Tuesday, April 23, 2019

An Open Letter to the Children's Book Guild

Today, Martha Brockenbrough, Julie Foster Hedlund, and Ishta Mercurio ask for action and change from the Children's Book Guild in response to an incident that occurred at a recent event.

Please read the letter below and leave a comment that includes your name if you'd like to lend your support.


[Ed. 9am 4/25/19: Please note that we will wrap up signature gathering at 8pm EST tonight (Thursday, April 25th), and will also close comments at that time. We will send this letter with signatures to the CBG the following morning.
Update 8:15pm 4/25/19: Comments are now closed.]


April 23, 2019
Rhoda Trooboff
Children’s Book Guild
Childrensbookguild@yahoo.com

Dear Ms. Trooboff:

We are members of the children’s book community writing in support of Carole Lindstrom, who was treated in an unacceptable manner at a recent luncheon. We are also writing in support of Dr. Debbie Reese, a respected authority in children’s literature and the representation of American Indians. And we are writing to suggest some changes to your protocol for handling these incidents when they occur.

To summarize what happened: Your membership chair, Jacqueline Jules, initiated a conversation with Ms. Lindstrom during the lunch. Ms. Jules wanted to know what Ms. Lindstrom thought of Dr. Reese, and the intentions behind Ms. Jules’s questioning do not appear to be benign.

Dr. Reese, who is so respected in the field as to be selected to give the prestigious May Hill Arbuthnot lecture, is frequently criticized by people who do not wish to understand her work, and who do not wish to understand the nuances of cultural representation. She is beloved by people who are committed to writing better books for the children we serve. She is patient, generous with her time, straightforward with her comments, and has made a groundbreaking difference in understanding racism directed at Indigenous people.

Ms. Jules’ question itself was inappropriate. Dr. Reese is an industry professional, and it is in bad form to disparage an industry professional at an industry function. Furthermore, when Ms. Lindstrom explained that Dr. Reese is a friend, Ms. Jules should have dropped the subject to respect that statement and the boundary it implied. Ms. Jules did not. Instead, she continued, prompting Ms. Lindstrom to leave the luncheon. Then she initiated unwanted physical contact with Ms. Lindstrom, and then she followed her outside after Ms. Lindstrom had made it clear she wanted no part of the discussion.

No one inside the room did anything to end this disturbing treatment or to intervene on behalf of a guest. What’s more, when your organization heard Ms. Lindstrom’s complaint, you shared it with Ms. Jules without first getting Ms. Lindstrom’s consent. And you do not seem to have any sort of policy for your organization on harassment, or any protocol in place for bystanders to intervene and end the harassment. It also confused many people aware of what had transpired that your organization would choose this week to single out Ms. Jules as “Author of the Day,” a choice that seems the opposite of apologetic. [Clarification: The “Author of the Day” designation was created by the Chesapeake Children’s Festival, not by the Children’ Book Guild. The CBG was boosting the promotion.]

We, the undersigned, believe the Children’s Book Guild owes Ms. Lindstrom and Dr. Reese apologies, and we believe you would be well-served by creating policies that protect people from harassment of all sorts when they attend your meetings.

Sincerely yours,

Martha Brockenbrough
Julie Foster Hedlund
Ishta Mercurio

Martha Brockenbrough is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction for young readers. She teaches at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Julie Foster Hedlund is an author, freelance writer, and founder of 12x12, program to support motivation and accountability for picture book writers.
Ishta Mercurio is the author of the forthcoming picture book SMALL WORLD, illustrated by Jen Corace and published by Abrams.


[Ed. 6:45pm 4/23/19: We hear some people are having trouble commenting. If this is you, please feel free to email us, readingwhilewhite@gmail.com, with the text of your comment. We'll be glad to post it on your behalf.]

400 comments:

1 – 200 of 400   Newer›   Newest»
Elisa Gall said...

Cosigned.
-Elisa Gall

Mike Jung said...

Cosigned, and thank you.
- Mike Jung

Melanie Conklin said...

Please take this opportunity for improvement.
Co-signed,
Melanie Conklin

Sam Bloom said...

