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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

RIP Leo Dillon, 1933-2012

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As I’m sure you’ve heard the news already but in case you haven’t, yet another star in the Caldecott firmament went out.  Leo Dillon, perhaps best known as the first African-American winner of the Caldecott Award, has passed away following complications with a recent surgery.  For a recap of his history, his life with Diane, [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #31: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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#31 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865) 58 points A full out absurdist assault at the arbitrary nature of language, Carroll challenges everything about the way we speak and write, from homonyms to idioms. When people talk about children’s movies and books being entertaining for both kids and adults, they usually mean that [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #32: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

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#32 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (1976) 56 points This series took me to a time and place so different from my reality. It opened my eyes and made me think. – Martha Sherod As with all my polls, there is often a shocking derth of authors of color.  However, there [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #33: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

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#33 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (1971) 56 points My Dad was my 5th-grade teacher, and he read this book to our class. When I re-read it in library school I was still affected by the story. I have such fond memories of this book. – Hilary Writt First [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #34: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

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#34 Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (1961) 55 points I remember crying so much through this book, and even today I tear up thinking of Big Dan and Little Ann. I also loaned this to my (then) children’s librarian, because the library copy was always out. I even marked the pages, “Get [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #35: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

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#35 Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (1972) 54 points Nobody can get the voice of kids quite like Judy Blume. Fudge and Peter are every kid and just as relevant today as they were in 1972. – Stacy Dillon The synopsis from the publisher reads, “Living with his little brother, Fudge, [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #36: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

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#36 The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1958) 53 points Somehow I never read this one as a kid, and that fact hasn’t bothered me.  But if you check out the 90-Second Newbery video of this title at the end of this post, you’ll be forced to agree with me when I [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #37: The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

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#37 The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (2007) 53 points Don’t know if this qualifies as a children’s—it’s kind of on the border between middle grade and YA, but it’s one of my favorite books of all time so I’m including it. There’s so much going on, and Schmidt has the wonderful capacity to [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #38: Frindle by Andrew Clements

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#38 Frindle by Andrew Clements (1996) 51 points This book touches me as a teacher, and I can relate to it from the perspective of the students. I can’t read this to my students without choking up over the letter from the teacher. – Dee Sypherd If you’re a children’s librarian then you are probably [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #39: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

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#39 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (2007) 50 points Perfect and artful blending of prose and illustration. – Dee Sypherd No book like it. It reinvents storytelling. It plays with our notion of “the book.” It takes great advantage of the physical nature of “the book.” In the end, the story celebrates [...]

Top 100 Children’s Novels #40: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

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#40 Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (1990) 49 points It’s an old tale. A kid with extraordinary skills simply lives with the ordinary desire to belong. Jeffery is not just a gift to those he touches in the book, but to the readers who champion him. Spinelli’s prose is as rhythmic and swift as his [...]

Top 100 Picture Books #41: Curious George by H.A. Rey

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#41 Curious George by H.A. Rey (1941) 40 points Originally published in 1941, It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of Curious George that this title, and its multitude of subsequent books are still widely circulated, and familiar to young readers. I can see why. Kids can relate to George’s innocently mischievous behavior and his [...]

Top 100 Picture Books #42: Freight Train by Donald Crews

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#42 Freight Train by Donald Crews (1978) 40 points Trains, colors, simplicity. What a mix! – Angela Reynolds Perfect blend of art and language, from the first line to going, going, gone. – Pat Vasilik Ah.  At last we reach another book I like to read to my daughter.  Tell me, does anyone else do [...]

Top 100 Picture Books #43: Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham

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#43 Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, ill. by Margaret Bloy Graham (1956) 40 points Harry the Dirty Dog is another of the few picture books that I remember from my childhood. I include it in my “Dirt and Mud” story time for my toddler story time; while it’s slightly longer than the majority [...]

Top 100 Picture Books #44: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Don Wood

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#44 The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Don Wood (1984) 40 points Great to read aloud and fun to read again and again. Gotta love the expressions on the mouse’s face, the ways he “protects” the strawberry, and the surprise ending. Was there ever a bear? [...]