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2011 Calendars at Bargain Prices

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We're hoping to clear out the remaining few calendars in our inventory so we've reduced the prices on them. Click here to visit our calendar page to get your 2011 calendars before they are all (we hope soon) gone!

Abe in Arms Chosen As One of Ten Best

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Abe in ArmsReach And Teach YA novel Abe in Arms was recently listed as one of the Ten for '10: Best Books for Youth on Social Justice and Intercultural Understanding by Lyn Miller-Lachman, author of the incredibly powerful novel, Gringolandia.

In the Times Union Newspaper, Lachman says: Many "top ten" book lists have appeared in the past month, and there will be more after the first of the year. Some of my favorite reads of the year have turned up on these lists, but many excellent books for young readers seem to have been passed over, particularly those published by small presses. In genres dominated by paranormal romance, and with economically beleaguered publishers going with what's established and safe, stories about young people from diverse backgrounds or stories that raise uncomfortable issues don't usually get the attention they deserve. So for all the librarians, teachers, parents, and young readers themselves, here are some great books that you might have missed.

Click here to read the entire article online.

Click here to read more about and purchase Abe in Arms.


Abe in Arms Nominated for CYBILS Award

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Reach And Teach is honored to announce that Abe in Arms, a YA novel by Pegi Deitz Shea, has been nominated for the 2010 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Award. It was nominated in the young adult fiction category and between now and January 1st judges will be reviewing all nominated titles and come up with a short list for finalists. Information about the awards can be found at

Click here to buy the book.

About Abe in Arms

This contemporary young adult novel portrays the pressures of teens to live a normal life, let alone succeed at high levels; while facing mental illness and--in Abe's case--a past that no one could possibly understand--or survive.

A senior in high school, Abe's got a Division I track scholarship awaiting him, a hot girlfriend, and a loving and wealthy adoptive family, including a brother his age. But suddenly, horrific flashbacks and seizures rip him back five years ago to war-torn Africa, where he lost his mother, his sister, his friends, and almost his own life to torturous violence. In therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Abe uncovers even darker moments that make him question why he's still alive.

Pegi Deitz Shea has written a suspenseful, action-filled book that will open teens' eyes and hearts to the lives of young people exposed to violence around the world.

Click here to view excerpts from Abe in Arms and see lesson plans and other resources.


Preview Abe in ArmsAbe in Arms is powerful and vivid, a moving exploration of the after effects of severe childhood trauma.  Readers will come to care deeply about Abe as he struggles to overcome the emotional consequences of surviving the brutal life of a child soldier.--Sharon McClintock, Children's Librarian - City of Mountain View Public Library 

"Written in straightforward prose, Abe In Arms hooks you on and pulls you deep into the past. It tells the story of Abe as he sorts through his war torn past. Abe struggles with the juxtaposition of the past and the present, Liberia and the US, a militant rebel and a loving family.  I found myself rooting for Abe, both on and off the track - Cheering when he succeeds and disheartened as he falters."--Jeremy Mineau, PAC10 and NCAA Championship Runner - University of Washington Huskies

"Pegi Shea’s book, Abe in Arms, although fictional in nature, could have been true for any number of young boys in West Africa whose lives were devastated by conscription into the rebel army through force, threats, manipulation, bribery, and drugs. As a counselor and member of a trauma team who went to Liberia to teach counseling skills to civic and religious leaders following their civil war, I found it very heart breaking to witness the long term effects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome upon the young boys, often no more than 11-14 years of age. Although there is a nation-wide effort in Liberia to rehabilitate these young boys, many require extensive mental health treatment and the prognoses are often disappointing. In her book, Pegi Shea engrosses us in the horrors of war, pulls at our heartstrings as we weep for Abe, and causes us to yearn for a time when he can confront the demons that control his life. At the same time, she explores the wrenching irony of war refugees being thrust into an American youth culture that glamorizes the very violence that has caused Abe so much anguish.  Shea’s resolution, like Abe’s epiphany, is surprising, believable, and gratifying"
--Eleanor Porter Pershing, PhD., West Africa Trauma Team


"Whether in the ruined cities of Bosnia or the refugee camps in Thailand, the images that stay with me the longest are of the children... What will their futures be like when all they've known is war and fear? This book perfectly captures the ambiguity of traumatic memories and the paradox of healing faced by a boy who survived the war but struggles to become whole."
---Susan Beam, International Rescue Committee (IRC); Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Bosnia.

