Author / Illustrator Research

I’m Your Neighbor Creates Video on Welcoming

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Ages 07 and up, Author / Illustrator Research, Engagement Projects | Comments Off on I’m Your Neighbor Creates Video on Welcoming

I’m Your Neighbor Creates Video on Welcoming

By Anne Sibley O’Brien While the book trailer remains a popular way to promote picture books, Kirsten Cappy and I wanted to create a video that might matter to the mission of my picture book, I’m New Here.  Could we model conversations with elementary school children on the universality of “feeling new” and on simple ways to be “welcoming”? It was such a pleasure to do this project with Fred Okot Ben, a young videographer whose work is mostly in music videos. Fred’s qualifications for this project include his own history; his Sudanese family came to...

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Cultural Research: Either the Beginning or the End of the World

Posted by on Jul 3, 2015 in Afghanistan, Ages 13 and up, Asia (Southeast), Author / Illustrator Research, Cambodian, Cambodian American | 1 comment

Cultural Research: Either the Beginning or the End of the World

Author’s Note on Research By Terry Farish Either the Beginning or the End of the World delves into a horrific family memory carried over generations. The memory is of family members who starved to death during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge genocide. I’ve been on a long journey into Cambodian history and culture to begin to understand what this memory could mean to a young girl two generations later. The books I read and sources I interviewed tell a story themselves about my focus. It wasn’t on the wars, but on living after surviving them. I had read widely on wars in...

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Cultural Research: I’m New Here

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Ages 05 and up, Author / Illustrator Research, Guatemalan American, Korean American, Somali American, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cultural Research: I’m New Here

Cultural Research: I’m New Here

“I’m New Here grew in my mind over many years of considering recently-arrived, culturally diverse students, as I interacted with them while creating books, speaking in schools, and evaluating available resources. Though there are many wonderful books featuring individual child immigrants, it seemed to me that in the big picture something was missing. Somehow the emphasis was on what immigrant children needed to acquire, as if they arrived as blank slates, needing to be filled. I wanted to focus on the strengths these children already had, leading rich and complex lives in their...

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15th Anniversary of The Breadwinner

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Afghani, Afghanistan, Author / Illustrator Research | Comments Off on 15th Anniversary of The Breadwinner

15th Anniversary of The Breadwinner

This slideshow requires JavaScript. Deborah Ellis reflects of the 15th Anniversary of The Breadwinner below and Groundwood Books releases beautiful new covers for the series. “It’s been thirty-six years since the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. It’s been twenty-six years since their departure marked the start of the bloody civil war. It’s been nineteen years since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban army, and fourteen years since that terrible day in September that unleashed events leading to the Taliban’s removal from power. That’s an awful lot of war for a country that’s barely the...

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Author Profile: Maria Padian

Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Author / Illustrator Research | Comments Off on Author Profile: Maria Padian

Author Profile: Maria Padian

We couldn’t quite wait until February to share Maria Padian’s latest book Out of Nowhere, which follows high school senior Tom Bouchard and the events that impact the Somali refugees his small Maine town after 9/11. Although you can’t find it on bookshelves just yet, hopefully this view into Maria’s inspiration for her title will help make the wait a little shorter. Read more about Maria Padian at her website here On Writing Out of Nowhere I grew up in a family where the conversation at holiday dinners was a blizzard of accents. The food combinations were a bit...

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Author Profile: Randa Abdel-Fattah

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Author / Illustrator Research, Palestinian Australian | Comments Off on Author Profile: Randa Abdel-Fattah

One of our favorite authors here at I’m Your Neighbor is Randa Abdel-Fattah. Her books Does My Head Look Big In This? and Ten Things I Hate About Me give terrific insight to the lives of teenage girls growing up Muslim in a Western society. Her characters face challenges as they try to balance their faith and culture with typical high school issues like dating, alcohol and social image. Abdel-Fattah handles sensitive topics like the wearing of the hijab (the headscarf) excellently and readers walk away from her novels with a better understanding of Muslim culture. We highly recommend...

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Finding Terms to Describe Authors Writing Cross Culturally

Posted by on Jul 5, 2012 in Author / Illustrator Research, I'm Your Neighbor News | 1 comment

Finding Terms to Describe Authors Writing Cross Culturally

By Delanie Honda (Intern to I’m Your Neighbor) Difficulties in word choice is not a new thing here at “I’m Your Neighbor.” Exhibit A: Note that this project uses the terms “new arrivals” and “long-communities.” They are in quotations for a reason. We’ve admitted to ourselves that the terminology is a little awkward, but so are many word choices that are associated with community, ethnicity, culture, and class. The latest block I’ve run into has come with creating the “Author Research” sections of our book pages. Some of...

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Portland, Maine’s Sudanese Community Featured in New Novel for Teens

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Author / Illustrator Research, Sudan, Sudanese American | Comments Off on Portland, Maine’s Sudanese Community Featured in New Novel for Teens

Portland, Maine’s Sudanese Community Featured in New Novel for Teens

“This is a story of courage – not just Viola’s, but of all immigrants.”  —Finding Wonderland Author Terry Farish has just released The Good Braider, a young adult novel woven from her relationships with the Sudanese community in Portland, Maine, but also from her work with refugees and immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and other countries at the  NH Humanities Council literacy program Connections. “The fictional process is full of connections,” says Terry Farish, “that become intertwined as the storyline and structure take shape.” In...

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Creating a New Neighbor Book – An Author/Illustrator’s Journey

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Author / Illustrator Research, Cambodian American, Iranian American, Muslim, Muslim American | Comments Off on Creating a New Neighbor Book – An Author/Illustrator’s Journey

Creating a New Neighbor Book – An Author/Illustrator’s Journey

“Veasna remembered her own escape from the war, lost in a bamboo forest, fearing wolves and other wild animals, saying to herself, ‘I’m going to die here.'” Children’s author/illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien was featured on the International Reading Association’s ENGAGE Teacher to Teacher blog telling how her community relationships fed the creation of the children’s book set in the Cambodian American community, A Path of Stars (Charlesbridge Publishing) and Moon Watchers: Shirin’s Ramadan Miracle (Tilbury House Publishing). Read the...

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