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Review of The Book of Boy

The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock; illus. by Ian Schoenherr Intermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    278 pp. 2/18    978-0-06-268620-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-268622-0    $7.99 Secundus is a pilgrim. A child, known simply as Boy, is a goatherd. Together they travel, master and servant, from France to Rome in the Holy Year of 1350. Each […]

Five questions for Catherine Gilbert Murdock

In The Book of Boy (Greenwillow, 9–12 years), we meet a young goatherd accompanying the pilgrim Secundus on his quest for relics, traveling from France to Rome in 1350. Boy is on a quest of his own…and as readers gradually learn (and Boy learns with them), both travelers have fascinating secrets. 1. We’ve seen some […]

Magic Books

I am an author. But before I wrote books, I read them. My parents claim I made them read aloud the front matter — the publisher’s address, the Library of Congress data. In elementary school, I added ISBN numbers to the stories I wrote. Those numbers conveyed legitimacy, even if I didn’t know what ISBN […]

On Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s “The Adventures of Mommy Buzzkill” (from 2009)

In her 2009 Horn Book Magazine article “The Adventures of Mommy Buzzkill,” Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Dairy Queen, Princess Ben, Heaven Is Paved with Oreos, and other YA books featuring complex and feisty teen girls who frequently subvert gender assumptions, wrote tongue-in-cheekily about the prevalence of dead, missing, or otherwise absentee mothers in children’s […]

The Adventures of Mommy Buzzkill

Here’s an interesting game: name one children’s adventure story — just one — in which the mother is present. A short list of things that wouldn’t make the cut includes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Madeline, The Secret Garden, “Cinderella,” Eragon, the Bartimaeus trilogy, My Father’s Dragon, James and the […]