Tag Archives: library

Sound Off Saturday Featuring: Mama Tortuga!

Happy Saturday!  We are thrilled to have been able to connect this week with Johana, also known as Mama Tortuga!  She is a powerhouse of bilingual and herbal activism and knowledge, with a flair for business.  Johana is a hustler and has tons of fantastic projects that she’s currently working on.  We hope you enjoy learning about them as much as we did!
The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself/your organization!f70d4b_5e94206b839e4548ac290c241396f086~mv2_d_1836_3264_s_2

Mama Tortuga: Hello, hola!! I am Johana usually called Mama Tortuga. I have created a bilingual website called www.mamatortuga.org to support and provide resources to families around the world, that want to raise free, eco-conscious, multilingual, global citizens. Our perspective is multicultural. We love to create community and to support communities that are working to create a better and improved world!!! I have a very eclectic point of view, from music and arts, to activism, to freedom, our family is here to support this and amplify those voices that need to be amplified!!!

TTA: What are you passionate about?

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Johana and her family- Photo Credit: @R Dot Photography


MT: Very passionate about a wholesome approach to live!! From intersectional feminism, mindful parenting, sustainability, arts, and love!!! I am a student of life!! I am also a lover of nature and work alongside my family in our small backyard garden.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!


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“Parenting is a spiritual practice. Social Activism is a spiritual practice”

MT: Right now I am working on creating ways to support myself, an immigrant Latina mother, and support other women in my community in learning and healing. Always looking for ways I can generate funds and spaces for us to grow!! Locally, I am offering Spanish and English social classes in the area of West Palm Beach, Fl. I am also on a local Spanish radio, where I support ancestral knowledge on herbals and multicultural traditions. Online, I am offering platforms to support resources for global and conscious families. Also, I am documenting much of my adventures, because I believe our voices are important, even if my English is not perfect!! Always showing solidarity with oppressed groups and searching for a different mindset for our world!!! Right now working on a class to be offered at the Florida Herbal Conference of next year in Spanish!!!


TTA: How can people support you on your journey?


“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need”

MT: Thanks for asking this!! We offer a line of wonderful and original Mama Tortuga T-shirts on all sizes for you $21 for sizes S, M, L and $18 for children, includes shipping, we also offer custom orders for bigger sizes or special merchandise. Also, I would love to be offered jobs on translation, multicultural consultant and talks, that are paid. I had been doing a lot of these jobs in the past decade. Sadly, many times, we are not being acknowledged. Also, I would love to be part of online collabs and convos. It is about forming a supporting community!!!


TTA: What book was your favorite in 2019 so far?

MT: So hard to choose!! Going to mention some: The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Andrea Tutu, The Holly Wild by Danielle Dulsky and Jambalaya by Louisa Teish

Screen Shot 2019-07-27 at 11.55.22 AMTTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

MT: For my website to keep growing and new connections that make a reality the dreams I have about having a supportive community. That the passion that I have for justice and solidarity and healing can come to fruition in abundance of resources and love!!!f70d4b_6ed50d5703164302a09e00d41ac84851mv2.jpg


Stay Connected with Mama Tortuga!

Green, multicultural and mindful family

Spanish Conversational Groups 

Introducing Fitz Between the Shelves

Happy Weekend! We have another Sound Off Sunday post this week, because of another conference!  Both of us had an incredibly busy but educational time with conferences on back to back weekends.  We love to continue to grow and learn, which is why we absolutely loved talking with Sarah FitzHenry, who is the brains behind Fitz Between the Shelves.  Sarah gave us an amazing list of books to check out which will you have running to your local library too!  We hope you have as good of a time learning more about Sarah as we did!

The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself! 

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 2.52.03 PMSarah FitzHenry: Hi! My name is Sarah FitzHenry, but my students call me Ms. Fitz. I’m a school librarian working with grades K-8 at an independent school in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m the voice behind Fitz Between the Shelves, my happy little corner of the internet where I talk about the power of school libraries, diverse stories, dynamic teaching and learning, and the amazing impacts these things can have on childrens’ lives. I’m also a tech geek, aerial yoga instructor, lifelong learner, lover of animals, puns, and board games, and a very dedicated and messy mistake-maker.

TTA: What are you passionate about?

SF: How much time do you have? I’m passionate about the way the right book at the right time can change a reader’s life. I’m passionate about the fact that libraries and librarians are critical tools for helping to create the next generation of leaders that will shape our world. I’m passionate about doing whatever it takes to make libraries safe, exciting, and nurturing spaces for every single child. I’m passionate about diversity and

“Books Are” by Grant Snider

representation in children’s’ literature, because every child deserves stories that act as windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors. I’m passionate about empowering kids to show up, stand up, and speak up – to make sure they know that they’re never too young or too small to use their power and drive to make change. There’s more, but you probably have other things to do today, so I’ll wrap it up.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!

SF: Books are such powerful tools to help kids think curiously and critically about the world around them, especially when they’re shared and discussed with a trusted adult. I’ve been working on a Family Book Club series designed to bring families together to talk about complex or sensitive topics that might normally be avoided around the dinner table, but that kids need guidance to understand. This fall we read Out of My Mind, by Sharon Out_of_My_Mind_novel_by_Sharon_Draper_book_coverDraper. At our Family Book Club meeting, we heard from Kara McClurken of Bennett’s Village, and she really lit a spark in my students about making Charlottesville a more inclusive place where all kids can play together. They are now determined to help build a playground that’s accessible and fun for everyone. They’re working on fundraisers, design projects, marketing strategies, and more. At our last lunch meeting, I watched them pitch a school-wide fundraiser to administration by explaining why the mission of Bennett’s Village is important. It has been really incredible to see how Bennett’s story has inspired them! I am continuously moved by my students’ big hearts and limitless empathy.

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TTA: How can people support you on your journey?

SF: I’d love for you to join the conversation on Fitz Between the Shelves, or to introduce yourself on Instagram or Facebook. The more people I connect with, the more I learn! Offline, we can all join in by reading books by and about people that are different than us in every conceivable way. Families, read ‘em together and talk about the big stuff (your kids can handle it, and it will make them better people). Ask questions, and actually listen to the answers. Use the libraries in your community. And never be afraid to change your mind and your behavior as you learn!

TTA: What book was your favorite in 2018?

SF: You know you’re asking this question to a librarian, right?! I read almost 300 books per year (not including picture books)! I’ll have to break it down into categories for you.


Books that I share with my readers over and over again, that they always love:

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusty Bowling

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.56.48 AMLong Way Down by Jason Reynolds

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Books that have moved me the most in the past year, not including the titles above:

THE-POET-X-e1542251351500The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Forever or a Long Long Time by Caela Carter

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

Pretty much anything by Gary D. Schmidt or John Corey Whaley

TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

SF: There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that is always in the back of my mind:

Do the best you can,

until you know better.

Then when you know better,

do better.

This coming year, I look forward to knowing better, so that I can do better, in a million new ways.

Stay Connected with

Fitz Between the Shelves!

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 3.41.55 PMFitz Between the Shelves

Fitz Between the Shelves on Instagram

Fitz Between the Shelves on Facebook