Virtual Social Justice Author Panel (Part 2 of Children's Author Panel)

  • Posted on: 28 May 2020
  • By: TanyaMills

A virtual event co-hosted by The Book Bungalow (St. George, UT) and Brain Lair Books (South Bend, IN)

First, we'll pick up where we left off a few weeks ago, except this time, a couple of new children's book authors--Aya Khalil and Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow--will join Valerie Bolling, Tameka Fryer Brown, and Zeena Pliska as we expand this discussion. 

In light of events over the past few weeks, we felt this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about social justice in general and in publishing, in particular, and explore how books can be used to educate, heal, and raise future generations differently.


Please be thinking of questions you can ask to further the discussion. And if you are interested in a well-curated list of Anti-Racist literature, you can shop THIS LIST to better educate yourself.

Also, you will find attached (at the bottom of the page) a very helpful checklist to help you better curate your classroom or school library collection for more inclusivity. Please feel free to download it. It will likely be discussed by the panel. 




Valerie Bolling is an educator and author from Connecticut, whose first book, LET'S DANCE!, presents dances from around the world in a fun, interactive way for your little ones to enjoy.



Tameka Fryer Brown first planned on becoming a lawyer, but ended up majoring in business. Once she started having children, however, she became a full-time mother and set her sights on writing picture books. She has had three published so far, including BROWN BABY LULLABY, and her work has also been featured in the anthology, WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES.



Zeena Pliska is an author, educator, and blogger. She is a progressive, child-centered educator who strives to create a culture of listening to children in her Kindergarten classroom. She lives in Los Angeles, California and her first picture book, HELLO, LITTLE ONE, will be followed next year by EGYPTIAN LULLABY.



Aya Khalil is a freelance journalist and blogger with a Master's in Education, focusing on teaching English as a second language. She’s been featured in Teen Vogue, Yahoo! Book Riot and other publications. Her work has been published in The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Toledo Area Parent and many others. She’s also done sensitivity readings for DK Publishing/Penguin. Her debut picture book, THE ARABIC QUILT, was published in February of this year.



Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow is an educator and children's book author. Her works feature young Black Muslims and have been critically praised by such institutions as the American Library Association, School Library Journal, and NPR. She writes both picture books and middle grade fiction, as well as currently directing and developing writing programs for Philadelphia and New Jersey youth at Mighty Writers.

Event address: 
94 W. Tabernacle St.
St. George, UT 84770-4087
Let's Dance! Cover Image
By Valerie Bolling, Maine Diaz (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781635921427
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Boyds Mills Press - March 3rd, 2020

Hello, Little One: A Monarch Butterfly Story Cover Image
By Zeena Pliska, Fiona Halliday (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781624149313
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Page Street Kids - May 12th, 2020

The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story Cover Image
By Aya Khalil, Anait Semirdzhyan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780884487548
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tilbury House Publishers - February 18th, 2020

Mommy's Khimar Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534400597
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You - April 3rd, 2018

Brown Baby Lullaby Cover Image
By Tameka Fryer Brown, A. G. Ford (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780374307523
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - January 14th, 2020

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices Cover Image
By Wade Hudson (Editor), Cheryl Willis Hudson (Editor)
ISBN: 9780525580454
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yearling - December 31st, 2019

Your Name Is a Song Cover Image
ISBN: 9781943147724
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Innovation Press - July 7th, 2020

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices Cover Image
By S. K. Ali (Editor), Aisha Saeed (Editor), Sara Alfageeh (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419740831
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amulet Books - May 5th, 2020

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood Cover Image
By Tameka Fryer Brown, Shane Evans (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780670012855
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 7th, 2013

Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day Cover Image
ISBN: 9780810989719
Availability: Backordered
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - August 1st, 2010