Educators are a talented bunch, and often their creativity spills over into a book, album or other publication. We’re happy to bring you our new recurring section that showcases their gifts.
Oceanside Teachers Association
Ursula Unger, Obviously introduces readers to the exhausting and brilliant mind of a young girl with high-functioning autism. While the story’s insights are geared toward 9-to-12-year-olds, educators will recognize the frustrations of Mrs. B as she tries to teach the “unteachable” (but marvelously creative) Ursula. In the second book in the series, Ursula Unger, In Deep, Ursula’s fascination with Smilodon fossils has resulted in an enormous hole in her backyard. She recruits classmates to help her. Kimberly Boyd, who has been teaching special education students for 20 years, has a third book in the works. Get them on Amazon.
Dawn B. Mabalon
California Faculty Association
Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong, by Dawn B. Mabalon with Gayle Romasanta and illustrated by Andre Sibayan, tells the story of labor leader Itliong, who organized a walkout of Filipino farmworkers in Delano in 1965 (Cesar Chavez and Mexican farmworkers joined two weeks later) and whose work led to the launch of the United Farm Workers union. The book was intended to be the first in a series for young readers on Filipino-American history. Sadly, Mabalon, associate professor of history at San Francisco State University, died unexpectedly in August. Available at bridgedelta.com.
Harriet A. Dickey
Compton Education Association
Eleven-year-old Hannah Jordan chronicles her 1966 summer visit to Deltona, Mississippi, in Jim Crow Must Die! (2012). Due to a misunderstanding, Hannah thinks that Jim Crow is a person and that he and his relatives are the source of all the racism the townspeople endure. Using her own version of voodoo, she sets out to rid the town of the Crows. In the sequel Sacred Hearts (2018), Hannah is back in Chicago and tries to solve a kidnapping case while simultaneously tackling a different kind of bully and the city’s own special kind of racism. Both books by Harriet A. Dickey, who teaches middle school language arts, are on Amazon at tinyurl.com/hdickey.
Work, Work, Work
Do you have or know of works by CTA members that can be highlighted on this page? Let us know! Send details to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Lit From Within” in the subject line. We lean toward work that can be used in the classroom. (Member letters, opinion pieces and essays are welcome; send inquiries to email@example.com.)