The Latest His Dark Materials Trailer

This looks amazing. CANNOT WAIT!

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Neal Shusterman’s The Toll, the Finale to the Arc of a Scythe Series, a Spoiler-Free Teaser

On the last day of ALA, I did a final wander of the exhibits right before they closed and received an unexpected and wonderful gift — a bound manuscript of Neal Shusterman‘s The Toll, the finale of his Arc of a Scythe series. (FYI: I was just at the right place at the right time — they had only brought a handful — and I don’t believe I would have been given it if I’d gone by earlier.) No worries, no spoilers here; I’m just letting fans know that I thought it wonderful. On Goodreads I wrote:

I would give this ten stars and more if I could. Extraordinary. One of the best things I’ve read in a while.

I immediately went back and reread Scythe and Thunderhead and now am rereading The Toll. I can’t remember the last time a series finale caused me to do this. Shusterman goes far and wide in every possible way — the characters are further developed and complicated, all of them; the stakes raised believe it or not; the world-building even richer; the themes stratospheric; clever playing with structure; and the writing pure delight.

You all have something splendid awaiting you this fall.

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Last Week in DC

Had a lovely time visiting Washington DC last week, mostly for ALA’s annual convention, but not completely. Some highlights:

  • Visiting the United States Holocaust Museum. I was last there when it opened, but am now contemplating telling my father’s story (who came from Germany in 1936 at age 14) and wanted to see specifically how the museum presented the rise of the Third Reich. Took a ton of pictures and was especially interested in the other visitors. They were respectful and quiet in a way that indicated horror. When resting in the atrium afterward spoke with an older black woman who spoke of having long wanted to come because of the connected stories between blacks and Jews. Sadly this is a museum more timely and necessary than ever.
  • The Coretta Scott King Award’s 50 Anniversary at the Library of Congress.  This was extraordinary, the highlight of my time in DC. I had last been at the Library in 1998 when I was part of the American Memory Fellows program. Among other wonderful experiences we had lunch in the Jefferson building’s hall, but being there this time at night was incredible.  It began with a program that was powerful start to finish. Among the many luminaries who spoke (there were many more in the audience) were Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, Jackie Woodson, Andrea Davis Pinkney, and Kwame Alexander. This was followed with a reception in the hall that was brilliant because of light and attendees. A night to savor and remember. (FYI, be sure to check out the Horn Book Magazine’s Special Issue on the CSK at 50.)
  • The Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast — as always, moving and unique, the speeches all the more heartfelt and important in these hard times.
  • The Pura Belpré Award Ceremony. Each honoree spoke with pain and hope about their work and the current horrific situation on our borders.
  • The Caldecott– Newbery— Legacy Awards Banquet.  A memorable evening with outstanding speeches from Caldecott winner Sophie Blackwell and Newbery winner Meg Medina.  For me it was Christopher Myers’ Legacy Award speech on behalf of his departed father, the one and only Walter Dean Myers, that stood out the most. The printed version is wonderful, but Chris had more to say during his speech. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
  • A visit to the National Portrait Gallery where I was engrossed by the Obama portraits and other exhibits as well such as ” The Struggle for Justice.
  • A visit to the Smithsonian American Art Museum full of iconic art and the exhibit “Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975,”  Having been a young activist during those years this exhibit really hit home for me.

Thank you to all who hosted me, gave me sustenance  (both for the heart and body), and made me feel hopeful about our future even in these dark, dark times.

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Learning More About Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Winner, The Patchwork Bike

Had fun coming up, along with fellow committee members Kim and Cindy, with questions for the creators of The Patchwork Bike, Maxine Beneba Clarke and illustrator Van Thanh Rudd, for Horn Book.  Check them out here.  Also, they are working on a sequel — The Patchwork Sky. Very, very cool.

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Teaching and Learning About Slavery: Worthwhile New Article About This Topic in Children’s Books

Jennifer Frank’s Teaching Tolerance article, “Lies My Bookshelf  Told Me: Slavery in Children’s Literature” is an excellent addition to what is already out there on this topic. With a fresh and clear-sighted tone, Frank unpacks this for those who may have not yet considered it. Several voices are included in the article, among them the University of Pennsylvania’s Professor Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, a leading academic expert it in this topic (and someone I’ve known and admired for decades).  The article ends with a list of “Recommended Books That Address Slavery” and I was incredibly honored to see Africa is My Home among the eleven titles.

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Our Boston Globe Horn Book Award Winners!

