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Becoming “A Better Witness for What’s Beautiful”: Reading Last Stop on Market Street with Children

Last Stop on Market Street was among my top choices for 2016 Caldecott gold, so I was delighted when illustrator Christian Robinson won both Coretta Scott King and Caldecott honors. And, like many in the room at the ALA Youth Media Awards Announcements last January, I was also surprised — and delighted! — when it […]

Profile of 2016 Newbery Medal winner Matt de la Peña

The first time I met Matt de la Peña, he was sitting at a table in the Random House booth at the 2008 National Council of Teachers of English annual convention in San Antonio. It was shortly before the exhibit hall was scheduled to close, and the booth was empty. No fans. No signing lines. […]

2016 Newbery Acceptance by Matt de la Peña

“I had never known, never even imagined for a heartbeat, that there might be a place for people like us.” This is the last line of Denis Johnson’s short story collection Jesus’ Son, and it describes perfectly the way I felt way back in 2003 when I was informed that my first novel, Ball Don’t […]

Last Stop on Market Street

And we’re off, with the first book discussion of the season. We are trying to present the books more generally in order of publication this year, in hopes that readers will have a better chance of knowing the books as they’re discussed. We’re starting with a book that was published early in the year, in […]