What’s in the News?

There is never too much information when guiding young people to an understanding of national and world events. Most are aware of heated debates over issues like terrorism, immigration and the lifting of the Cuban embargo, and they need guidance as they begin to form their own opinions about hot topics. Have them search libraries for books and materials that relate to articles in the news.

●   Create a Then and Now display that highlights events of the 20th Century that led to newsworthy actions in the 21st century. Begin by introducing The Century for Young People by Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster.  For example, what led to the Cuban embargo in the first place?

●   President Obama has called upon Congress to end the 50-year Cuban embargo.  Display books about Cuba and ask readers to find out how lifting the embargo may change the life for Cubans.  Why have some Cuban Americans taken a stand against Obama’s move?  Titles from Random House that help readers connect to the Cuban culture are:

— Cuba 15 (young adult) by Nancy Osa

— The Red Umbrella (young adult) by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

●  The recent events in Paris where two gunman stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper, and killed eleven people because of the way Muhammad was depicted in cartoons has caused much debate about Free Speech and the way nations deal with terrorists.  Teaching tolerance is the first step in this debate.  Recommended books from Random House are:

— Dear Malala, We Stand with You (picture book) by Rosemary McCarney

— The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World (middle grade) by Bryn Barnard

— Growing Up Muslim (middle grade) by Sumbul All-Karamall

— I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister (young adult) by Amelie Sarn

— No God but God: The Origins & Evolution of Islam (young adult) by Reza Aslan

— Shabanu. Haveliand House of Djinn (young adult) by Suzanne Fisher Staples

●    Immigration remains in the news.  Suggest that readers “walk in others shoes” by reading a book that brings issues related to immigration front and center.  Titles from Random House include:

— The Name Jar (picture book) by Yangsook Chol

— Return to Sender (middle grade) by Julia Alvarez

— The Tia Lola series (middle grade) by Julia Alvarez

— Dark Water (young adult) by Laura McNeal

— Enrique’s Journey (young adult) by Sonia Nazario

Outcasts United (young adult) by Warren St. John

●   2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Voter Rights Act signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965. The movie “Selma” is much in the news because critics question whether it’s historically accurate, especially the portrayal of Johnson. Ask young readers to document all of the events that led to the Voter Rights Act by reading books set during the Civil Rights Movement. Titles from Random House include:

— Child of the Civil Rights Movement (picture book) by Paula Young Shelton & illus by Raul Colon

— I Have a Dream (picture book) by Martin Luther King, Jr. & illus by Kadir Nelson

My Dream of Martin Luther King (picture book) by Faith Ringgold

Thank You Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  (elementary) by Eleanora Tate

The Watson’s Go to Birmingham — 1963 (middle grade) by Christopher Paul Curtis

Random House Teachers and Librarians