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AJL 2017 in NYC

This year’s Association of Jewish Libraries conference was in NYC (don’t worry, I’ve already made all the bagel jokes). The conference was hosted by Hebrew Union College, in the vicinity of dynamic and confusing Greenwich Village, and the theme was “The Sky’s the Limit.” As a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards committee, I […]

American Revolution, NOT rich white men

Ms. Katie’s third-grade class sent home a note letting families know about their Revolutionary War project, a collection of essays titled History’s Unknown Heroes: Uncovering Massachusetts’s Revolutionary Heroes: In third grade, we were studying the American Revolution, and we noticed there were a lot of important people whose stories are not told that much. The […]

Father’s Day 2017

For Father’s Day, here are some recent books for preschoolers that celebrate the warmth between children and their fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and father figures. (After reading these, revisit last year’s Thunder Boy, Jr. by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales!) After finishing his swimming lessons and passing his test, the star of Jabari Jumps is ready […]

Five questions for Susan Juby

In The Fashion Committee (Viking, 14 years and up), author Susan Juby takes readers back to Green Pastures Academy, a high school for the arts and setting of her 2015 book The Truth Commission (Viking, 14 years and up). We follow a totally new cast of characters who are competing for a spot at the […]

Loving Day Cambridge 2017

The city of Cambridge, MA, is hosting a celebration this weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark civil rights case that struck down anti-miscegenation laws and legalized interracial marriage (yes, that happened only fifty years ago!). Follow this link for the calendar of free events — including a special kid-friendly […]

Review of Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.

Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. edited by Betsy Bird Intermediate, Middle School    Viking    205 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-451-477-316    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-698-409-446    $10.99 Fuse #8 blogger Bird’s compilation includes twenty-eight entries from “laugh-out-loud funny” female children’s book creators, whom Bird argues are underrepresented in the publishing industry, plus a […]

So Many Butts! app review

Having just co-written (with my Family Reading blog co-parent Kitty Flynn) the article “The Straight Poop on Potty Humor” for the May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Humor, how could I pass up the So Many Butts! app? (Editora Caixote, January 2017; iOS and Android) I went in with some trepidation, expecting Everyone Poops–level […]

“Eff inappropriate”

(But you all know he didn’t say “eff.”) This (early) morning Roger was the guest speaker at Coffee and Conversation at the Cambridgeport School Library. The topic was Summer Reading, and most of you know Roger’s feelings on the subject: let ’em read what they want. “Reading has to be a voluntary engagement,” he told […]

Review of Triangle

Triangle by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-9603-0    $15.99 Triangle leaves his triangle-shaped house via his triangle-shaped door, off to “play a sneaky trick on Square.” He walks to Square’s house and stands outside the square-shaped door, hissing like a snake. Square, who is […]

Review of Mothers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature: From the Eighteenth Century to Postfeminism

Mothers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature: From the Eighteenth Century to Postfeminism edited by Lisa Rowe Fraustino and Karen Coats University Press of Mississippi    270 pp. 5/16    978-1-4968-0699-4    $60.00 This illuminating and timely collection, which originated with co-editor Fraustino’s Hollins University course of the same name, examines the changing — and […]