Cosigned.
-Sam Bloom

K T Horning said...

Co-signed

--KT Horning

G Ford said...

You can do better than this!
Co-signed
--Dr. Genevieve Ford

jan godown annino said...

Such a pivotal moment for reflection & redirection & coming together.
Cosigned
-JanGodownAnnino

Unknown said...

Co-signed.

--Mari Talkin

Unknown said...

Co-signed
-Dr. Cristina Rhodes

Unknown said...

Co-signed

-- Randell Baze, Librarian

Trish said...

Co-signed

Tricia Lawrence, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary

srhF92 said...

Co-signed,
Sarah Hamburg

Mari Talkin said...

Co-signed.

--Mari Talkin

Tony said...

Co-signed,
-Tony Perry, Native American (Chickasaw) author

Scout said...

Co-signed. Please listen to this respectful attempt to help the organization grow in a safer and more inclusive direction. - Kalah McCaffrey

Christina said...

Cosigned,

Christina Hoover Moorehead

Cassandra Miles said...

Co-Signed,
Cassandra Miles

Kazia Berkley-Cramer said...

Co-signed,
Kazia Berkley-Cramer

Allie Jane Bruce said...

Obviously I co-sign (again). I also want to include links to a few Twitter threads that include helpful information, especially for those of us White people who might otherwise be bystanders:
Dr. Debbie Reese: https://twitter.com/debreese/status/1120346865776513024 and https://twitter.com/debreese/status/1120689298259480581
Heidi Heilig: https://twitter.com/heidiheilig/status/1120325981724712963
Angie Manfredi: https://twitter.com/misskubelik/status/1120517210848595970

-Allie Jane Bruce

Brian Walter said...

Co-signed.

-- Brian Walter

pamlovesbooks said...

Co-signed
Pam Margolis (a POC)

Gina Perry said...

Co-signed,
--Gina Perry

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
-- Kathleen Rushall

Ruth McNally Barshaw said...

co-signed.
-- Ruth McNally Barshaw
(author and illustrator)

Tasha said...

Co-signed
Tasha Saecker

Tracey said...

Co-signed
Tracey Baptiste

Unknown said...

Co-signed.

Tracy Abell

Kaye M. said...

Cosigned.

- Karuna Riazi

AwakenLibrarian said...

Cosigned,
Jean Darnell

*Develop a policy, after you've ensured that your governing board goes through either a racial sensitivity training or effective ways to handle harassment. How will you atone for this grave misrepresentation of everything CBG has worked towards? Furthermore, how can your organization never be in this situation again? Don't let your silence make you implicit in condoning this behavior.

Rita Lorraine said...

Cosigned!

--Rita Lorraine Hubbard

Diane T said...

Co-signed.
Diane Telgen

Unknown said...

In support of Carole Lindstrom

Jackie Kruzie - author and librarian

Molly said...

Co-signed.
Molly Beth Griffin

Sarah said...

Co-signed.
Sarah Park Dahlen

Melinda R. Cordell said...

I would be happy to co-sign. We can do better -- we must.

all best,
Melinda R. Cordell.

Laura Jimenez said...

Cosigned,
Dr. Laura M. Jiménez
AKA @booktoss

Joe Sutliff Sanders said...

Cosigned,
Joe Sutliff Sanders

Ann Braden said...

Co-signed.
-- Ann Braden

Isabel Sterling said...

Co-signed.

-Isabel Sterling

Wendy Wahman said...

Co-signed,
Wendy Wahman

Zetta said...

Co-signed.
~Dr. Zetta Elliott

Kiera Parrott said...

Co-signed.
--Kiera Parrott

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Sara Ralph,
School Librarian

Kelly said...

Cosigned,

Kelly Hager

HM Committee said...

Co-signed,
Julie Herman
SCBWI member

Cynthia Harmony said...

Cosigned,
Cynthia Harmony

Jennifer Ziegler said...

Co-signed

Jennifer Ziegler

Gabrielle Halko said...

Co-signed. Please take this opportunity to reflect and improve as an organization.