"Working in Zaire, I encountered many check-points to and from Kigali, Rwanda, patrolled by child soldiers.  Although they tried to look tough with their mirrored sunglasses and AK-47s, they could barely carry their weapons. They were also nervous and jumpy which made them extremely dangerous. This book doesn't romanticize child soldiers, but is nonetheless a story of their hope in regaining trust in themselves and in others."
---Ferdinand Kalkhuis, Doctors without Borders; International Rescue Committee (IRC); and United Methodist Committee for Relief (UMCOR) in Bosnia and Kosovo.

About the Author:

Pegi Deitz Shea is best known for exploring human rights issues in children's books. Pegi has brought the worlds of refugees, immigrants, child laborers, and historical figures into the minds of readers of all ages. Her books include The Whispering Cloth, Tangled Threads, Ten Mice for Tet, The Carpet Boy's Gift and Patience Wright. Her books have been made Notables by organizations including the International Reading Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, Bank Street College, Junior Library Guild and the New York Public Library. She has been teaching writing for the Institute of Children's Literature since 1996, and teaching children's literature at the University of Connecticut since 2007. Pegi has presented at more than 350 schools, libraries and conferences across the nation. Raised in New Jersey, Pegi lives in Connecticut with her family when she's not traipsing around the world.


It's Here, It's Queer, It's a Coloring Book!

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Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon
SF Bay Area Publisher Announces New Coloring Book for Kids and Adults
Available Worldwide on National Coming Out Day – October 11th

Click here to purchase a copy!


Sometimes the SpoonSan Mateo, CA (October 11, 2010):  Reach And Teach, a Bay Area peace and social justice learning company, has released the second in a series of “gender-stereotype-busting” coloring books, entitled Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon with text by Jacinta Bunnell and graphics by Nat Kusinitz. Reach And Teach co-founder Craig Wiesner says “With the historic federal court judge's ruling saying that banning same-gender marriage is unconstitutional, and a likely hearing by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled soon, we are especially excited that this new coloring book has arrived just in time for October 11th, 2010 which is National Coming Out Day.”

Jacinta Bunnell, in the coloring book’s forward, says “If Mother Goose were alive today, she would have rewritten her nursery rhymes to reflect life as it is lived today. Let us do the job of Mother Goose; let us move forward with more honest representations of ourselves and our children. Consider this book a step in that journey. Today’s culture ridicules sensitive boys, strong girls, and other children who don’t fit into cookie-cutter categories.” Bunnell and Kusinitz decided to take a friendly jab at the ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ nursery rhyme for this coloring book’s title and throughout they picked images and text that break down some of the stereotypes found in modern pop culture as well as historic children’s stories and nursery rhymes. Learning is always easier when you start with something familiar and use the familiar as a starting point to introduce new, more inclusive, and open ways of looking at the world.


The first in this series was Girls Are Not Chicks. “It has been by far one of our best-selling products.” said Reach And Teach co-founder Derrick Kikuchi. “The title alone stops people in their tracks. Then, when they start leafing through the pages, laughter ensues! We expect the title and cover art for this new coloring book to be even more eye-catching and track-stopping. Too many folks want to keep everyone else organized into neat little boxes. What better day than National Coming Out Day to say that those boxes (and closets) are way too confining?”

Press review copies of Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With Another Spoon are available now from Reach And Teach (click here to email a request).

Cover and inside images and more details about the coloring book are available at

Click here to purchase a copy! 

About Reach And Teach:


Reach And Teach is a peace and social justice learning company, working to transform the world through teachable moments. Reach And Teach creates and distributes books, games, curriculum, music, DVDs, maps, toys, and fair-trade gifts that promote peacemaking, nonviolence, inclusiveness (GLBTQ/Gender) and healing the planet. Reach And Teach publishes books through its imprint with PM Press. For more information visit


About PM Press:


PM Press was founded in 2007 to create radical and stimulating fiction and non-fiction books, pamphlets, t-shirts, visual and audio materials to entertain, educate, and inspire. In August 2010 PM Press celebrated the release of its 100th title. PM Press titles are distributed worldwide through the Independent Publishers Group (IPG). For more information visit







Reach And Teach Author Honored

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Reach And Teach future author (Spring 2011 - Ivy, Homeless in San Francisco), Summer Brenner, is being honored for her book Richmond Tales: Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle. What's most interesting about the award, is that it is a Historic Preservation Award, something that usually goes to buildings. But the city of Richmond knows that preservation is about much more than that. "When you think of preservation you think of buildings," said Sandi Genser-Maack of the Richmond Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, "but we don't have many buildings. We have people, we have publications, we have exhibits, which to me is exciting."

