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A Different Pond

different pond

So, I apologize in advance for any frustration this entry may cause. Today’s featured book won’t be published until … August. Sorry about that! I do try to talk about books that everyone can access — but this one just now crossed my desk and I can’t help but give it some attention. I’m not usually all about the cover, but when I […]

Quitcher bitchin

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Last week, I had a complaint from a librarian about a Magazine review in which we called a character “fucking adorable.” Although I’m enjoying the thought of editing a magazine in which such sentiments might be expressed, we of course had called a character no such thing–it was a quote from the book under review, […]

On Hazel Rochman’s “Beyond Oral History: What Makes a Good Holocaust Book?” (from 2006)

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Dear White House Press Secretary: I don’t hold out much hope that you think this way, but if I were you on this day after your epic what-I-hope-was-a-gaffe regarding Hilter, Assad, and chemical weapons, I’d be frantically trying to educate myself about what we mean when we refer to the Holocaust. Here’s a great way […]

Five questions for David Elliott

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“Whaddup, bitches?” says Poseidon at the start of David Elliott’s Bull (Houghton, 14 years and up) a verse-novel retelling of the Minotaur story from ancient Greek mythology that keeps readers on their toes with whip-smart dialogue, narrative double-crosses, changing poetic forms (seven main characters each has his or her own), and, of course, the stormy, […]

On Shoshana Flax’s “A Wrinkle in Troubled Times” (from 2016)

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“Some of our very best fighters have come from your own planet.” —Mrs. Whatsit to Meg Murray About Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery Award–winning novel, the writer Anne Lamott said the following in a 2012 interview with The New York Times Book Review: “A Wrinkle in Time saved me because it so captured the grief and sense […]

Passover picture books

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Here’s an updated list of Passover books to nibble on when the matzo runs dry. Please visit the Association of Jewish Libraries website for more book recommendations and Resources for Troubled Times. Preschool Two Shalom Sesame series entries, written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer and illustrated by Tom Leigh, follow Sesame Street characters in […]

Hbook Podcast 2.6 – Special Guest Adam Gidwitz

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Siân chats with Adam Gidwitz who displays his Scottish accent, talks about his work and Mac Barnett in a bunny outfit, and *tries* to tell the listeners a Big Secret. People we talk about Alex Bracken Tom Angleberger Links At BookCon 2015 Star Wars Celebration Podcast with Alex Bracken Why We Get Religious About Star Wars […]

Libraries are not surplus

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In an art gallery within the Malden (MA) Public Library on Saturday, March 18, a crowd milled about, waiting for the celebrity to appear. There were no chairs; the packed house didn’t seem to mind. Librarians tend to wear comfortable shoes. We were waiting to meet Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress. She and Senator […]

It’s Raining Books

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The 2018 Caldecott committee is likely getting some interesting parcels right about now. Brown cardboard boxes, shiney red bubble-wrap envelopes, annoying padded mailers that spew paper fibers all over the place when opened. The book deluge has begun. As Karen MacPherson (who served with me on Caldecott 2016) remembers, “It was always a thrill to get […]

Civic Engagement Fair at Simmons

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Thanks to Simmons for hosting a Civic Engagement Fair today, featuring: the Boston Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, City Hall to Go Truck, Emerge MA, Fenway Alliance, League of Women Voters MA, MA Commission on the Status of Women, Mayor’s Neighborhood Liaison for the Fenway, and the Simmons Office of Community Engagement. Plus? Free Ben […]