I’m not one to follow the rich and famous and I’m slow to react when they  die. Stunned by the  sudden loss but then, overcome by the mass amount of grief for someone we really didn’t know, who probably couldn’t have cared less about anyone of us and who well, entertained us. Of course any loss is sad, I’m not heartless. I know there are people who really knew Ms. Houston and are grieving their loss. Their private loss.

24 hour news channels fill with every sensational aspect when stars die and anything else that involves national security, alien invasions or disease outbreaks becomes inconsequential. Rarely do we hear from personal friends, find out about foundations these people supported or even learn about their sense of humor. But, many feel like they’ve lost a friend.

I will probably get caught up in some of the retrospectives, I usually do. And, in doing so, I learn more about this person than I ever knew before, I become more amazed at their talent and I become more keenly aware of the loss of their artistry.

I expect on Monday, a few students will look for books about Whitney Houston in the Media Center. I’ve checked and found that the one book I had disappeared years ago. So, I’ll order a couple of newer books from Amazon so that they can arrive quickly while the students have the interest. I hope it has a lot of good photographs.

I considered watching the Grammys tonight to see Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan honor Ms. Houston. Typically, the only reason I watch award shows is because they make nice background sound while I read. Did you know that many artists have planned to boycott the Grammys this year because they’ve elimated award categories such as Latin jazz, contemporary jazz, native American, zydeco, Cajun, classical, Hawaiian, polka, regional Mexican, and world music? I’m sorry, but this just makes me think of Arizona all over again.

All this comes in the middle of February, the middle of Black History Month and American Heart Month. Few do Black History month like the BrownBookshelf. I’m pretty sure that if you read my blog, you already read that one but if you don’t, or if you’ve forgotten, then be sure to visit everyday this month to learn about new children’s and YA authors and illustrators. Today, the featured author is Earl Sewell who I’ve gotten to know through his KimaniTru books.

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. I used to really detest that day until I realized it wasn’t just a day about romantic love, that it’s about celebrating love!! I send something special to my children and I send cards to all my female friends. I love those women dearly and know my life wouldn’t be nearly as rich without them. So, I take the day to tell them that I love them, something I haven’t always done with my friends.

Tuesday is also International Book Giving Day. What gift shows love more than a book? I mean, to give a book, you have to really know the person you’re giving the book to and take the time to find it. They’re quite personal! In the giving, remember the Birthday Party Pledge and give a book with characters of color to the children you love! Expand their minds! Give them

books about love

How to Salsa in a Sari Dona Sarkar

Huntress Malinda Lo

Graffiti Girl Kelly Parra

Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger

Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia

The Making of Dr. Truelove by Derrick Barnes

We’ll Always Have Summer Jenny Han

books to help them love themselves

Letters to Young Black Men: Advice and Encouragement for a Difficult Journey Daniel Whyte

The Thundering Years: Rituals and Sacred Wisdom for Teens Julie Tallard Johnson

Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America by Chesa Boudin

or books about things they love

Vera Wang Queen of Fashion; Amazing Chinese American (Biographies of Amazing Asian Americans) (Biographies of Amazing Asian Americans) Ai-Ling Louie

Beisbol: Latino Baseball Pioneers and LegendsJonah WInter

Yao Ming: The Road to the NBA Chunfei Xiao

Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets under 25 Naomi Shihab Nye

The Rose that Grew from Concrete

Do I like Whitney Houston’s music? O! Yes! I do!! I loved her movies and her incredible voice and am sad in many ways. I definitely intend to restock my Whitney cds which have disappeared over the years and I’ll hold onto that voice as long as I can. Maybe I’ll send my children a book about her for Valentine’s Day.


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