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Bringing the Light
Kelly Coon Author Essay
Before I wrote Gravemaidens, my YA fantasy debut, I was a high school English teacher. I taught everything from freshman English to creative writing, and despite my love for my students, I was just as anxious as the kids were to see the end of the school year.
I reserved the last day, when the classroom temperature had risen and everyone was staring at the clock, urging that minute hand to move faster, for a kindness activity. Kindness is one of the thematic subjects in Gravemaidens, and I owe a lot of the reasoning behind it to a freshman girl with pink hair.
On this particular last day, my seventh period freshman class dragged the desks out of their neat rows into lopsided circles. Each student took out a sheet of paper and wrote their name across the top.
Then they passed the sheets to their left.Continue Reading
Sunny Day Poster & Activities
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Sesame Street, beloved picture-book illustrators have each created an artwork interpreting a different line from “Sunny Day,” from the iconic Sesame Street theme song. The range of their pieces demonstrates that Sesame Street can truly be found anywhere. For half a century, Sesame Street has helped kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder through its messages about inclusiveness, kindness, and, of course, literacy and numeracy.
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Full Disclosure By Camryn Garrett
Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time… well, last time things got ugly.
Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real—shy kisses escalating into much more—she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.
Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on… .