Cynthia K. Ritter

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Review of The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined

The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined by Stephanie Hemphill High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    495 pp. 6/19    978-0-06-249011-7    $17.99 In this engrossing first-person, present-tense verse novel, Hemphill (Your Own, Sylvia, rev. 3/07; Hideous Love, rev. 9/13) reimagines the fifteenth-century life of French martyr Joan of Arc. Readers follow...

Conference Report: 2019 Children's Literature Summer Institute at Simmons University: "Make Way"

This past weekend, Martha Parravano, Cynthia K. Ritter, and Shoshana Flax took turns attending “Make Way,” the 2019 Summer Children’s Literature Institute at Simmons University. Here are our (chronological) combined impressions from this weekend. Cindy: On Thursday night, Shoshana and I caught up over dinner with some of our Simmons...

Celebrating America's Moon Landing

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Apollo 11, the first space mission to land on the moon. (This Saturday, July 20th will be the anniversary of the actual moon landing and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's moon walk.) CBS, which broadcast the historic event live in...

Review of Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner

Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner by Jessie Hartland; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 5/19    978-1-5344-0233-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0234-8    $10.99 Today the original star-spangled banner is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in...

Five questions for 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award winners Maxine Beneba Clarke and Van Thanh Rudd

A talented pair from Down Under, author Maxine Beneba Clarke and illustrator Van Thanh Rudd are the co-creators of this year’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award winner The Patchwork Bike (Candlewick, 5–8 years). Rudd’s playful, tactile illustrations (done on scrap cardboard) perfectly complement the childlike sensibility of Clarke’s spare,...

Readers, assemble!

It’s hard to miss the excitement (and spoilers — eek!) about Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, released in theaters on April 26th. This latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe concludes what the company refers to as Phase 3 of the Infinity Saga and wraps up many favorite story lines from the...

Review of Lovely War

Lovely Warby Julie BerryHigh School    Viking    471 pp.3/19    978-0-451-46993-9    $18.99When the Greek god of fire, Hephaestus, catches his wife Aphrodite, goddess of love, in 1942 Manhattan in a passionate affair with his brother Ares, god of war, Aphrodite defends her actions by showing the two gods what real love looks...

Spring into nature

Spring is a season of rebirth, which makes it a great time to discover Mother Nature's many wonders. These new picture books will inspire inquisitive preschoolers-and-up to venture outside and explore.The Home Builders by Varsha Bajaj invites children to observe nature as a variety of creatures busily create homes to...

Versify at Harvard Book Store

Last night, we snagged press passes (thank you Spencer at Harvard Book Store!) for an event at First Church in Cambridge, MA, celebrating the launch of Versify, Kwame Alexander’s new imprint with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Alexander — along with Versify authors Lamar Giles, Raúl the Third, and Kip Wilson —...

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