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Book Review: Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias

Publisher’s description

In this accessible guide with an introduction by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay, Marley Dias explores activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and using social media for good. Drawing from her experience, Marley shows kids how they can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, while getting support from parents, teachers, and friends to turn dreams into reality. Focusing on the importance of literacy and diversity, Marley offers suggestions on book selection, and delivers hands-on strategies for becoming a lifelong reader.

Amanda’s thoughts

marleyMarley Dias, creator of the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, talks to young readers about social activism and what YOU can do in this engaging, visually striking new book.

The book looks at Marley’s backstory and the things that led to her creating a social action movement. As a fifth grader, she was disgusted that their reading list consisted of the same old tired classics featuring lots of white boys. She wondered where were the books with kids like her, with black girls, and thus the movement was born. We learn about her parents and their backgrounds, moments from Marley’s life that have shaped who she is (like a trip to Ghana and her involvement in the GrassROOTS Community Foundation), her fashion sense (including her glasses and her hair), her social media presence (and tips for managing a safe, sane life on social media), and so much more. Her book offers tips on how to be woke (and help others to be, too), how to make a difference in your community, how to be an activist, how to be a better reader, how to find books featuring minority characters, and how to effectively do book talks. The book ends with a handy list of about 500 books for middle grade and YA readers featuring black girls. For people who don’t live on Twitter and didn’t see this all unfold in real life, or who have somehow missed all of the media attention surrounding Marley’s project, this will be an especially inspiring read. Young readers will love seeing someone their own age make such a big impact and will be able to walk away from this book with plenty of ideas on how to undertake their own projects. Nicely laid out with lots of fantastic, colorful pictures of Marley and moments from her life, this book focusing on activism, literacy, and diversity is a must-have for school library collections. 

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9781338136890
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/30/2018

2018: A Year to #ReadForChange, a guest post by Marie Marquardt

Teen Librarian Toolbox is excited to announce that we’re partnering with Marie Marquardt for her #ReadForChange project. Here’s some more about the initiative! 

 

Hello, 2018. Hello, Change.

Throughout 2017, I traveled around the United States talking with students, librarians, teachers, and other YA and MG authors. And, wow.

T.C. Williams High School, Alexandria, VA

T.C. Williams High School, Alexandria, VA

From Bowling Green, Kentucky to Santa Monica, California; from Tappan Zee, New York to San Antonio, Texas, I heard the same inspiring message: Now, more than ever, readers want books that give us all the feels and open our eyes, hearts, and minds to important social issues. And now, more than ever, authors are stepping forward to give us those stories.

Tappan Zee High School, Orangeburg, NY

Tappan Zee High School, Orangeburg, NY

So many young readers seek novels that offer new ways of looking at the world, challenge them to ask tough questions, and motivate them to take action. And YA and MG authors share their passion.  That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate 2018 to building connections between readers and authors, with the goal of inspiring action for social change.

Writing the Resistance Panel, Yallwest 2017

Writing the Resistance Panel, Yallwest 2017

 

One Year, Twelve YA & MG Books of Cause

Throughout 2018, I will find and share the best-of-the-best YA & MG books that bring attention to important issues and causes, and I’ll connect readers with the incredible people who write them. I’m calling the initiative #ReadForChange, and the first newsletter will arrive right here at Teen Librarian Toolbox on January 20, 2018.

Here’s what to expect:

On the 20th of each month, #ReadForChange will introduce readers to a book of cause, and each month the theme will be new. I’ll recommend a YA or Middle Grade novel that’s an awesome read and also a great window into a social issue that matters now. Whatever the theme for the month, I’ll also link readers to groups and movements that are taking action. So, after being inspired by the story, readers can find good information and get involved. I’ll work hard to connect readers with organizations and movements led by teens, since we all know that teens are doing amazing things to change the world!

 

I’ll also bring authors into the conversation. You’ll hear from featured authors why they want to make change, what they’re doing about it, and what they hope you’ll do. Each month, readers will get a chance to enter a giveaway for the month’s YA or MG Book of Cause, signed by the author (and maybe even some free SWAG to sweeten the deal).

 

Get ready to connect to a year of incredible stories!

Curious to know which great novel is first in the lineup? I’ll be sharing updates, previews, and bonus content on Twitter  (@MarieFMarquardt) and Instagram (marie_marquardt). To get the monthly #ReadForChange newsletter direct to your email inbox, you can subscribe here: http://www.mariemarquardt.com/readforchange/

 

Meet Marie Marquardt

Women’s March, January 21, 2017

Women’s March, January 21, 2017

Marie Marquardt is the author of three YA novels: The Radius of Us, Dream Things True, and Flight Season (available 2/20/18). A Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, Marie also has published several articles and co-authored two non-fiction books about Latin American immigration to the U.S. South. She is chair of El Refugio, a non-profit that serves detained immigrants and their families. She lives with her spouse, four kids, a dog and a bearded dragon in the book-lover’s mecca of Decatur, Georgia.

Behold the Power of Reading; Or, how my 8-year-old was inspired to start her own #TrashTuesdays

Last Saturday, Thing 2 turned 8. For her birthday, a friend sent her the following three books:

trashtuesday4

Monday night, The Teen, Thing 2 and I curled up and bed and read them together. We cried as we read Malala’s story. We were inspired as we read about Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

One thing that each of these stories has in common is that all three people started working at a young age to make the world a better place. They didn’t say, when I grow up . . . They started now. And that was a powerful message for Thing 2.

Thing 2 has often commented about the litter she sees around the world. We are an animal loving family and she is always worried about how the trash will harm not only the environment, but the animals. So that night, reading these books, she looked up at me and said, “I want us to go once a week as a family and clean up trash.” And so we did.

trashtuesday1

Thus was born what she has called #TrashTuesday. (Please note, I have later learned that there is a movement to pick up 10 pieces of trash every Tuesday, but she doesn’t know this and I’m not going to tell her because I don’t want to undermine her passion.) So yesterday, we grabbed some gloves and a big plastic garbage bag and we walked around our neighborhood picking up trash. We picked up water bottles, drink cups, napkins, and empty cigarette packs. Lots of them. We walked up one street and down another. “Maybe we should do it two days a week”, she said to me. (PS, if you are looking for me on Friday, I apparently have to go out and collect trash again.)

trashtuesday2

I couldn’t help but notice all the things that came out of a moment spent reading these books together. Yes, we got to cuddle and snuggle and practice our reading skills. Yes, we bonded as a family. But my girls also read powerful stories about people working hard and accomplishing things for the good of their world, and they were inspired. That inspiration didn’t just lead to a good feeling inside, it was an reminder to them that they can do something now, today – and they did. (The Teen might have gotten kind of dragged into it, but she’s a good kid and she’s supporting her sister.)

trashtuesday3

So here’s what I would like to ask of you. Next Tuesday, wherever you are, grab some gloves and some trash bags and join my baby in doing what we can to act now to make our world better. Email me or Tweet me a picture of you and your trash with the hashtag #TrashTuesday. I will share these pictures with my two girls and show them that they can start something, that they can be empowered and inspire others, and together we can show these two little girls that we can work together to make our world a better place.