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A Second Look: The Egypt Game

I was in second grade the first time I went to Egypt.Every Friday, I took a bus to another elementary school across town in order to attend a Gifted and Talented Education program. Once a week, I lived a separate school life, at a different campus with a different teacher...

A Second Look: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

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It was one of those rickety paperback book racks that creak when you turn it. It listed to one side, so I made sure to stand on the side it was leaning away from, in order to see the books better.Spin. Creak. Spin. Creak.I’d read most of these books already....

A Second Look: The Long Life of a Mockingbird

To make a Tequila Mockingbird, chill your martini glass and cocktail shaker in the freezer. After half an hour, remove the shaker,  throw in a handful of ice, one and a half ounces of tequila, three quarters of an ounce creme de menthe, and the juice of one lime. Shake...

A Second Look: It’s Like This, Cat

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In late January 1964, a committee of twenty-three librarians from around the country met in a small room in a Chicago hotel to select the Newbery and Caldecott winners from a group of eligible books that had been published in 1963. In those years, the executive board members of ALA’s...

A Second Look: Harriet the Spy

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Harriet the Spy was published in 1964. That was the year I read it twelve times. That was the year our school bookstore kept running out of green composition notebooks, and the cafeteria was plagued with requests for tomato sandwiches. A memorable year for many of us.Now, sixteen years later,...

A Second Look: Annie on My Mind

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Annie on My Mind and I grew up together. Published twenty-five years ago in 1982, this now-canonical lesbian-coming-of-age novel was one of the first books I ever reviewed. Sally Holmes Holtze was then assistant editor at School Library Journal’s book review section, working with Pam Pollack, and I was a...

A Second Look: John Steptoe's Baby Says

In his tragically short career as a picture book creator, John Steptoe received attention for his groundbreaking early books — such as Stevie and My Special Best Words — and, later on, for his lavishly detailed folktale retellings, The Story of Jumping Mouse and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. Published in 1988,...
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