-- Gabrielle Atwood Halko

Monica Clark-Robinson said...

Co-signed,
Monica Clark-Robinson
Author and children's librarian

Kate said...

Co-signed.

Katharine Slater

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Luana Ross
Co-Director of Native Voices Film at the University of Washington

Darshana said...

Co-signed,
Darshana Khiani (author)

Beverly Slapin said...

Co-signed.
Beverly Slapin

Nancy Ferguson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bevin Roue said...

Co-signed,
Bevin Roue

Tina Hoggatt said...

co-signed - and thank you for this action. Tina Hoggatt

TSorell said...

Co-signed,
Traci Sorell

Natalie Cohn said...

Co-Signed Natalie

Supriya Kelkar said...

Co-signed Supriya Kelkar

Unknown said...

Co-signed Kate Gilbert

Tasslyn said...

Co Signed. Dr. Tasslyn Magnusson. Grateful for the work of Dr. Reese and Carole Lindstrom.

Naomi said...

Co-signed Naomi Bishop, MLIS

Amy said...

Co-signed,
Amy Spalding

Unknown said...

Co-signed, Daphne Kalmar

Cara Davis said...

Co-signed,

cara davis

Laura Atkins said...

Co-signed, Laura Atkins (author and editor)

Laura Atkins said...

Co-signed, Laura Atkins (author and editor)

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Co-signed Cynthia Leitich Smith

Jenn Reese said...

Co-signed.
--Jenn Reese

Jessica Khoury said...

Co-signed, Jessica Khoury

Annie Carl said...

Co-signed,
Anastasia (Annie) Carl
The Neverending Bookshop, Owner

Lori Snyder said...

Not only am I co-signing, but I would like to thank Ms. Lindstrom for having the courage to talk about this and call it out. Too often, the people who are treated with such lack of regard and disrespect don't feel they have a recourse.

Co-signing. Thank you.

Lori Snyder

Tracy Clark said...

I heartily co-sign and thank you for your work., Tracy Clark

weshoyot said...

Co-signed with my support.
Weshoyot Alvitre
Tongva Nation

Susan Adrian said...

Co-signed. Unacceptable treatment.
Susan Adrian

Peter Pearson said...

Co-signed,

Peter Pearson

Linda Rodriguez said...

Co-signed in support of Carole Lindstrom and Dr. Debbie Reese,
Linda Rodriguez (author)

Ebony Elizabeth said...

Enthusiastically co-signed.

--
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Co-Editor, Research in the Teaching of English (NCTE)
Reading/Writing/Literacy Program
Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division
Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

csoontornvat said...

Co-signed.
Christina Soontornvat

Just a Reading ID said...

Co-signed
Rory Metcalf

Jaime O. Mayer said...

co-signed.
Jaime O. Mayer

emery lord said...

Cosigned.
Emery Lord

Margaret G. said...

Cosigned,
Margaret Chiu Greanias

Jillian Heise said...

Co-signed,
Jillian Heise

Casey said...

Co-signed,
Casey Lyall

Aimee Lucido said...

Co-signed
Aimee Lucido

Unknown said...

Co-signed. Please learn and do better.
Maya Sofia Gittelman.

DarkLiterata said...

Co-signed.

Anastasia Collins

Laurie Wallmark said...

Co-signed.
Laurie Wallmark

Steve Cromwell said...

Co-signed,
Steve Cromwell

Dawn Babb Prochovnic said...

Co-signed.
Dawn Babb Prochovnic

Margaret H. Mason said...

Co-signed.
Margaret H. Mason

Melissa Hart said...

Co-signed,
Melissa Hart

Naomi House, INALJ said...

Co-signed,

Naomi House, INALJ

Unknown said...

Co-signed.
—Amy Bennett-Zendzian, Boston University

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
April Hathcock

Brianne Selman said...

Co-signed,
Brianne Selman, MLIS

Reading While White said...

Co-signed,
Justine Larbalestier

(Blogger is not cooperating for Justine, we are posting this on her behalf at her request.)

