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The Mystery in the Bookshop

A colleague from the New York office was over for drinks last Friday and she mentioned that she forgot to bring a book for the train back.  I gave her my copy of Elizabeth Peters’ Die for Love, a cozy about an academic librarian who finds love and murder at a romance-writers convention she attends […]

On Robin Smith’s “Teaching New Readers to Love Books” (from 2003)

“Despite the pressures of parents and the winds of educational change, I do not teach children to read because it is good for them. To me, books are not meant to be the path to Harvard or even the best high school. I do not think of them as ‘tools for learning,’ a phrase I […]

BGHB wrapped up tight

The 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book judges have made their choices, and I will be happy to share them with you on May 31st, when Kwame Alexander and I will announce the winners around 5:00PM at SLJ’s Day of Dialogue in NYC and simultaneously via live-stream video on our BGHB page. Until then, please join me in thanking […]

Zena’s Night

After the Sutherland Lecture committee meeting on Friday afternoon, committee member and CPL Director of Children’s and YA services Liz McChesney gave us a tour of the soon-to-open new Thomas Hughes Children’s Library. I remember the old-old one in the Cultural Center as wonderfully shadowy, but this new one is bright and big and bold […]

“Both boys were absolutely silent, satiated with a great story.”

Yesterday Elissa posted Elizabeth Partridge’s reminiscence about reading Avi’s 1991 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction winner, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, to her boys. As this post’s title suggests, her anecdote shuts down anyone who might question whether or not boys can enjoy books starring girls (including Elizabeth’s own sons: “‘What?’ My ten-year-old shot straight […]

Patricia C. McKissack (1944–2017)

The death of Patricia McKissack earlier this week at age 72, four years after the death of her husband and frequent collaborator Fredrick, is a huge loss to the children’s literature community. Their son Fredrick Jr.’s description is heart-achingly poignant: “In a way, I think my mother died of a broken heart.” In Roger’s review […]

On Shoshana Flax’s “A Wrinkle in Troubled Times” (from 2016)

“Some of our very best fighters have come from your own planet.” —Mrs. Whatsit to Meg Murray About Madeleine L’Engle’s Newbery Award–winning novel, the writer Anne Lamott said the following in a 2012 interview with The New York Times Book Review: “A Wrinkle in Time saved me because it so captured the grief and sense […]

Ever just the same

“Roger, didn’t you know that everything goes back to ‘Beauty and the Beast?’” That was Deborah Stevenson talking to me sotto voce in 1989 or so after listening to our boss Betsy Hearne make yet another connection between some new book or other and the classic French tale to which she had given her scholarly […]

Some writer, artist, friend!

I hope you’ll join me for the 2017 Zena Sutherland Lecture, to be held on Friday, May 5 at 7:30PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. Our lecturer is the wonderful Melissa Sweet; her chosen topic is “To Inform and Delight: The Elements of Story.” Tickets are free but you gotta reserve your […]

Diversity by the numbers

Please read Martha’s interview with K.T. Horning about the CCBC‘s fabled accounting of diversity in children’s books. I wonder what those numbers would look like from here, that is, if you counted the same variables for those books reviewed by the Horn Book Guide, would you get the same kind of numbers? I don’t think […]