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International Women’s Day/Day Without a Woman

strong women

Today is the annual International Women’s Day, and this year’s celebration includes the Day Without a Woman strike. We are in the office today — but we’re here repping red! For the month of March — Women’s History Month — we’re celebrating the achievements of women and girls with a daily book recommendation. Look for […]

Reading Without Walls: A Conversation with Gene Luen Yang

National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Gene Luen Yang. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Gene Luen Yang, graphic novelist and the Library of Congress’s 2016–2017 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has initiated a challenge to us all. Its rules are simple: read one book whose main character “doesn’t look like you or live like you”; OR read one book “about a topic you don’t know much about”; OR […]

When Google Translate Gives You Arroz con Mango: Erroneous Español and the Need for #ownvoices

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I recently had a Twitter conversation with three writer and librarian colleagues, two of whom are native Spanish speakers, about the use of Spanish in primarily English-language children’s books. The conversation started after one of us wrote about finding incorrect Spanish in a book. Each of us chimed in, able to produce at least one […]

Five questions for Cynthia Levinson

Cynthia Levinson credit Cat Laine

In 2012, Cynthia Levinson published We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March. In telling the larger story of the civil rights movement, she focused on the lives and work of four African American young people. One of those people was Audrey Faye Hendricks, who at the age of nine was arrested as part […]

The Caldecott Calendar

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Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a series of posts by various former members of various former Caldecott committees  😉 who will in the coming months here on this blog discuss the committee process as well as some of the challenges and issues faced — from handling the deluge of books committee members […]

Angie Thomas on The Hate U Give

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In our March/April 2017 issue, assistant editor Shoshana Flax asked author Angie Thomas about the timeliness of her important novel The Hate U Give. Read the full starred review. Shoshana Flax: The book feels very, tragically up-to-the-minute. How far into the editorial process were you making changes based on current events? Angie Thomas: I tried […]

That’s a lot of men!

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Actually, it’s not so much that there are a @ALotofMen in the latest newspaper misrepresentation of the children’s book biz; the problem is that there are so few. I am not suggesting the article needed More Men, simply that it seems to lack any understanding of how librarians purchase books for library collections. Sure, the road […]

On Zetta Elliott’s “Decolonizing the Imagination” (from 2010)

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Author and teacher Zetta Elliott contributed “Decolonizing the Imagination” to the Writer’s Page column in the Magazine‘s March/April 2010 issue. As a child and young adult, Zetta loved classic British novels; she notes, however, that she “learned early on that only white children had wonderful adventures in distant lands; only white children were magically transported […]

Hbook Podcast 2.1 – Special Guest Rebecca Podos

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Episode one of season two! Siân talks with author and literary agent Rebecca Podos about her upcoming book, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and advice pregnant women receive. Books we talk about The Mystery of Hollow Places, Rebecca Podos Like Water, Rebecca Podos The Red Tent, Anita Diamant Bad Mother, Ayelet Waldman A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice […]

Science books and the Caldecott

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It’s rare enough for a nonfiction picture book to get Caldecott recognition — but a science book? Never. True, a biography of a scientist, Snowflake Bentley, won the medal in 1999, and a hybrid poetry/science book, Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, was an honor book in 2006. There have definitely been more science-book contenders in […]