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Archives for September 2010

>September Notes

>The September issue of Notes is out and features an interview with The War to End All Wars author, Russell Freedman, as well as a look at some of his previous nonfiction books. Also included are reviews of the best new picture books, chapter books, and YA fiction.

>Does anyone still wear a hat?

> I’m sure Miles won’t be so easy to amuse as time goes by but I’ll try to enjoy this while I can. We spent the weekend in Chicago for a surprise birthday party for Ethan, who apparently spotted us before he was supposed to (“How weird. I could swear I just saw Dad and […]

>The September-October 2010 Horn Book Magazine

>is now out. Online excerpts include “What Makes a Good Book for All Ages?,” Ashley Waring writing about reading with her autistic son, Jerry Griswold on the new Natalie Merchant record, and me interviewing Patty Campbell. The print edition also includes two essays from the forthcoming A Family of Readers, Barbara Bader on folktale publishing, […]

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

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 undoubtedly a contributing […]

What Makes a Good Book for All Ages?

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. […]

>Here’s another thing I don’t get to do in my day job

>While I am used to growing impatient with plays, movies, and operas halfway through, I think I only left a movie twice: Madness of King George and Shakespeare in Love. (Hmm, is there a pattern?) But I was shocked when Richard, who feels a moral obligation to finish every book he opens, eagerly agreed to […]