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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

One and Done: Serving on ALSC Committees and Never Coming Back

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Eleven years ago I served on the Newbery committee that would award Susan Patron’s The Higher Power of Lucky one of the loftiest children’s literary awards in the land. Ten years later I was tapped to serve as the chair of the Arbuthnot Lecture committee.  Why the gap in time?  In my particular case it […]

A Trip to the Used Bookstore

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Over at Comic Book Resources, a fellow by the name of Greg Hatcher used to report regularly on all the used bookstores he’d encountered in his travels. Here’s an example of what I mean.  They were fun round-ups with plenty of details and photographs. Back when I lived in NYC I’d read them almost wistfully. […]

The End of child_lit: The Literary Listserv Era Comes to a Close

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I go away for five measly days and look what happens! We briefly lose the sun, questions about ALSC and social media are raised, and then to top it all off the child_lit listserv comes to an end. I found out about it through Facebook, actually. For the past three days I’ve been holed up […]

The Artful Book Display: Getting It Right

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The other day I posted my most popular tweet of all time. I didn’t really mean to but, as with most things on the internet, it’s never the tweet or the post that is most important to you that catches on like wildfire. In this particular case I was at Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville to […]

What Color Is the Past? History, Diversity, and Books for Kids

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The headline caught my eye. In the Guardian it read Mary Beard abused on Twitter over Roman Britain’s ethnic diversity. Subtitle, “Classicist says her assertion that there was at least some diversity under Roman rule led to ‘torrent of aggressive insults’.” Apparently the BBC recently released a video for schools in which a high-ranking Roman […]

Who Killed Louis Slobodkin [‘s Art]? The Case of the Caldecott Award Poster

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This is pretty much as low-tech as a mystery can go. More than anything else it’s a celebration of the fact that I’m not actually losing my mind. Half a year ago I got the chance to help moderate this really cool Mock Caldecott program that one of my librarians set up with the kids […]

Where Are All the Black Boys? A 2017 Assessment and Comparison

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Recently I had a chance to see an upcoming jacket for a 2018 middle grade novel. Check it out: If the name “Varian Johnson” is ringing a bell, it may be because of this cover a couple years ago: His 2018 book, The Parker Inheritance, is billed as having distinct similarities to The Westing Game […]

The Refugee Children’s Books of 2017 and an Ode to The Arrival

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Sometimes people turn to children’s literature in an attempt to ignore the goings on in the world today. But books for kids don’t exist in bubbles. A person could spend their entire life examining the many ways in which the world of adults seeps into books for kids. Why is this? Sometimes it’s unconscious. Sometimes […]

Math Books for Kids: The Truth is Out There

GrandmasTiny

On Monday I gave two talks at the 2017 NerdCamp conference held in Parma, MI. This would be the second time I spoke at the conference and my talks probably couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed. The first was one of those slam dunk panels you hope for. I had the chance of moderating a […]

Newbery Caldecott Wilder Banquet Outfit 2017: Paper Doll

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It began so simply. One year I discovered that it was possible to make your own temporary tattoos. For fun I made some Newbery winners and placed a band of them on one arm right before the Newbery Caldecott Wilder banquet. When the next year rolled around I did two arms, one for the Caldecotts […]

New Fuse 8 n’ Kate Episode: Heather Has Two Mommies

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In honor of Pride Month, Kate and I decided to celebrate with a practical consideration of the most famous same-sex parent book of all time (sorry, Tango).  But here’s the thing – I remembered disliking the original art intensely when I was younger. Does the book actually belong in the children’s literature canon? Is it […]

New Podcast Alert: Mine!

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It’s a little kooky to say, but as strange as it may sound I’ve jumped back into the podcast biz.  Years ago I created a little personal project in NYC that was fun but exhausting!  Today, I am pleased to announce that there’s a new children’s literature podcast in town.  Called Fuse 8 n’ Kate, […]

We Need Diverse Collectables: Why the Collectors of Children’s Books Need to Diversify

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We need diverse books.  But it’s not as simple as you think. When I do presentations for up-and-coming authors and illustrators of children’s books I sometimes show them this slide: Impossible to read here thanks to the teeny tiny type, this is my breakdown of the different factions that make up children’s literature.  To spare […]

Never Meant for Children: The Odd Consumer-Driven Rise of the Graduation Book

FrogInWell

This comes just on the tail end of graduation season, but I’m sure we’ve a couple schools going through the process here and there even now.  And across this great nation, at graduation parties for high schoolers and college grads alike, gifts will be exchanged.  And inevitably some of those gift will be children’s books.  […]

Forgotten Favorites: Remembering the Monster Blood Tattoo Series

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To Do in 2017: Get The Winged Girl of Knossos back in print Watch America finally come to grips with the true glory that is Frances Hardinge Get America to now appreciate Monster Blood Tattoo . . . That’s the nice thing about a To Do list.  You can always find something new to put […]