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Rachel Byington

Matthew J. Kirby said...

co-signed,
Matthew J. Kirby

Cloudbuster said...

Co-signed,
Rob Costello

Audrey Hackett said...

Co-signed,
Audrey Hackett

melady2000 said...

Co-signed,
Rebecca Reynolds

Nicole Valentine said...

This is an opportunity to mend, heal and correct. Co-signed. -Nicole Valentine

Heather Scott said...

Cosigned,
Heather M. Scott

Debbi Michiko Florence said...

Co-signed,
Debbi Michiko Florence

heidi heilig said...

Heidi Heilig here.

Sherry F said...

Co-signed,

Sherry Fellores

hmbouwman said...

Co-signed,
HM Bouwman

Alyssa Jennette said...

Co-signed,
Alyssa Jennette, Stonesong Agency

Unknown said...

Co-signed,

Tonya Martin
Publisher

Joyce Wan said...

Co-signed,

Joyce Wan

Alison Goldberg said...

Co-signed,
Alison Goldberg

Kr said...

Co-signed,
Kim Rogers

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Kit Rosewater

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Bev Katz Rosenbaum

Keely said...

Co-signed,
Keely Parrack

Trudi Trueit said...

Co-signed
Trudi Trueit

Julia Ember said...

Co-signed,
Julia Ember

Cuppa Jolie said...

Co-signed,
Jolie Stekly

Rachel said...

Co-signed,

Rachel McCauley
Educator and (almost) Librarian

Dean Gloster said...

Co-signed,
Dean Gloster

Amitha Jagannath Knight said...

Co-signed,

Amitha Knight

Rebecca Donnelly said...

Co-signed
Rebecca Donnelly

Kathleen Rauth said...

Co-signed,
Kathleen Rauth

Claudia said...

Co-signed,
Claudia Osmond

Katie L. Carroll said...

Co-signed
Katie L. Carroll

https://kristinwoldennitz.com/ said...

Co-signed,

Kristin Wolden Nitz

Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic said...

Behind these words 100%,
Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic
Children's Lit Author

Unknown said...

Co-signed. Please take this as a learning opportunity.
Lisa Krok, MLIS, M.Ed

Janet Nasir said...

co-signed
Janet Nasir
elementary teacher

I will not support/use Ms. Jules' works in my classroom. The Guild has chosen to support racism and harassment with their actions, as well as their non-actions.

gabbinks said...

Co-signed.
Gabby Taub

Aaron Kashtan said...

Cosigned

Jenna Grodzicki said...

Cosigned.
-Jenna Grodzicki

Colette said...

Co-signed!!
Colette Drouillard

Lauren Strohecker said...

Co-signed,
Lauren Strohecker

zgaston said...

Co-signed
Zachary J. Gaston

M. Carlson Davis said...

Co-signed
M. Carlson Davis

Jana said...

Co_signed
Jana L. Rieck

Angie Manfredi said...

Co-signed
Angie Manfredi

Charlotte said...

co-signed.

Charlotte Taylor

Kary Henry said...

Co-signed,
Kary Henry

Elana K Arnold said...

Co-signed, with thanks.

Elana K. Arnold

Devon Van Essen said...

Co-signed,
Devon Van Essen

Megan Dowd Lambert said...

Co-signed,

Megan Dowd Lambert

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Cherrita Lee

NJ Mvondo said...

Co-signed,

NJ Mvondo

Julie said...

Co-signed,
Julie Prescesky

Unknown said...

Please carefully read and thoughtfully respond to the above letter.

Bernadette Pasek, Middle School Librarian

Gwen Tarbox said...

Co-signed, Gwen Tarbox, with the suggestion that if anyone wishes to comment on a scholar's work, look that scholar up, and write a polite query. Trying to encourage colleagues to gossip or speak ill of a fellow professional is inappropriate. Also, anyone who witnessed this situation and did not intervene would benefit from studying up on allyship.

HAB said...

Co-signed,
Heidi Baikie

Unknown said...

Co-signed
Kyla McDonald

Anne Sibley O'Brien said...

