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Legislative breakfast at the library

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She’d already encouraged us to be loud in the library. Now elementary school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro let us eat in the library while engaging with our elected officials. Last week Liz, who is legislative co-chair for the Massachusetts School Libraries Association, hosted “Your Community, Your Library” legislative breakfast at Cambridgeport School in Cambridge, MA. […]

2017 Sydney Taylor Book Awards announced

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The winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are: For Younger Readers: I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy; illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon) For Older Readers: The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz; with illustrations by Hatem Aly (Dutton) Read Fall 2016 […]

Five questions for Andrea Davis Pinkney

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A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day (Viking, 7–9 years) by Andrea Davis Pinkney is a loving tribute to an iconic picture-book character, Peter — one of the first African American children in picture books — and his creator, Ezra Jack Keats, author and illustrator […]

Review of A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day

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A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by 
Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Primary, Intermediate    Viking    56 pp. 11/16    978-0-425-28768-2    $18.99 In evocative verse, Pinkney presents a picture book biography of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of the children’s classic The […]

Embracing cultural identity

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The following YA stories feature teens struggling with family, friendship, and cultural identity in ways that feel organic to their experiences and are relatable to a variety of readers. Alternating between the voices of two seventeen-year-olds — a contemporary biracial (her mother is black, her father is white) young woman named Rowan Chase, and Will […]

History of war

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The following books for middle schoolers describe the horrors of twentieth-century wars and urge readers to learn from history’s mistakes. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin opens briefly with a prologue set on the day of the attack […]

Review of Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy

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Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson; 
illus. by Edel Rodriguez Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-101-93330-5    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93331-2    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93332-9    $10.99 Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” reminds us: “You can spin a dreidel / with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock — both Jewish!” Michelson delves a little deeper […]

Flora and the Peacocks

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Oh, how I love Flora and the Flamingo, the first Flora book by Molly Idle, published in 2013. Those amazing flaps, like nothing we’d seen; the gracefulness of the illustrations, with infusions of humor; the lyricism of the story, without using any words. I was thrilled when it won a Caldecott Honor (and as we learned […]

Happy Birthday, FableVision!

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As a pre-Thanksgiving treat, I attended FableVision Studios‘ 20th-Anniversary Bash at their beautiful office above the Boston Children’s Museum. FableVision is the media company cofounded by Peter H. Reynolds, children’s author/illustrator of The Dot and many, many other books, as well as being owner of the Blue Bunny Bookstore in Massachusetts [read the Horn Book […]

Massachusetts Book Awards 2016

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On Tuesday, December 6th, I was lucky to be the plus-one, with amazing school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, at the sixteenth annual Massachusetts Book Awards ceremony at the State House, in recognition of “significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents or about Massachusetts subjects.” The award is administered […]