• The Story of a Pumpkin, a tale from Bhutan

    The Story of a Pumpkin, a folktale in Nepali and English, has just been published by the New Hampshire Humanities Council.  The photo is from our  Folktale Festival celebrating the tale told by Hari Tiwari who now lives in Laconia, NH.   This book is the fruit of the work of many: new neighbors from Bhutan, folklorist Jo Radner, artist Susan Gaylord, and me, in my job as literacy director at the NH Humanities Council.   The story was told to us by Hari Tiwari whose father told her the tale when she was a small girl in Bhutan. You can read about the steps we took, from collecting folktales in ESOL classes to proofreading in Nepali and English. The book is distributed by the University Press of New England.  Soon we will have a teacher’s guide.

  • International Reading Association Conference – April 30, 2012

    Anne Sibley O’Brien’s book about a family from Cambodia was just published by Charlesbridge. Annie, Kirsten Cappy, and I are presenting a symposium at the International Reading Association Conference in April. Our topic – New Neighbors: Using Children’s and YA Books as a Bridge Between Cultures. I have spent hours journeying through Annie’s blog: Coloring Between the Lines: Reflections on Race, Culture, and Children’s Books. Chicago, here we come!

    Update!!  Here’s a link to a story about our presentation in Chicago and the back story to I’m Your Neighbor.  And here’s a link to  the I’m Your Neighbor blog.

  • The Good Braider

    “In this free verse novel for young adults and adults, Viola’s strikingly original voice sings out the story of her family’s journey from war-torn Sudan, to Cairo, and finally to Portland, Maine. Selected as a Best Book of the Year by the American Library Association, Bank Street College of Education,  & School Library Journal; winner of the  Boston Authors’s Club Award and Maine’s Lupine Award.”  Here is a link to Discussion Guides.


    South Sudanese-American rapper OD Bonny performs a tribute he wrote for The Good Braider, “A Girl From Juba.”


  • Be a Dad. Be There

    By Terry Farish

    Like I want to rush my sentence.  I feel like I’m missing out with my baby.  But it seems like six months has gone so fast for her.  You want to take in every last breath you can take, and make them last.”

    Inmates connect with their kids reading poetry and Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon. READ MORE

  • If You Were Thomas’s White Girlfriend

    photo by Kate Philbrick

    “When Studs Terkel was asked on Transom what he wanted to hear on the radio, he answered, “Something real.”   Jay Allison in his intro to this story on Transom.org, “If You Were Thomas’s White Girlfriend.”

    By Terry Farish

    Thomas got a job shelving books at a branch of the Portland Public Library, a pretty good job considering that he hadn’t been in the country all that long.