Books & Beyond: Going back to our literacy roots

What would you think if you saw this headline: Where are the books about kids like us? Would you think We Need Diverse Books? I did. Then I read the article, a feature on the KidsPost page commemorating Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday. That question was posed to her in the late 1940s; and it led to the birth of Henry Huggins in 1950. I’m sure many of you know the story. Cleary was a librarian at the time, and a young boy “who wasn’t impressed with the books on the shelves” wanted to know where he’d find a book about a boy like him. The first thing that struck me is that boys DO want to read. They want to see themselves. The … Read more

Celebrating a Reading Life

Three years ago today, we lost my dad to the cruelty that calls itself Lewy-Body Dementia. Each year, my Mom and I commemorate this day with a community service project. As only a reader can understand, my Dad wanted his books donated to our local library. It took us almost two years to catalog the thousands of books in my dad’s personal library. Today, Mom and I are honoring that request by delivering more than 400 books (only about 15 percent of the full collection) to the branch in my my folks’ neighborhood. In tribute, I’m also republishing a post I wrote the day Dad left us.   Today my family is closing a chapter of an incredible story: my … Read more

Rock the Cybils Awards (and 3 Reasons You Should Apply)

The Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (aka Cybils) is not an event … it is a season. My favorite season. Why? Well, I love autumn, I love Christmas, and I love Valentine’s Day, and Cybils happens during them all! Oh, and it is all about my favorite things – reading and talking about children’s and young adult literature. For the first time in years, I won’t be the Chair of the Easy Reader / Early Chapter Book Category. I am so excited for new chair Katie Fitzgerald. Her passion for the genre is limitless and she’s just gonna rock. Don’t miss your chance to rock Cybils season. Here are my top 3 reasons why you should waste no … Read more