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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Teaching 'an exercise in empathy'

“Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else's shoes for a while.” – Malorie Blackman

Born on this date in 1962, Blackman is an English writer of literature and television drama for children and young adults who often has used science fiction to explore social and ethical issues.

She is the author of more than 60 works for children, including many that address issues of racism, led by her the award-winning series Noughts & Crosses (Black & White in the U.S.).   Named Britain’s “Children’s Laureate,” awarded once every two years to a writer or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field, she traveled the country sharing her work and also “listening” to children’s voices.
“Part of my job as Children's Laureate (from 2013-15)                         
was to visit schools and talk about my love of books and stories and encourage them all to do it as well - to read, to write, to never be afraid of their own voice. Because we all have something to say,” she said.  Blackman said it was books kept her focused and motivated as a child toward achieving something with her life.  Thus, she has become a leading voice for encouraging all children to have access to books.

 “What I would like to do is make sure every primary school child has a library card, so where parents don't get their children library cards, we'll see if we can get schools to step in and make sure that every child has one.”

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