Cynthia K. Ritter

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Books beyond buildings: Support your local bookstore and library!

For book lovers everywhere — and particularly parents across the country trying to homeschool their children right now — the services of libraries and bookstores are essential. But this pandemic has left these institutions extremely vulnerable, and they need our support now more than ever. Back in February, when we...

Review of Hike

Hike by Pete Oswald; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-5362-0157-4    $17.99 A new day dawns as a father wakes his child so they can head out from their city home into the country to go on a daylong hike. They see all sorts of...

Review of On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson

On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson by Jennifer Berne; illus. by Becca Stadtlander Primary, Intermediate    Chronicle    48 pp. 2/20    978-1-4521-4297-5    $18.99 Berne’s picture-book biography is a lyrical appreciation of Dickinson’s skill with words, painting a vivid picture of the poet’s special abilities (“With the power of...

50th anniversary of Earth Day

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day -- a momentous occasion. This year's theme is Climate Action because "climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable." While the worldwide pandemic has in some ways meant we've been...

Embracing Spring

Thankfully going outside for walks, runs, or bike rides — at a safe distance from one another — is still allowed in these strange pandemic times. On my daily walks the past few weeks, I've been appreciating (and garnering hope from) the fact that signs of springtime are popping up...

Review of The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America

The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America by Kathleen Krull; illus. by Alexandra Bye Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 2/20    978-1-4814-9151-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9152-5    $10.99 President Roosevelt usually gets credit for the New Deal programs that helped pull America out of the...

Mother forking space and time

The neighborhood that the four main characters of NBC's The Good Place resided in was rebooted over 800 times by the demon Michael. Every time one of the characters would figure out that they were actually in The Bad Place, Michael would wipe their memories and start over. The "series...

Sense of place

As in King and the Dragonflies, setting is a key part of these recent intermediate and middle-school realistic stories. In Some Places More than Others, Amara's twelfth birthday trip with her dad becomes a whirlwind of highs and lows as she's introduced to the rich history of African Americans in...

Harry for the holidays

Shoshana Flax: Old Potter fans never die, they just sit down at the Yule Ball.  Cindy and I spent the evening of Sunday, December 15th at the Middle East nightclub in Cambridge for the Boston edition of Harry and the Potters’ Yule Ball. (The Black Cat in Washington, DC, and...

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