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Roger’s ALA 2017

My ALA began on a sad note when, while Richard and I were on the way to the airport, Martha texted to tell me that Robin Smith had died. This is such a loss – I knew no one as good as Robin at connecting children and books. I saw it in her many years […]

On Robin Smith

The Horn Book family is mourning the loss of one of our own, the inimitable Robin Smith who passed away last week after a battle with bone cancer. In addition to her day job as a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Robin was a longtime Magazine reviewer and contributor as well as […]

A tribute

I used to repeatedly tell my friend Robin Smith that my professional motto in life is: WWRD? (What Would Robin Do?) I think she thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. I know enough to respect those who came before me in the field of children’s literature — to know their names and read their […]

New York Time…

… which happens to be the title of Richard Peck’s 1981 novel for adults, providing me a great opportunity to bridge two worlds when that Richard and my Richard and I were having dinner before seeing A Doll’s House, Part Two last Saturday night. We could all talk about real estate, which we did, as well […]

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 […]

On Robin Smith’s “Teaching New Readers to Love Books” (from 2003)

“Despite the pressures of parents and the winds of educational change, I do not teach children to read because it is good for them. To me, books are not meant to be the path to Harvard or even the best high school. I do not think of them as ‘tools for learning,’ a phrase I […]

BGHB wrapped up tight

The 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book judges have made their choices, and I will be happy to share them with you on May 31st, when Kwame Alexander and I will announce the winners around 5:00PM at SLJ’s Day of Dialogue in NYC and simultaneously via live-stream video on our BGHB page. Until then, please join me in thanking […]

Zena’s Night

After the Sutherland Lecture committee meeting on Friday afternoon, committee member and CPL Director of Children’s and YA services Liz McChesney gave us a tour of the soon-to-open new Thomas Hughes Children’s Library. I remember the old-old one in the Cultural Center as wonderfully shadowy, but this new one is bright and big and bold […]

“Both boys were absolutely silent, satiated with a great story.”

Yesterday Elissa posted Elizabeth Partridge’s reminiscence about reading Avi’s 1991 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction winner, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, to her boys. As this post’s title suggests, her anecdote shuts down anyone who might question whether or not boys can enjoy books starring girls (including Elizabeth’s own sons: “‘What?’ My ten-year-old shot straight […]

Patricia C. McKissack (1944–2017)

The death of Patricia McKissack earlier this week at age 72, four years after the death of her husband and frequent collaborator Fredrick, is a huge loss to the children’s literature community. Their son Fredrick Jr.’s description is heart-achingly poignant: “In a way, I think my mother died of a broken heart.” In Roger’s review […]