WXXI AM News

Children's books

The holidays will look different this year for many families. How are children handling that and all of the changes that have come with the pandemic? What can caregivers and educators do to recognize when kids may be struggling?

We talk with the experts about how to help children understand their emotions during this difficult time. Our guests:

  • JoAnne Pedro-Carroll, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, author, and speaker
  • Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement and family support at the Mental Health Association of Rochester, and member of the Black Healers Network
  • Brian Wray, award-winning children's book author

*This hour includes an update on the coronavirus pandemic from WXXI's health reporter, Brett Dahlberg.

Author Linda Sue Park’s new novel, “Prairie Lotus,” tells the story of a half-Chinese girl and her white father as they make a home in Dakota Territory in 1880. In the story, Hanna and her father face racial prejudice as they try to adapt to their new surroundings. The book was released earlier this month to critical acclaim; some critics compare the historical fiction to “Little House on the Prairie.” 

Park won the Newbery Medal in 2002, becoming the first Korean American author to do so. She joins us this hour to talk about “Prairie Lotus,” its themes, and trends in children’s literature today. Our guest:

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Acclaimed children's author and Brighton resident Linda Sue Park is releasing a new book on March 3.

"Prairie Lotus" is the story of Hanna, a half-Chinese girl who moves with her father to a small town in the American heartland in 1880.  Hanna's mother has died and she's trying to reimagine life without her. Hanna is also determined to make at least one friend, graduate from school, and work as a dressmaker in her father's new shop.

But first, she must overcome and challenge the prejudice she faces from her new classmates and neighbors.