Editorial: Honoring Mike

“Why is there no YA equivalent to the Newbery Medal?” When I asked that question fifteen years ago (School Library Journal, December 1983), it was hardly its first hearing. As far back as 1962, the Young Adult Services Division (now the Young Adult Library Services Association) of ALA had proposed an award for the book […]

Field Notes: “Mom, Look! It’s George, and He’s a TV Indian!”

bruchac_fox song

by Debbie Reese The title for this article came from my daughter, Elizabeth. One day last year when I picked her up from kindergarten, she came rushing to me with a scrunched-up, angry face. Before she even said hello, she plopped down on the hallway floor and opened the George and Martha book she’d checked […]

Dear Clueless: The Rejection Letters of Edna Albertson

By Peter D. Sieruta The successful publication of Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, collected and edited by Leonard S. Marcus and published by HarperCollins, has sent researchers on a veritable panty raid of publishers’ archives in hopes of illuminating another era of literary history through the correspondence of a noted figure in the […]

Russell Freedman Wilder profile

By James Cross Giblin Russell Freedman might well have had a successful career in broadcast journalism, following in the footsteps of reporters like Edward R. Murrow. His deep, rather solemn voice, lightened by frequent touches of humor, makes him a compelling speaker. One attendee at a recent Clarion sales conference, hearing Russell present his latest […]

Writing Backward: Modern Models in Historical Fiction

My Brother Sam is Dead

I expect we can all agree that historical fiction should be good fiction and good history. If we leap over the first briar patch by calling good fiction an “interesting narrative with well-developed characters,” we are still left with the question of what is good history. Alas, there are nearly as many thorns here as […]

Have Book Bag, Will Travel: A Practical Guide to Reading Aloud

Goodnight Moon

By Mary M. Burns and Ann A. Flowers Suddenly, literacy is a hot topic. While definitions may vary, there is general agreement that it’s a good thing, and the more of it, the better. The problem seems to be discovering how to nurture it. Because Americans incline toward Puritanism when faced with self-improvement, the process […]

“Look”

by Lois Lowry My oldest child, a daughter, remembers that when she was three, and we lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while her father was a law student, she often walked with me to a nearby grocery store. She tells me that there were letters painted in the street at the corner where we stopped and […]

Snapshots: “Delicious rhythms”

Recently when our ten-year-old son was asked to name his favorite book, he said promptly, “I have thousands of favorites,” and proceeded to describe his room as if he were living in a small crack between bookshelves — the pleasant problem of the voracious reader. Madison’s bookshelves span a decade of evolving interests and travels […]

Heather and Her Critics

newman_heather has two mommies

As an out lesbian author of six picture books, five of which depict families with gay or lesbian members, I have been called one of the most dangerous writers living in America today. In fact, in 1994, my book Heather Has Two Mommies was the second most challenged book in the nation, following closely on […]

“Accumulated Power”

By Margaret Mahy When I was a child, books published in the U.S. were difficult to come by in New Zealand, dominated as it was by its trading relationship with Britain. But by the time I came to read to my daughters, the publishing world had changed. I was able to read them Blueberries for […]