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Episode 229: Veronica Chambers/Fall Preview

BY MEGAN LABRISE • August 17, 2021

Veronica Chambers discusses the history of BLM and the ongoing fight for racial equality.

In this special Fall Preview episode, sponsored by Dear Highlights: What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids (Highlights Press, Aug. 10), Veronica Chambers joins us to discuss Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter (Versify/HarperCollins, Aug. 17), a young readers’ primer on Black Lives Matter. Chambers, a prolific author (Finish the Fight!, etc.) and journalist, who serves as the editor of narrative projects at the New York Times, offers a rigorous, impactful exploration of the political and social movement for racial equality and against police brutality.

Kirkus had this to say about Call and Response, written with Jennifer Harlan: “Basing their account heavily on firsthand accounts of various Black Lives Matter leaders and New York Times reporters, the authors explore the origins of the movement and the impact it has had along with the historical events that its leaders built it upon….The authors write with clarity and honesty, holding back no truths, but with language that makes the book accessible to preteen readers and adults alike….An educational introduction for young readers and a comprehensive primer for adults.”

Chambers and host Megan Labrise discuss the call from Kwame Alexander and Margaret Raymo that touched off the project; the experience of researching and writing about history as it unfolds; working with coauthor Jennifer Harlan; the role of love in activism and protest; working for racial equality from inside and outside the system; Black Lives Matter leaders Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullers; the many roles adults and kids can play in confronting injustice; and much more.

And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Lesa Cline-Ransome, author of Being Clem (Holiday House, Aug. 3), the highly anticipated conclusion to the “Finding Langston” trilogy. Kirkus: “A compelling work whose intriguing characters readers will miss when they turn the last page” (starred review).

Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick discus some of their favorite books from the Fall Preview issue of Kirkus Reviews.

Editors’ Fall Preview picks:

Borders by Thomas King, illus. by Natasha Donovan (Little, Brown)
Bright Star by Yuyi Morales (Neal Porter/Holiday House)
My Two Border Towns by David Bowls, illus. by Erika Mezza (Kokila)
¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge by Raùl the Third with Elaine Bay (Versify/HarperCollins)
A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)
Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline (Amulet/Abrams)
Walking in Two Worlds by Wab Kinew (Penguin Teen)
On Animals by Susan Orlean (Avid Reader Press)
Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach (Norton)
Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Also mentioned in this episode:

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (Knopf)
Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli (Coffee House)
The Hummingbirds' Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal on Wings by Sy Montgomery (Atria)
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (Harper/HarperCollins)

Thanks to our advertisers this week:

A Blind Eye by David Jackson Ambrose
HORDE (Zombie Apocalypse: The Chad Halverson Book 6) by Bryan Cassiday
The Undiscovered Country by Mike Nemeth

Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.

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