Children's Literature

As a children’s literature specialist, I write about books for a number of publications, including The Horn Book, BookPage, and Kirkus Reviews. You can read my articles on the Calling Caldecott blog for 2020 (We Are Water Protectors), 2019 (The Bell Rang) and 2018 (Seeing Into Tomorrow). 

My article, “‘Whose Side Are You On?’ Moral Consequences of Young Readers’ Responses to To Kill a Mockingbird,” was published in the peer-reviewed, open access journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature in January, 2020. In it, I use data from a youth literature circle alongside Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark, cognitive criticism and reader response theory, to question the use of To Kill a Mockingbird in schools.  

Educators and librarians seeking to diversify your collections, or wondering why you should, can find concrete suggestions in the guide I created for HarperCollins, "Shake Up Your Shelves."

For book recommendations, look under the Homeschool tab for book lists I have used with children in recent book groups. 

For picture book recommendations, check out the list we compiled for EmbraceRace, an organization that helps caregivers raise children who are “thoughtful, informed, and brave about race.” 

You can find my educator's guides for young people's books on the publisher's websites. See my guides for Blackout (to come), Concrete RoseThe Shape of Thunder and Other Words for Home, Punching the Air, On the Come Up, and the picture book Sometimes People March.

Colorful Book Spines

Colleagues, Friends and Mentors

If you are interested in my critical work, please check out the colleagues, friends and mentors I have enjoyed working with and/or learning from! 

Diverse Book Finder

Sarah Park Dahlen

Megan Dowd Lambert

Michelle H. Martin

Breanna McDaniel

Vicky Smith

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas