Leave Your Sleep: Natalie Merchant on Childhood

Leave Your Sleep

While marketed as a two-volume music CD with an accompanying booklet, Natalie Merchant’s Leave Your Sleep might be better understood as a fascinating anthology of children’s poetry accompanied by biographical notes and two CDs on which each of the twenty-six poems is set to music. But it is even more than that. Leave Your Sleep […]

Stories out of School: Reading Became My Life

My last two years in high school were absolutely miserable. In the junior and senior years of a highly competitive school, one’s whole existence becomes the frantic preparation to enter the next highly competitive situation. Even the most casual conversations turned to SAT scores and grade point averages. What were the Ivies looking for? What […]

Reading on the Spectrum

by Ashely Waring Life with my two young sons is a study in contrasts. Alden (almost five) is high-strung; Griffin (my  two-year-old) is mellow. Alden couldn’t care less about food; Griffin lives to eat. Alden keeps to himself;  Griffin never stops talking. Alden has autism; Griffin does not. That last contrast is a biggie, and […]

What Makes a Good Book for All Ages?

mouse and his child

My many years of book reviewing have taught me that most books labeled “for all ages” are anything but. Such books are generally big and richly illustrated (and expensive); they tend toward the parabolic, offering “life lessons” of one sort or another. In short, they are books for adults with a weakness for cheap piety. […]