Happy Poetry Friday Everyone,
See my book -- Children's Guide to Knowledge? It was given to me in the 1970s by people dear to me. When I was six, seven, eight, and older, I poured over this book. It was the anchor book of antique-blue shelves I constantly re-arranged (by color, by topic, by favorite... many whims).
All that time ago, I lived in a rural, western New York conservative town, in an old-fashioned and conservative family. Although I loved both, I hoped always that I would leave someday. Books and reading provided possibilities.
The best pages of the book, for me, were about people in other parts of the world. I was fascinated by other countries and languages --the farther away, the better.
Skip ahead decades to last month.
I saw this tweet from Grace Lin about a lecture she was giving:
I attended the lecture virtually and was impressed not just with the content of her talk but also the way in which she delivered it. Ms. Lin related painful instances of racism at several points in her life as she spoke about what books can do. At these points, she gave her audience drawing breaks.
By her conclusion, we had drawn an Ox which is this year's zodiac animal on the Chinese calendar. And, we'd processed a great deal of emotional information.
You may remember that my one little word for 2021 is ox.
I wish I could have made things easier for Ms. Lin and newcomers like her when I was a child. I hope that I've grown into a person that does.
The poem below is my response to listening to Grace Lin. I saw kids like me in her story. I want her and other writers like her to know that she has and continues to make a difference for me and for the young people I select books for as a children's librarian.
Thank you, Ms. Lin.
After Listening to 'Putting Books to Work' By Grace Lin