of your poster; a 200 word (maximum) abstract of your poster; the subject of your poster (choose Literature/Media Studies, Programs & Services in Libraries, Educational & Literacy Strategies, or Exemplary Programs); your name and affiliation; and your preferred contact phone, email, and address to conference chair Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo at Please be sure to put “poster proposal” in your subject heading.

The deadline for proposal submissions is February 26th, 2010 with notification of acceptance by March 1st, 2010. Conference registration begins January 31, 2010.

Need more information on the conference? Contact Conference Chair Dr. Jamie Naidoo at or 205-348-4610.

Sponsored by: School of Library & Information Studies and the Office of the Provost and the Division of Academic Affairs at the
University of Alabama.

Click here for the conference website.

Adoption Social Worker Gives Adoptee Advice

My friend at Harlow Monkey (who herself is a social worker) recently got attacked on her blog by an adoption social worker. I think the social worker’s insecurities and misinformed claims and accusations speak for themselves. Moreover, her comments smack of infantilization, defensiveness, and insecurity. HW is not a child; she was not born (or adopted) yesterday. So, for your amusement (and it really is amusing):

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs on 1:48 Voices from within the Korean Diaspora

My friend, professor, writer and activist Jennifer Kwon Dobbs was on 1:48 Voices from within the Korean Diaspora. From the website:

Featured guest : Jennifer Kwon Dobbs – author of “Paper Pavilion,” currently working on second book, guest editor of the 3rd edition of JKAS and assistant professor of English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota

Reporting by: kim thompson

*** Jennifer Kwon Dobbs’ bio:
“Jennifer Kwon Dobbs received the New England Poetry Club’s Shelia Motton Book Award for her debut collection of poetry, Paper Pavilion (White Pine Press 2007). Currently assistant professor of English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, Kwon Dobbs is working on an essay collection about the political geographies of overseas Korean adoptee birth searches and a second book of poetry.”

Blog and info about Paper Pavilion:

About the show:

About 1:48

This is a report that will air once every 3 weeks and will feature korean adoptees who are artists, activists, and philosophers.

I (kim thompson) will do the reporting and through the suggestions of others as well as my own contacts bring on different voices from within the adoptee community who live both in Seoul and abroad. For the time being it will air as a regular report that is featured on the “Steve Hatherly Show”

The reason that I’ve named the report thus is due to this fact (which I extracted from an article by Jane Jeong Trenka )

“since 1953 about 200,000 korean children have been sent to the west for adoption. with korea having a population of approximately 48 million this means one in every 48 korean citizens is affected by adoption. this show will feature some of those 200,000 who have returned home.”

Click here to listen to Jennifer Kwon Dobbs.

Adoptees of Color Roundtable Statement on Haiti

As I understand it, the following statement is from a group based in Northern California, and endorsed by many of my adoptee activist/scholar/artist friends. Here are the first two paragraphs:

This statement reflects the position of an international community of adoptees of color who wish to pose a critical intervention in the discourse and actions affecting the child victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. We are domestic and international adoptees with many years of research and both personal and professional experience in adoption studies and activism. We are a community of scholars, activists, professors, artists, lawyers, social workers and health care workers who speak with the knowledge that North Americans and Europeans are lining up to adopt the “orphaned children” of the Haitian earthquake, and who feel compelled to voice our opinion about what it means to be “saved” or “rescued” through adoption.

We understand that in a time of crisis there is a tendency to want to act quickly to support those considered the most vulnerable and directly affected, including children. However, we urge caution in determining how best to help. We have arrived at a time when the licenses of adoption agencies in various countries are being reviewed for the widespread practice of misrepresenting the social histories of children. There is evidence of the production of documents stating that a child is “available for adoption” based on a legal “paper” and not literal orphaning as seen in recent cases of intercountry adoption of children from Malawi, Guatemala, South Korea and China. We bear testimony to the ways in which the intercountry adoption industry has profited from and reinforced neo-liberal structural adjustment policies, aid dependency, population control policies, unsustainable development, corruption, and child trafficking.

Read the rest of the statement here.

“South Koreans Told to Go Home and Make Babies”

Interesting article.

South Korean government workers are being given an unusual instruction – go home and multiply.

At 1900 on Wednesday, officials at the Ministry of Health will turn off all the lights in the building.

They want to encourage staff to go home to their families and, well, make bigger ones. They plan to repeat the experiment every month.

The country has one of the world’s lowest birth rates, lower even than neighbouring Japan.

And yet the Korean government facilitates the transnational adoptions of more than 1,000 children per year. This reeks of a classist and gendered agenda. Let’s ask our highly educated, mostly male government workers to have more kids but take the kids away from the (mostly) single mothers who don’t have the means to support their children. How is this at all socially just?

Read the article here.

Newberies, Caldecotts and More!

The ALA Awards were announced this morning!!! Check out the official ALA press release and the ALA blog announcing the winners.  Here’s a preview of some of the 2010 winners:

John Newbery Medal for most outstanding contribution to children’s literature
“When You Reach Me,” written by Rebecca Stead, is the 2010 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

Four Newbery Honor Books also were named: “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” by Phillip Hoose and published by Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” by Jacqueline Kelly and published by Henry Holt and Company; “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin and published by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers; and “The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg” by Rodman Philbrick and published by The Blue Sky Press, An Imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children
“The Lion & the Mouse,” illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney, is the 2010 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was published by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers.

Two Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “All the World,” illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon and published by Beach Lane Books; and “Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors,” illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults
“Going Bovine,” written by Libba Bray, is the 2010 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House.

Four Printz Honor Books also were named: “Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith” by Deborah Heiligman, published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; “The Monstrumologist” by Rick Yancey, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Group; “Punkzilla” by Adam Rapp, published by Candlewick Press; and “Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973” by John Barnes, published by Viking Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults

“Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal,” written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, published by Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

One King Author Honor Book was selected: “Mare’s War” by tanita s. davis and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award
“My People,” illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr., is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Langston Hughes and published by ginee seo books, Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

One King Illustrator Honor Book was selected: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” illustrated by E. B. Lewis, written by Langston Hughes and published by Disney – Jump at the Sun Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award
“The Rock and the River,” written by kekla magoon, is the Steptoe winner. The book is published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement
Walter Dean Myers is the winner of this first-ever Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. Myers’ books include: “Amiri & Odette: A Love Story,” published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic; “Fallen Angels,” published by Scholastic Press; “Monster,” published by Amistad and HarperTeen, imprints of HarperCollins Publishers; and “Sunrise Over Fallujah,” published by Scholastic Press.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

“Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros,” illustrated by Rafael López, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Pat Mora and published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “Diego: Bigger Than Life,” illustrated by David Diaz, written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and published by Marshall

Cavendish Children; “My Abuelita,” illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Tony Johnston and published by Harcourt Children’s Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and “Gracias Thanks,” illustrated by John Parra, written by Pat Mora and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

Pura Belpré (Author) Award
“Return to Sender,” written by Julia Alvarez, is the Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: “Diego: Bigger Than Life,” written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz and published by Marshall Cavendish Children; and “Federico García Lorca,” written by Georgina Lázaro, illustrated by Enrique S. Moreiro and published by Lectorum Publications Inc.