Yesterday morning Horn Book Magazine editor Roger Sutton announced the winners at the beginning of School Library Journal’s Day of Dialog. You can see the recording of that here. Participating in this process was a wonderful experience and I can’t thank Roger enough for inviting me to chair the committee and for my thoughtful, flexible, hard reading, hard-working, smart, and enjoyable fellow travelers — Kim L. Parker and Cindy Ritter. Ladies, it was grand and I can’t wait to celebrate these books and their creators with you in October.

Here’s the press release:

THE BOSTON GLOBE–HORN BOOK AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Prestigious Program Honors Excellence in Literature for Children and Young Adults

New York, NY — May 29, 2019 — Today The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners at School Library Journal’s Day of Dialog in New York City. First presented in 1967, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebrate excellence in children’s and young adult literature.

A winner and two honor books were selected in each of three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction. The winning titles must be first U.S. editions of books published between June 2018 and May 2019, but may be written or illustrated by citizens of any country.

“Now this is diversity with a small and capital D!,” said Roger Sutton, Editor in Chief, The Horn Book, Inc. “I’d like to thank the judges for their discriminating choices and commitment to finding ‘excellence’ — the only criterion used by the BGHB Awards — among the vast number of nominations.”

“The Boston Globe has been a proud partner of this prestigious award for more than fifty years, and once again we are privileged to join with The Horn Book, Inc., to celebrate and honor authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult literature,” said Linda Henry, Boston Globe Managing Director. “By sharing their talents, each of the award winners and honorees is inspiring the imaginations of young readers. We celebrate each of them for the contributions they’ve made to the literary community.”

The 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners are: 

PICTURE BOOK AWARD WINNER:
The Patchwork Bike written by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd (Candlewick)

Read The Horn Book’s review.

FICTION AND POETRY AWARD WINNER:
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House)

Read The Horn Book’s review.

NONFICTION AWARD WINNER:
This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Read The Horn Book’s review.

* * *

PICTURE BOOK HONOR BOOKS: 

  • Dreamers written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House)
  • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga written by Traci Sorell; illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge)

Read The Horn Book’s reviews.

FICTION AND POETRY HONOR BOOKS: 

  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (Dial Books/Penguin Random House)
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)

Read The Horn Book’s reviews.

NONFICTION HONOR BOOKS: 

  • Hey, Kiddo written and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix/Scholastic)
  • Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born written by Miranda Paul; illustrated by Jason Chin (Neal Porter Books/Holiday House)

Read The Horn Book’s reviews.

* * *

The awards are chosen by an independent panel of three judges appointed by Sutton. The 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards judges are: chair Monica Edinger, educator, author, and reviewer, New York, NY; Dr. Kim Parker, Assistant Director of the Teacher Training Center, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA; and Cynthia Ritter, Associate Editor, The Horn Book, Inc., Boston, MA.

Winners and honorees will receive their awards at the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards ceremony on Friday, October 4, 2019, at Simmons University in Boston. The event will feature speeches by the awardees, an autographing session, and a celebratory evening reception.

* * *

About The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe, winner of twenty-six Pulitzer Prizes, is New England’s largest news organization, providing more news, analysis, and information about community events, sports, and entertainment than any other local media.

About The Horn Book, Inc.
First published in 1924, The Horn Book Magazine provides its readership with in-depth reviews of the best new books for children and young adults as well as features, articles, and editorials. Its companion publication, The Horn Book Guide, comprehensively reviews all new recommended hardcover books for young people published in the United States each year. The Horn Book Magazine and Guide are publications of Media Source, Inc., which is also the parent company of Library JournalSchool Library Journal, and the Junior Library Guild.

* * *

The 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners and honors were announced at SLJ‘s Day of Dialog and via Facebook Live on May 29th, 2019. For reviews of the winning titles and more, click on the tag BGHB19.

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The 2019 Boston Globe Horn Book Awards Reveal

 

This past weekend I was sequestered at Simmons University, deliberating with Kim L. Parker and Cindy Ritter (with ample tasty donuts and pastries).  After a long and stimulating day (after many months of heavy reading), we had our winners and honors. Next Wednesday, May 29th, Horn Book editor Roger Sutton will announce them at SLJ’s Day of Dialog and I can’t wait to see what you all think. From this blog post:

On Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at 8:30 am EDT, The Horn Book, Inc., Editor in Chief Roger Sutton will be announcing the winners of the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, during School Library Journal‘s Day of Dialog in New York City. Watch live at Facebook.com/TheHornBook, follow us on Twitter @HornBook, and check Hbook.com/bghb19 for more!

 

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