Bartography Express, February 2020
Hey there!
Congratulations are in order for all of the creators whose books were honored last Monday morning at the American Library Association's 2020 Youth Media Awards . I was especially pleased to see that the lauded titles included four that had been previously featured in Bartography Express:

Also at ALA, my book What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan was named a 2020 Top Ten book by Rise: A Feminist Book Project for Ages 0-18 . I'm immensely proud of this honor and am so grateful to have my work with illustrator Ekua Holmes recognized in this way.

(If you haven't completely filled your shopping cart or library-hold queue with the award winners I've already mentioned, the dozens of titles celebrated by Rise should take care of that.)

I'll be talking about What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? at the Texas Association for Literacy Education (TALE) conference later this month, just as I did a couple of weeks ago at the gathering of the Texas Council for Teachers of English Language Arts (TCTELA).

I love connecting Barbara Jordan's story to the crucial work that these educators do, as well as to my own work as an author, and hope there are many more such opportunities in store. If you know of any that you think I might be right for, please keep me in mind.


As part of Black History Month, librarian and literacy activist Edith Campbell has asked non-Black members of the children's literature community to recommend five to ten books written or illustrated by Black people.

When Edi invited me to suggest some titles, it was all I could do to stop at ten . I love her idea, and I can't wait to see what other books get mentioned.

Tomorrow brings the official publication of my newest book, All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing .

My beloved local bookseller BookPeople shared some of Nicole Xu's powerful artwork and interviewed me about the book ("What were the biggest challenges in telling this story? What is your goal in writing this book for kids now? What do you hope readers take away?"). BookPeople is also offering signed, personalized copies.


If you're a librarian or educator, there are a couple of grant opportunities that I thought you might want to know about, and the application deadlines are coming up in the next couple of months.

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation issues up to 70 mini-grants each year to public schools, public libraries, and public preschool programs throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico and Guam. Applications are due at the end of March.
The deadline is just one week later for the Texas Book Festival Library Grants, which help Texas public libraries grow their collections , which improves their communities, which makes all Texans (and folks beyond, I'd argue) just that much better off.

Now it's time for my monthly Q&A and new-book giveaway. My guests are brothers Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey, creators of the new picture book The Old Truck .

Combining a multigenerational tale of dreams, grit, determination, and farming with a delightful illustration style — the Pumphreys made more than 250 stamps for this project — was published last month by Norton Young Readers.

If you’re a Bartography Express subscriber with a US mailing address and you want to be the winner of The Old Truck , just say so in a reply to this email before midnight on February 29 , and I’ll enter you in the drawing.

In the meantime, please enjoy my two-question Q&A with Jarrett and Jerome .