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August 1, 2014

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The elephant was in the room

The elephant was in the room

I can’t decide if the p.r. disaster that was the Children’s Choice Awards last night is exacerbated or ameliorated by the fact that the Children’s Book Council website is down this morning (and, according to Facebook) has been offline since the announcements last night.(Edit 11.45AM:It’s back up.) I do know that the CBCBook Twitter account […]

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I see you’re still reading

I see you’re still reading

I was jawing on the radio yesterday about Common Sense Media’s latest report on the woeful state of young people reading for pleasure. I dunno–kids have been reported to be reading less than they used at least ever since I got into this business thirty-five years ago. If this were in fact true, you’d think […]

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Go to bed

Go to bed

(Said in that same voice that closes Mindy Kalin’s TV show.) Wherein I opine about bedtime books for little kids. My own bedtime currently has me alternating between Thomas Keneally’s The Daughters of Mars (Gallipoli) and Maeve Binchy’s The Glass Lake (family secrets). And I’m close to finishing that biography of P.L. Travers, who sounds […]

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P.S. Evolution is real

P.S. Evolution is real

So the Rialto, CA, school district has decided that maybe it’s NOT a good idea to have eighth-graders debate the existence of the Holocaust. I’m of two minds (Opposing Viewpoints: In My Head). While I see the chance for much mischief in such an assignment and believe middle school is too early  for the kind […]

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What are YOU looking at?

What are YOU looking at?

As I prepare for tomorrow’s Sutherland Lecture by John Green (and don’t think about showing up without a ticket. And don’t even think about getting a ticket) I’m catching up on the two controversies that John has found himself caught up in. The fault for either might be in his stars but definitely not in […]

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Heads will roll?

Heads will roll?

  I was showing a friend around Boston yesterday (do make a stop at the Mapparium if you’re ever in the Back Bay; it’s awesome) when we ran into this sculpture  parked outside the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s one of a pair by Antonio López García but of course I thought of Harriet the […]

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Core values

Core values

Narrative nonfiction is on the lesson plan in Lolly’s Classroom today. Is anyone else worried that the CCSS demand for more nonfiction reading does not seem to be translating into more nonfiction publishing? I have the feeling that publishers are mostly sitting this one out. (As well they might, now that no one seems to […]

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What’s a children’s librarian to do?

What’s a children’s librarian to do?

Twice in the past week I’ve been asked to opine publicly about the future of books and libraries for children, first at the NYLA conference in White Plains and then at the investiture of Eileen Abels as the new dean of the Simmons GSLIS. I had far fewer answers than questions, which I present to […]

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May/June Horn Book Magazine starred books

May/June Horn Book Magazine starred books

I feel like the Fisherman’s Wife here–now that I have a window in my office, I want sunshine. But we are getting accustomed to our new quarters, scary warnings in the cafeteria about noroviruses notwithstanding. We even managed a star meeting! The following books will receive starred reviews in the May/June issue of The Horn […]

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A true Dutch treat

A true Dutch treat

I hope you jumped on those Sutherland Lecture tickets yesterday because they are gone baby gone–I understand that even the waiting list is full. A big fan of John Green’s books, I am nevertheless nervous about being in an auditorium filled with John Green Girls, beautiful, complicated and ka-razy creatures that they are. Or do […]

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John Green Sutherland lecture

Tickets are now available for the 2014 Zena Sutherland Lecture by John Green. Friday, May 2, 7:30 PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in sweet home Chicago. Admission is free but tickets are required, and only two to a customer. Get em now if you want to go and I’ll see you there.

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Moving moment No. 13

Moving moment No. 13

As Katie shreds the last TOP SEKRIT documents, we’re going dark here, shutting down our computers and phones today so we can move them tomorrow along with fifteen years of Horn Book history. You can still reach me via email and if you have my cell number you have my cell number. As of Monday, […]

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John Rowe Townsend

John Rowe Townsend

We are sad to hear from Gregory Maguire that English novelist, critic, and great, great friend to the Horn Book John Rowe Townsend passed away Monday night at the age of 91. Winner of the 1970 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for The Intruder, John published books and many articles with us and, with his wife […]

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Moving moment No. 12

Moving moment No. 12

Elf on the shelf. Her nephew told me I was making Bertha laugh in Heaven, so that’s something.

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Moving moment No. 11

Moving moment No. 11

Longtime HornBooker Jennifer Brabander came by today to scour the giveaway shelves, and look what she brought. Thanks, Jen!
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Moving Moment No. 10

Moving Moment No. 10

  Stop me if you’ve heard this one from me before, but when I was a student in Zena’s children’s lit course (along with your friend and mine, Elizabeth), she devoted one class to discussing review journals, aka her Rivals. Booklist got some love because her star student, Betsy Hearne, was then the children’s book […]

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Moving moment No. 9

Moving moment No. 9

Block that metaphor!
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Moving moment No. 8

Moving moment No. 8

A literary genius–I do not use the word lightly–a gifted painter, and she had PERFECT PENMANSHIP.

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Moving moment No. 7

Moving moment No. 7

One of the best friends the Horn Book has.
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Moving moment No. 6

Moving moment No. 6

Ooh, who remembers this one? In 1982, the library systems of Chicago, Milwaukee, and San Francisco banned Margot Zemach’s Jake and Honeybunch Go to Heaven from their collections (Chicago, from where I followed the whole story avidly, did include it in its two regional research libraries). Unlike the headlines, still popular today, that too-loosely use […]

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