Co-signed,
Anne Sibley O’Brien

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Kristen Schroeder

Lisa Katzenberger said...

Co-signed,
Lisa Katzenberger

Lady Crazy Pants said...

Co-signed,
Angela Dalton

Kyle Lukoff said...

Cosigned.

Reading While White said...

Co-signed,
Chris Skoglund

(We are posting this on Chris's behalf at Chris's request.)

Reading While White said...

Co-signed,
Elizabeth Himowitz

(We are posting this on Elizabeth's behalf at Elizabeth's request.)

Rin Chupeco said...

Co-signed,
Rin Chupeco

Unknown said...

Co-signed,

Breanna J. McDaniel, University of Cambridge

Christine M. Irvin said...

Co-signed,

Christine M. Irvin

Ago Ame said...

Co-signed,
Joy De Palm, Educator

Christy McGuire said...

Co-signed,

Dr. Christy L. McGuire

Unknown said...

Co-signed

Laurie Young said...

Thank you to Carole and the authors of this statement.
Co-signed with the hope that this opportunity is used to listen and revise your guidelines for conduct.
—Laurie Young

C. Ineichen said...

Co-signed,

Casey Ineichen

Leona said...

Co-signed
Leona Vittum-Jones

Adria Quinones said...

This kind of behavior is on display at too many kidlit events.

Co-signed
Adria Quinones

Teresa Huffman Traver said...

Cosigned, Dr. Teresa Traver

Unknown said...

Please see our official store statement in support of Carole Lindstrom and Dr. Reese at https://www.facebook.com/duendedistrict/posts/2333762270283253?notif_id=1555965751090938&notif_t=page_post_reaction

Co-signed,

Angela Maria Spring
Owner, Duende District Bookstore
American Booksellers Association Board Member

Lisa Stringfellow said...

Co-signed
Lisa Stringfellow

Unknown said...

Signed
David Vaughn

Unknown said...

Cosigned

Jackie Dever

Robin Egg said...

Respectfully,
Robin Yardi

Unknown said...

co-signed

Debra Johnson said...

Co-signed
Debra Johnson

Kim said...

Definitely co-signed.

- Kimberly Alberts

Steve Asbell said...

Co-signed
Steve Asbell

An. Onymous said...

Co-signed,
Abigail Ryan

Jennifer Longo said...

SIGNED.
- Jennifer Longo

Brigid G said...

Cosigned

Brigid Gaffikin

Beth Stilborn said...

Co-signed,
Beth Stilborn

Joy McCullough-Carranza said...

Cosigned,
Joy McCullough

Unknown said...

I tried to co-sign before, but was on my phone, and I don't think it went through. I apologize if this is a duplicate.

--Veronica Schanoes
Associate Professor
Department of English
Queens College - CUNY

Reading While White said...

Co-signed,
Nanci Turner Steveson

(We are posting this on Nanci's behalf at Nanci's request.)

MMM said...

Co-signed,
Michelle Maloney-Mangold, Ph.D.

Crystal said...

Co-signed.

Crystal Brunelle
Teacher Librarian

Megan Frazer Blakemore said...

Co-signed,
Megan Blakemore

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Benjamin Klas, author

Cory Eckert said...

Co-signed,
Cory Eckert
Librarian
Founder, Storytime Underground

Nina Lindsay said...

Co-signed,
Nina Lindsay

Unknown said...

Co-signed,
Loren Kaplan, elementary school teacher

Jackie Nixon said...

Your organization needs to do some important work around decolonization and white privilege.

Sasha said...

This behavior is unacceptable, but that does not mean it is too late for an apology and course correction! I hope the Children's Book Guild sees an opportunity for growth.

Co-signed,
Sasha Kuczynski

la maestra said...

Co-signed,
Noreen Naseem Rodríguez

Unknown said...

Meagan Black

jdemanda said...

Janine deManda, public librarian

Liz Garton Scanlon said...

Co-signed
Liz Garton Scanlon

Slewfoot549 said...

Co-signed,
Arigon Starr, member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma
Artist | Writer | Tulsa Artist Fellow

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