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Archives for January 2018

Tell us about your mock Caldecott results

Every year we like to solicit responses from anyone who has held a mock Caldecott with their students, library patrons, or bookstore customers. The first few years of Calling Caldecott, I was in awe of Robin Smith’s annual mock Caldecott with second graders, but it seemed like so much work! Eventually, I took the plunge […]

Before She Was Harriet

I wrote this elsewhere last year, but I’ll say it again here: I think this is one of the best books by husband-and-wife author-illustrator team Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome, who have collaborated on some fifteen picture books thus far in their careers. This spare biography of Harriet Tubman, “a wisp of a woman with the […]

Empowering Children with a Home Library

I confess. I’m a book hoarder. Someday my house may collapse under the enormous weight of books it holds. As a young girl, I dreamed of a library that reached from floor to ceiling, with one of those fantastic rolling ladders that I could slide along the walls to pluck books from shelves. Our home […]

Review of Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship

Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters; illus. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko Primary, Intermediate    Carolrhoda    40 pp. 1/18    978-1-5124-0442-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5124-7214-1    $9.99 This clever book of poetry is about finding an unexpected friend. Classmates Irene and Charles (also the names of […]

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018)

Author Ursula K. Le Guin, who challenged the male-dominated fantasy and science fiction fields starting in the 1960s, died January 22, 2018, in Portland, Oregon. She was eighty-eight. Her YA novel A Wizard of Earthsea (which explored the struggle of good versus evil as an internal struggle, not an external one) won the 1969 Boston […]

High Fantasy: A Wizard of Earthsea

by Eleanor Cameron A Wizard of Earthsea (Parnassus) by Ursula K. LeGuin received the 1969 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, given at the New England Round Table of Children’s Librarians, October, 1969.  It is never important to pigeonhole works of fiction nor insist that a certain book should belong, in a child’s estimation, in this category […]

Reviews of select books by Ursula K. Le Guin

Earthsea Ursula K. Le Guin  A Wizard of Earthsea [winner of the 1969 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award] 205 pp.     Parnassus Illustrated by Ruth Robbins. Maps by the artist show the islands and seas that make up Earthsea. Sparrowhawk, the son of a bronze-smith, was born on Gont, famous for wizards who had gone forth to […]

Review of A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield Middle School, High School    Clarion    196 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-544-78513-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-69904-6    $9.99 This readable, compelling history explores the longstanding and deeply rooted causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, which left thirty-eight people dead and 537 wounded (two-thirds of […]

Ursula K. Le Guin’s April 1973 Letter to the Editor

Eleanor Cameron’s remarks on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the Horn Book may draw some fire upon her; it’s always perilous to do anything to a bestseller but adulate it. My response to her October article is one of relief and hearty thanks. It is good to have an accurate diagnosis of one’s vague […]

Re-imagining the Possibilities

I am about to make a broad and sweeping generalization, but I believe it to be true: The failure of modern living is the failure of the imagination. The root meaning of the word imagine is “to picture to oneself.” In other words, when we imagine, we create an inner picture of something not visible […]