Arlene is on the SCENE

Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther King

Youth activism is alive and well and brazenly powerful. Check out Malala Yousafzai. Even Jon Stewart didn’t know what to say, other than, hey can I adopt you?

We’re drawn to courage. When we see it in children, it’s even more engaging. It is accessible, and contagious. We begin to believe that we, too, can be that brave. Soon, as Martin Luther King said, “righteousness like a mighty stream” splashes each one of us in the face, wakes us up to the possibilities, and now we’ve got change on our hands.

I think what stops us all in our tracks is the combination of Malala’s courage plus the so-called Golden Rule, do unto others… Malala not only pushes for change against the most fierce resistance imaginable. She also demonstrates the wisdom and once again, courage, of self-examination, ensuring that she also stays true to her principles and values.

 

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CLC Seal of Approval simsilvfoilWhile it’s not available in stores quite yet, Arlene, the Rebel Queen is being deemed a good read by some! Children’s Literary Classics gave the sequel to Arlene On the Scene its Seal of Approval, saying it “belongs on every youngster’s reading list.” Read the full review.

We’re so pleased that they liked the book but more importantly, that they understood our point. Well, pointS. We had a lot of them. We wanted to talk to kids about change, and that making change happen can be complicated and risky. As we finish honoring Martin Luther King, swear Barak Obama in as president, and head into African-American history month, let’s be honest–change is huge. It can be frightening. But we can learn so much from looking back on changes we’ve been through, and recognizing the sacrifices made by the leaders of change.

But given that, you–yes, YOU–can be an agent of change. We all can. And should! In our homes, our schools, our communities, even the world. Rebel Queen was written to demonstrate to young readers that they have the power to make positive changes in their corner of the world. Right now!

Finally, we wanted to talk about the interpersonal relationship between Arlene and her friend Lauren. Watching our daughters weave their way through the jungle that is the tween/teen social scene, Marybeth and I wanted to dive right in to these issues–how do friendships evolve over time? How does one navigate through a waning friendship and emerge with self-confidence in tact? And what does difference and disability add to that dynamic?

Well, not to say we answered all those questions. As Mr. Goldberg says in the book, many of life’s biggest questions simply don’t have answers. Asking the question and thinking about it, that’s the point. Arlene isn’t thrilled with this idea, but she rolls with it. Which in the end is what she learns we have to do with change.


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Arlene On the Scene is proudly sponsored by the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation.

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