May 15th marked the 130th anniversary of the birth of Jella Lepman, whose dedication and determination led to the creation of the International Youth Library in Munich and to the formation of IBBY itself. Lest we forget, her resolve to provide books to children in crisis was not borne out of a compulsion to indoctrinate them or re-educate them from one political ideology to another, but rather to offer a childhood to those young people who’d had theirs stolen.
These young people, and their families, endured forced silence, repression, and attempted negation of their own narratives.
This issue of BRIDGES begins with a recap of the Opening Act featuring Dion Graham, narrator of the audiobook version of Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope, set during his time in WWII, and Ruta Sepetys, author of The Fountains of Silence, set in Franco-era Spain.
In connection to silenced voices breaking free, the feature this month celebrates Catalan culture and the extraordinary efforts of the Institut Ramon Llull to preserve and promote the work of Catalan musicians, dancers, artists, authors, and illustrators living throughout the world to share with audiences everywhere.
Examples of activities for International Children’s Book Day show how Jella Lepman’s dream continues to be fostered on a local level; and USBBY invites ALA Conference attendees to Read Around the World with international children’s books publishers, (whose books have all appeared on recent OIB Lists.)
A list of opportunities for USBBY members to get involved - with IBBY publications and leadership, Regional Conference 2022 sessions, and a call to action to aid children at the U.S. border and in detention centers - rounds out this issue of BRIDGES.
The United States Board on Books for Young People
The U.S. National Section of International Board on Books for Young People
Building Bridges Through Children's and Young Adult Books
Center for Teaching through Children´s Books
National Louis University
1000 Capitol Drive
Wheeling, IL 60090
V. Ellis Vance, Executive Director Executive.Director@usbby.org
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