Middle Grade Madness


Next Monday, September 28th, I’ll be moderating a panel of five middle-grade Random House authors at the Cambridge Public Library at 6:00PM. Participating authors include: –Jeanne Birdsall, talking about THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING –Bruce Coville, DIARY OF A MAD BROWNIE –Alice Hoffman, NIGHTBIRD –R.J. Palacio, AUGIE & ME –Rebecca Stead, GOODBYE STRANGER Quite the lineup, no? […]

Not. So. Fast.


Those of you who follow @rogerreads might have seen my occasional cranky #authoraskyourself (#editoraskyourself, #revieweraskyourself…) tweets in which I turn whatever crime against language and/or literature that has crossed my desk that day into a blind item for an anonymous public spanking. I keep them anonymous because a) I’m not that mean, b) they’re often examples of […]

Last Stop on Market Street

de la pena_last stop on market street

And we’re off, with the first book discussion of the season. We are trying to present the books more generally in order of publication this year, in hopes that readers will have a better chance of knowing the books as they’re discussed. We’re starting with a book that was published early in the year, in […]

Camp Sendak

Things got a little wild.

When I was fourteen years old, I went away to Camp Tamarack near Hinckley, Minnesota. It was a beautiful place, set along the wooded banks of the St. Croix River. I loved it there. Flash forward to this past July. I’m a man of fifty and I find myself on Scotch Hill Farm near Cambridge, New […]

YA Meets the Real: Fiction and Nonfiction That Take On the World


It began with hot summer nights. It was on hot summer nights — when it was far too hot to go outside, when all I wanted to do was sit under the throttle of a noisy air conditioner — that I got my best reading done as a teenager. There were two kinds of books […]

The Book List


Thanks to all for chiming in with suggestions! We’ve incorporated them into our own thinking and have come up with the following list of titles we plan to cover this fall. There will probably be additions as the season unfolds. For instance, we are still tracking down a copy of the suggested In a Village […]

MORE #stuffwhitepeoplelike

And this is one more caption.

One of those stupid Facebook quizzes told me that I “tend to share thoughts that are not fully developed, using others as a sounding board for ideas and theories in a debate against themselves rather than as actual conversation partners.” RUDE. But also, true. So for now I am going to refrain from comment about […]

A visit to Lyra’s Oxford (and other British children’s lit landmarks)


I’m just back in the office after a week and a half in the UK — which seemed like a long time when we booked the trip, but felt like a whirlwind tour. The occasion was my cousin’s wedding in Oxford (congratulations, Emily and Felix!), but we visited Bath, London, and Edinburgh as well. We […]

National Hispanic Heritage Month starts today!

elya_little roja riding hood

Today begins National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long recognition of “the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.” For more information and a calendar of events, visit the National Hispanic Heritage Month website. Here are some interviews, recommended books, and articles from […]

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a caption.

Q: How many books do you read when you are a member of the actual Caldecott committee? A: It varies from year to year, but I think it would be safe to say that between 200 and 400 books are submitted. Some submissions are clearly not eligible (for instance, novels with no illustration, or books […]