“Alive”: A Poem

Dear Abby, said someone from Oregon, I am having trouble with my boyfriend’s attachment to an ancient gallon of milk still full in his refrigerator. I told him it’s me or the milk, is this unreasonable? Dear Carolyn, my brother won’t speak to me because fifty years ago I whispered a monkey would kidnap him […]

What Makes a Good Banned Book?

In The Night Kitchen

Max imagined himself into the land of the wild things, and the censors said NO. Mickey fell out of his clothes in full-frontal view, and the censors said NO. When Judy Blume gave Margaret her period, gave Tony Miglione wet dreams, and answered Deenie’s questions about masturbation, the censors said “too much information,” and they […]

Review of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin; illus. by the author 282 pp. Little 6/09 isbn 978-0-316-11427-1 $16.99 (Intermediate) Minli lives with her father, a storyteller and dreamer, and her disapproving mother in a poor village in the shadow of Fruitless Mountain. An encounter with a goldfish peddler prompts Minli to seek the […]

Independence Day: What Makes a Good First-Day-of-School Book?

hole_garmann's summer

According to the old adage, death and taxes are the two things in life we can’t avoid. Children know about a third: school. In the United States, youngsters of a certain age must attend school, receiving state-mandated instruction at home or in public, private, boarding, or parochial institutions. School is a child’s introduction to inevitability, […]