Dorothy, how does that make you feel?

freud in oz

The formidable Kenneth Kidd explores the entwined history of children’s literature and psychoanalysis in Freud in Oz: At the Intersection of Psychoanalysis and Children’s Literature (Univ. of Minnesota, November). Essays include “Three Case Histories: Alice, Peter Pan, and The Wizard of Oz,” “’Maurice Sendak and Picturebook Psychology,” and “T Is for Trauma: The Children’s Literature […]

Those happy golden years

chigger

Raymond Bial, well-known author of nonfiction for children (Ellis Island: Coming to the Land of Liberty; Tenement: Immigrant Life on the Lower East Side; Amish Home; Frontier Home), has just published a novel, one “intended primarily for adults,” according to the promotional copy on the back of the (attractive) paperback. Set in small-town 1959 Indiana […]

Happy new year, and welcome to a perfect new-year baby

lobstertreesmall

Here we are in Provincetown with friend Pam (other friend Lori was taking the picture), replete from days of Chex Mix and chocolate and Yahtzee, a game I thought I had mastered after years of battling AI opponents only to lose every time in this my first experience with the non-virtual dice variety. Also did […]

Weekend update

We talked about this trend of shiny-ing up books last week when Martha P. and I did a Family of Readers gig at the Duxbury Free Library for the Westwinds Bookshop. I speculated that the books that would best survive digital competition would be those that most rewarded or required physical presence–airport novels out, picture […]

Strong girls and movies

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a good Thanksgiving. Yesterday I dined in the company of, among others, a high school freshman who declared her absolute allegiance to Kristin Cashore. We are both looking forward to Bitterblue. She also bragged about having read Ayn Rand, but I put that little notion in its place […]

Ready Player One

ready-player-one-cover1

Has anyone else read this yet? By Ernest Cline, Ready Player One  is set in the near  future (2044) when the world has gone mostly to shit and people spend as much time as they can in The Oasis, an enormous  virtual reality universe. The enormously wealthy creator of Oasis–the most valuable property on the […]

Borrow this.

borrower

Lucy Hull, protagonist of Rebecca Makkai‘s adult novel The Borrower (Viking, June), is a sardonic twenty-something children’s librarian. Her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian, runs away to escape his parents and the anti-gay youth group they’ve stuck him in. Like Claudia Kincaid before him, Ian realizes that he needs somewhere to run away to, and the […]

>Question re The Help,

>which I have just finished and found interesting in ways intended and otherwise. But I am unsure about a major plot point and will to try to phrase my question so as not to spoil it for anyone planning to read it or see the movie: Did Minny actually do what she said she did […]

Of interest to adults

The Wilder Life

For adults passionate about children’s books, these new biographical works will, through very different approaches, foster appreciation of two prominent figures in children’s literature. After rereading the Little House books she loved as a kid, Wendy McClure renews her obsession with all things Laura Ingalls Wilder and chronicles it in The Wilder Life: My Adventures […]

>Summer reading

>We’ve posted our suggestions for summer reading–strictly recreational–so dig in. For the grownups, I’m recommending Michael Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White, an orgy of Victoriana with a bracing touch of postmodernism and what I think (I’m only a few hours into the forty-something houred audio edition) is going to be a lot of […]