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Reach and Teach eNewsletter - 10/27/2010

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It Takes Courage, Examples and Tools to Stand Up

(click here to sign up for our eNewsletter)

The news has been full of tragedy lately, stories of children taking their own lives because they were bullied fill our newspapers and TV sets. Part of that tragedy is that in many cases other children and even some adults knew that a child was in serious danger, and did nothing about it. Why are there so many bystanders?

We went to a church service last Sunday where the pastor asked people in the pews to reflect on the last time they did something for someone else. "What inspired you to do what you did?" he asked. He didn't want to hear what people had done, instead wanting to have people in the congregation share what had inspired them to do something. The question that I added in my own reflection was "What allowed or empowered you to stand up and do whatever it was you did?" For this month's newsletter, I wanted to share some great resources that help parents, teachers, organization leaders and children to become upstanders instead of bystanders.

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The Shepherd's Granddaughter - A Very Different View of a Muslim Girl

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Our friends at Rethinking Schools put together a great article about the way children's and young adult literature portrays Muslim girls. The article, "Save the Muslim Girl" demonstrates some very specific ways in which girls living in Islamic societies are stereotyped. Reading that article, though, made me extra pleased that we had recently discovered a book that breaks some of those stereotypes, The Shepherd's Granddaughter.
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Putumayo, Reach And Teach, Putumayo, and other Partners in Peacemaking, including YOU... Support Haiti

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Like people across the planet, the team at Reach And Teach has been heart-broken watching the nightmare that hit the people of Haiti. In addition to contributions Reach And Teach immediately made to several organizations that are now working on the ground in Haiti, Reach And Teach and Putumayo Records is donating 100% of our proceeds from the sale of Caribbean Playground and French Caribbean to continued relief efforts. Putumayo will give their donations to the Red Cross and Reach And Teach will give our donations to the Rainbow World Fund.

Caribbean Playground features diverse music such as zouk from the French Caribbean, soca from Trinidad, reggae from Jamaica, bomba from Puerto Rico and more. International stars Taj Mahal, Desmond Dekker and the Wailers are featured alongside some of the Caribbean's most popular artists such as Kali, Atlantik and Luc Leandry, as well as other exciting new discoveries. Caribbean Playground includes full-color liner notes in English, Spanish and French with song descriptions and cultural information.

Putumayo takes listeners on a musical cruise of the French Caribbean with a selection of fun, upbeat zouk, compas, twoubadou, biguine and more. With French Caribbean, Putumayo revisits the French Creole islands of Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique which have been experiencing a roots revival in recent years. The French Caribbean is a place where music is imbedded in the landscape: whether it is compas or zouk blaring out of storefront speakers or the variety of sounds that enliven carnival celebrations and street festivals. Acoustic traditional styles like Haitian twoubadou and Martiniquean biguine have recently earned a place on trendy dance floors alongside flashier zouk and compas.

Click here to purchase Caribbean Playground - Earthquake Relief for Haiti

Click here to purchase French Caribbean - Earthquake Relief for Haiti


The Rainbow World Fund specifically reaches out through the GLBTQ community and its straight friends and allies to coordinate relief efforts and donations for a variety of peacemaking causes, including relief efforts in Haiti. They have had an ongoing involvement in Haiti which preceded the recent earthquake. Click here to learn more about Rainbow World Fund.

Our friends at the National Radio Project have a program about the situation in Haiti from their Making Contact series. Click here to check out that program where you can listen to portions or download the entire podcast.

Reach And Teach will also donate 100% of the purchase price of our "Take One World" poster. With words written by Robert McAfee Brown and art by Khalil Bendib, this poster provides a recipe for world peace that we could all learn to cook. 

