Bringing young people and books together in the school and public library.

Jacqueline Woodson, why are you so poet?


When the Cambridge Public Library announced that Brown Girl Dreaming would be this year’s Cambridge Reads book I was beyond thrilled. Now Jacqueline Woodson and I would be best friends! I’d say, Jacqueline, you are my hero, thank you for your perspective, your advocacy and for creating windows and mirrors for my students! Then she […]

Little library


On my way home the other day I saw a Little Free Library in the flesh. So cute! Has anyone else seen, used, or implemented one?

What’s a children’s librarian to do?


Twice in the past week I’ve been asked to opine publicly about the future of books and libraries for children, first at the NYLA conference in White Plains and then at the investiture of Eileen Abels as the new dean of the Simmons GSLIS. I had far fewer answers than questions, which I present to […]

In which we check in with current Caldecott committee member Travis Jonker

travis photo

Time for a reality check, everybody! Robin, Lolly, and I have been immersed in our mock Caldecott world, but in fact there is an actual 2014 Caldecott committee out there ;), feverishly preparing for their closed-door marathon sessions at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, which begins on January 24. Travis Jonker — Michigan elementary-school librarian; author of the 100 Scope […]

Five Questions for Julie Roach


Cambridge Public Library youth services manager (and Horn Book reviewer) Julie Roach will be discussing library services for preschool children at our Fostering Lifelong Learners event (free; you should come) at CPL on April 25th. I asked her to share some of her thoughts on serving this (very) particular audience. (I think her answer to […]

No Joke! Humor and Culture in Middle-Grade Books

Right Ho, Jeeves

When I was a child, growing up in the various parts of India to which my father’s job took us, books were my friends, and I liked them funny. I discovered my grandfather’s P. G. Wodehouse collection at the age of eleven and was at once enchanted by the amiable lunacy of fictional worlds like […]

What Makes a Good YA Dystopian Novel?


Dystopias are characterized as a society that is a counter-utopia, a repressed, controlled, restricted system with multiple social controls put into place via government, military, or a powerful authority figure. Issues of surveillance and invasive technologies are often key, as is a consistent emphasis that this is not a place where you’d want to live. […]

Cleveland and Pittsburgh Create a Profession

William Howard Brett

The sight of a ‘children’s room’ in a public library just after school hours is enchanting…they pour into its doors, the crowd of children, well-dressed, poorly clad, boys, girls, big, small, all with an assured air of welcome, comfortably, easily, happily at home among bookshelves as they are in no other spot. Thirty years ago […]

Conferences and Events

April 2012 Presented by the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, A Sense of Wonder: Stories of Nature, Science & History is a one-day conference to be held on Thursday, April 5, for teachers and school librarians. Speakers will include Sy Montgomery, Wendell Minor, Anita Silvey and Catherine Thimmesh. For more information, see the professional development […]

Five questions for Rick Bowers

Rick Bowers

Rick Bowers’s previous book, Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network That Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. The journalist and historian’s latest offering is another compellingly told and meticulously researched account of events surrounding the civil […]