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Archives for July 2009

>Claire saw the new Harry Potter movie

>so you don’t have to. Except, she says, you’ll want to.

>Is It a Crime?

>Drinks for anyone but Elizabeth who can identify the musical quoted in the title. The Simmons program Crime and Misdemeanors is ending this morning with closing remarks from M.T. Anderson, and my responsibilities–save paper-grading–will be through. I’ve been twittering away from the back of the room, but it’s difficult to convey the extravagant genius and […]

>ALA aftermath

>At a birthday party in the Catskills this past Saturday night, not only did the conversation–among civilians, no less–turn to the pleasures of The Graveyard Book, the waitress chimed in as well: “that book is so awesome.” So I was proud to be able to brag about my interview with Neil Himself at ALA last […]

Review of Umbrella Summer

Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff Intermediate     Geringer/HarperCollins     236 pp. 6/09     978-0-06-143187-6     $15.99 Library ed. 978-0-06-143188-3     $16.89 With the same deftness she demonstrated in The Thing About Georgie (rev. 3/07), Graff immediately engages the reader with the main character. Here’s Annie Richards, about to ride her bike to the local drug store. […]

>Some enchanted evening . . .

>“Once you have found him, never let him go. Once you have found him . . . “

David Yates’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

As a book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is one of the more uneven entries in the famed series. The plot is episodic, meandering through Dumbledore’s collected memories of Voldemort’s past and taking what seems like an unnecessarily indirect route to setting up Harry’s final quest: the destruction of Voldemort’s Horcruxes (sundered pieces of […]

>Blast from the Past

>Jen Robinson alerted me to the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for YA fiction, new to ALAN/NCTE but not to me. Years ago, Walden offered this award to YALSA, which turned it down because of her insistence that the winning book demonstrate “a positive approach to life.” We (I was on the board then) didn’t want […]

>Not to mention the flaming cheese. Opa!

>Back from ALA but barely. Returned to Boston Tuesday evening then spent Wednesday on the phone for a Horn Book board meeting; faced today with two hundred pages of Guide editing and my Simmons class coming over to talk about reviewing in situ. It was a great conference–the author interviews went very well despite some […]

Speaking Out

by Nikki Grimes I’ve met a good many people who have served on Caldecott committees over the years, all lovely men and women, to be sure. A few of them I’ve even had the pleasure to call friends. I appreciate their tireless service to the children’s book community. But I have one burning question for […]

>July Notes

>The latest Notes from the Horn Book is out, with an interview with Rebecca Stead; four more great books about New York City; summer reading for middle-schoolers; picture books about food; and a tip of the hat to the Coretta Scott King Awards, celebrating their fortieth birthday this year. In a first, you will find […]