Telling Their Stores… at least, this was the original name for this workshop. Legendary, best-selling author Lesa Cline-Ransome announces minutes into Digital Workshop 2.4, that in light of new events, she has decided to change the name of her workshop to “Truth and the Picture Book Biography.”
Lesa Cline-Ransome shows a slide of African Americans throughout history: “How many of these faces do you know?” she asks the audience. She encourages the audience to know, “Why do you write what you write?” This is something you should know before you start writing. In school, she received subtle messages that enslaved people were passive, that Black families were dysfunctional, Black people did not care about education, etc -- Lesa Cline-Ransome felt that these were narratives that needed to be re-written.
“Backmatter helps young readers understand a background of historical and political context.” Backmatter can provide insight into the author’s personal connection to the story. Kids often find this helpful, as it provides context into why they should care more about the story being told. “This is what I find interesting, not what a kid would find interesting: I do my research through the lens of what a kid would find interesting.” Kids love facts -- in all forms. In order to elevate a Lesa Cline-Ransome Nonfiction book to become a Lesa Cline-Ransome Nonfiction book, she asks herself a very important question: “What made this person the person that they are?”
Until next Thursday, digital workshop viewers...
(also known as @a.very.fast.reader on Instagram/@averyfastreader on Twitter!)