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Roger’s ALA 2017

My ALA began on a sad note when, while Richard and I were on the way to the airport, Martha texted to tell me that Robin Smith had died. This is such a loss – I knew no one as good as Robin at connecting children and books. I saw it in her many years […]

ALA Attire

The worst thing about the days leading up to ALA is the wardrobe issue. You’re saving all the good (well, better) stuff for Conference and you wear rags to work. Those V-neck t-shirts you bought by mistake. The socks that used to be purple but are now decidedly pink. Don’t look at me. But I […]

The Snowy Storytime

The snow swirls outside, but T wants to go to PJ storytime, so we scarf down stir-fry, don turtle jammies, and crunch our way up the ramp to the public library. Inside, snow-covered boots are discarded, jackets are shed, and squirmy listeners settle onto a multicolored afghan in the middle of the children’s room. Ms. […]

The YMA Phone Calls

So, I had to stay home again. I wasn’t in any of the little rooms where it happened, nor was I in the giant room where it was announced. Blech. I was, however, in a queen-sized bed with all manner of wireless devices surrounding me. I was prepared. And a good thing, too, because the […]

The Newbery App review

The Newbery App (Sugar Coded Apps, 2011; iOS only) is a handy resource if you’re interested in Newbery history, keeping track of which Medalists and Honor Books you’ve read, or choosing the next one to read. It’s also a fun place to test your skills. The landing page contains the enticing phrase, “Suggest a Book […]

Five questions for Jerry Pinkney

At the 2016 Youth Media Awards announcement at ALA Midwinter, the audience cheered loudly when prolific author/illustrator Jerry Pinkney was named the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement winner. A few minutes later, history was made — and the crowd again went wild! — when he also won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his […]

Whips AND chains

I’d really like to ban the term “self-censorship” from discourse, given that we already have a spectrum of words–from “prudence” to “cowardice”–that say more precisely what we mean, and because it causes us to be confused about what censorship actually is. As Megan Schliesman at Reading While White posted last week, the discussion about A Birthday […]

#KidLitonEllenShow

Remember when the Newbery and Caldecott winners were interviewed on the Today show? If you have a hard time recalling it, don’t worry — you’re not turning into Dory. The last time was six years ago. Now, the people of Twitter (starting with Person-of-Twitter-and-of-Kidlit John Schu) have an idea to bring the winners back to […]

Don Brown on Drowned City

In our September/October issue, reviewer Betty Carter asked Don Brown, author/illustrator of nonfiction graphic novel Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans, about what we can learn from the events of Hurricane Katrina. Read the full starred review of Drowned City here. Betty Carter: So many of your books cover a pivotal moment in American […]

The race is on

Calling Caldecott, Heavy Medal, and Someday My Printz Will Come are all up and running, so it’s time to start thinking your woulds and coulds and shoulds about this year’s field of potential prizewinners. (And SLJ has posted its reviews of the National Book Award longlist, although I have to say I think it’s tacky […]