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The Mystery in the Bookshop

A colleague from the New York office was over for drinks last Friday and she mentioned that she forgot to bring a book for the train back.  I gave her my copy of Elizabeth Peters’ Die for Love, a cozy about an academic librarian who finds love and murder at a romance-writers convention she attends […]

Why teachers should know the Virtual History Exhibit

We have an opening in the post schedule this week because there’s no class tonight, so I want to make a plug for our Virtual History Exhibit which displays items from our archives over the past 100 years. Because of our unique place in the history of children’s books in the US, the VHE has […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Lee Kingman

By Lee Kingman My earliest memory of Bertha Mahony, before she added Miller to her name, begins with her feet. Small feet, proportioned to her small frame. As I was a lanky nine-year-old, I was almost as tall as she was. Her lack of size, however, had nothing to do with her authority, which was […]

Book caravan clippings | full size images

Book Caravan diary transcriptions

During the Book Caravan‘s second summer of traveling around New England, operators Ruth Drake and Pauline Langley, two young Bookshop employees, kept a diary of their experiences. While Bertha Mahony’s venture failed to make a profit, it succeeded in spreading the word about great books for children and adults. Friday, 29 July 1921 Wenham day […]

Book caravan clippings

For more about the Book Caravan, read Barbara Bader’s Horn Book Magazine article, “Treasure Island by the Roadside.” We also offer a slideshow of photos of the Caravan and transcriptions of selected pages from the caravan diary. For full-size images of these clippings, go to this page. Apparently, all the major newsreel companies ran features […]

The Bookshop’s Book Caravan

In the summers of 1920 and 1921, Bertha Mahony had a truck outfitted to sell books and trained two booksellers from her Bookshop for Boys and Girls to drive and maintain it. Though the Book Caravan was a commercial flop, it got plenty of attention in its day, including featured stories by all the movie […]

Why is it called “The Horn Book”?

Back in the sixteenth century, English monks began to make hornbooks to help their pupils learn to read. Usually a wooden paddle with an alphabet and a verse glued to the surface, hornbooks derived their name from the piece of transparent horn protecting the verse. The picture to the right shows a modern replica of […]

The Bookshop That Is Bertha Mahony | The Atlantic Monthly

by Alice Jordan I. Of all the factors influencing the selling of children’s books in the last dozen years, perhaps the most widely loved is the Bookshop for Boys and Girls in Boston. When you try to search out the reason for this, how it happens that a shop designed to sell books for children […]