Take one world:
A globeful of people, most of whom are victims;
A handful of people passionately committed to justice;
A God overseeing and supervising without usurping total control;
An exemplary human life, in which the globeful of people and the handful of people and the overseeing God are united,
so that the particular human life is uniquely transparent to the divine;
A healthy respect for the past and a healthy skepticism about institutions that have an unhealthy respect for the past;
Human hearts in which anger and love are two sides of the same coin;
A willingness to risk judgments that might be wrong;
And an ultimate optimism combined with a provisional pessimism.
Mix well, and see what happens!

TEACHERS: Teaching for Change has put together terrific resources for teaching about Haiti. Click here to check out their materials and suggestions.

As members of we are connected to a huge number of people and organizations that work on issues of peacemaking, social justice, and emergency relief locally, nationally and internationally. Our friends at just released this message, with links to ways all of our partners in peacemaking can help the people of Haiti right now and for the long term. We're pleased to share this information with you. 

A Letter from

Our hearts go out to the survivors of the devastating earthquake in Haiti last week. There's both immediate disaster recovery to do, along with longer term rebuilding work.

First, if you haven't already, please consider giving to an organization that is doing recovery work right now in Haiti. Our friends and allies at groups like Mercy Corps and Haiti Partners are working on addressing key issues such as clean water and shelter for children. Our allies at Network for Good put together a list of organizations on the ground doing direct relief work today. With one click, you can donate to one, several or all of them.

Second, we'd like to point you to the resources in our online community investing center for ways you can invest your money to help Haiti rebuild over time. As you know, community investment intitutions are in the business of making loans to low-income and underserved populations. Below we point you toward a number of institutions already doing work in Haiti, where they will be poised to make a huge impact on the rebuilding process.

If you've been thinking of "breaking up with your bank," because you're tired of the business-as-usual mega-banks, consider directing some of your dollars toward financial institutions you know will be using your money to help survivors in Haiti to rebuild their lives. (Click here to see how community investment banks helped survivors of Hurricane Katrina rebuild their lives here in the US.)

At our online community investing center, you can search for the investment institution that is right for you by sorting criteria like issue area (health care, education, refugees, etc.), organization type (loan fund, housing developer, venture capital fund, etc.), or geographic impact area (any US state, or any nation). Searching for "Haiti" provides the following list of organizations already doing work on the ground in that nation:

  1. ACCION International – Microfinance
  2. Calvert Social Investment – Loan fund
  3. Catholic Relief Services – Microfinance
  4. Developing World Markets – Bank
  5. Emergency Liquidity Facility – Venture Capital Fund
  6. FINCA International – Microfinance
  7. Fonkoze – Microfinance
  8. Freedom from Hunger – Microfinance
  9. Habitat for Humanity International – Housing developer
  10. Mennonite Economic Development Associates – Venture Capital Fund
  11. Oikocredit – Loan Fund
  12. SERRV International – Social Enterprise


Thanks for investing in communities, at home and around the world,

Alisa Gravitz,
Executive Director,
Green America

Perry v. Schwarzenegger - Marriage Equality and a Whole Lot More

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The team at Reach And Teach has decided to make marriage equality one of the key issues we focus on in 2010. With the launch of the Perry v Schwarzenegger case in the news, we wanted to share a bit about how the findings in this case, which will eventually go to the Supreme Court, may impact civil liberties for a long time to come. We get to our perspective through personal impact, plus through the lens of having created CIVIO, A Civil Rights Game, which chronicles the ups and downs of civil rights through freedoms articulated in the Bill of Rights, key issues of freedom and liberty, laws passed by local and national legislatures, U.S. Constitutional amendments, and historic Supreme Court decisions.

Kristin M. Perry v. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a U.S. District Court case challenging the constitutional validity of California Proposition 8. Proposition 8 (the California Marriage Protection Act) is an amendment to the California State Constitution that outlaws same-sex marriages performed after November 4, 2008. It was adopted as a ballot initiative in 2008. The plaintiffs in Perry seek to have the federal courts strike down Proposition 8 as contrary to the United States Constitution.

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Thank you! Together we've supported these organizations.

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As we reach the end of 2009 we're so grateful for all the people who have made Reach And Teach part of their lives and have helped transform the world through teachable moments.

Each year, Reach And Teach donates a portion of our revenues as well as products to local, national, and international organizations doing great work nearby and around the world. We'd like to introduce you to some of those organizations and say thank you for helping us help them. We encourage you to also check them out and consider supporting them directly as well! Beneath each organization name we've copied information from the organization's web site so that you'll know a bit about them.

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