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My editor Lillian

My first professional writing about children’s books was for School Library Journal, beginning my reign of terror with a letter to the editor about–my critics will love this–what I saw as excessive feminist ideology used in the SLJ review to bring down a book I had found awfully good, Sue Ellen Bridgers’ Notes for Another Life. (Writers: when your […]

Re: verso

SLJ has posted a picture I’ve been hankering to see: the full double-page-spread containing the infamous up-skirting image in The Ultimate Book of Space. It isn’t a great scan of the spread but it makes clear that the picture making the rounds on Twitter was incomplete: what was a pic of some robotic thing lifting the […]

It is so our business

I see SLJ is taking some heat for its stand against Trump’s deplorable actions re DACA. Welcome to my world. I’d love to put together a panel discussion of the children’s-book journal editors on the topic of pulpit-pounding. We all do it, in different ways to different ends, and it might be a good opportunity to […]

Home run!

Over at SLJ, Kiera Parrott makes a thorough case against reading levels. I wish I’d had her on hand when we were visiting the children last month. The grandpas had sent eight-year-old Miles some books a few weeks before, mainly Magic Treehouse. When I said something about them he mumbled that they weren’t on his Fountas […]

I Can Cook Too

No sooner did I leave New York last week when I was off to Columbus for two days of meetings with my  fellow Mediasource Inc. editors (Rebecca Miller of SLJ/LJ and Susan Marston of JLG) and all the top brass, including what seem to be the zillion new vice-presidents (five, actually). It’s very helpful to do this […]

Shut up, Rihanna

I guess the phrase “last night on TV” has been rendered obsolete, but last night on TV we watched the fourth episode of the second season of The Path, a Hulu series starring Hugh Dancy, Michelle Monaghan, and Aaron Paul about people in a cult–true believers, skeptics, and apostates (sometimes all in the same character, as […]

When the censor is you

While you all know what I think of the term “self-censorship” (which does not mean censorship by oneself so much as of oneself, and you are not your library), SLJ’s survey of censorship by school librarians is eye-opening. Siân and I will be talking about it on the podcast we’re recording today (and publishing next Monday) […]

The race is on

Calling Caldecott, Heavy Medal, and Someday My Printz Will Come are all up and running, so it’s time to start thinking your woulds and coulds and shoulds about this year’s field of potential prizewinners. (And SLJ has posted its reviews of the National Book Award longlist, although I have to say I think it’s tacky […]

Summerteen 2015

SLJ’s Summerteen virtual conference is this Thursday and it’s free and promises to be a good time. I am particularly looking forward to hearing M. T. Anderson, Paula Ayer, Marc Aronson, and Susan Campbell Bartoletti talk about narrative nonfiction, which also happens to be the topic for the debut issue of our latest newsletter coming later […]

Inside and out

Nina Lindsay has a terrific article up at SLJ about this year’s ALA Award winners and What It All Might Mean.  And in my latest editorial, I write about the need to value art from outsiders as well as insiders. Can we have both? Can we HAVE IT ALL?