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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Finding the Funny: The Newbery Award and Various Works of Hilarity

New Cover

Do funny books get short shrift when award season comes ah-knockin’?  It’s not a ridiculous notion.  After all, the Oscars are notorious for consistently promoting and lauding saddy sad performances and films over their funnier contemporaries.  So I took a gander at some of the recent winners of the Newbery Award (and Honors) and determined […]

Summer Reading Lists: Worst Titles Ever


Recently I was admiring two different but certainly related articles online.  The first was Mike Lewis’s Non-Required Summer Reading List, which is just the loveliest little PDF of fun summery read titles.  A great list in and of itself. The second piece was the infinitely useful article How Teachers Can Create a Summer Reading List […]

Second Novels We Wish We Could Read


Like the rest of America I have watched, enthralled, the debate going on at the child_lit listserv as to whether or not folks should/are choosing to eschew reading Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. I’m sorry, what that? I’m being informed that despite my opinions on the matter, America does not collectively read child_lit.  I […]

The Kidlit Swap Method: Children’s Literary Equivalents of Popular Adult Titles


Look, I know how hard you work.  You’re busy.  And when it comes to your pleasure reading you don’t always have time to dip into the latest 450 page history or novel.  Who does these days? Now there’s a timesaver that will solve all your woes.  Introducing the Kidlit Swap Method.  All you need to […]

Fake Newbery Winners: Create Your Own Title


So I’m reading through the latest issue of School Library Journal, checking out which books got some stars in the back, and I notice something in the middle grade novel section.  Three titles in particular catch my eye: A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu The Seventh Most […]

When Clothing Approximates Sexism (and other woes)


A friend of mine who is not particularly into the children’s literary world, except that she has small children and reads to them, forwarded on to me this recent article in Vox.  It sports the clickbait title I never noticed how racist so many children’s books are until I started reading to my kids.  It’s […]

Kidlit Drink Night Returns! For One Night Only


They said it was dead. They said it was over. They said it would never return again.  But what they didn’t count on was the fact that when I leave a city I doggone LEAVE a city!  Ladies and gentlemen, I have grabbed my jumper cables, attracted a lightning storm of epic proportions, and rejuvenated […]

Karen Cushman Cover Reveal (are you ready for a fantasy novel?)


You read that right, folks.  Karen Cushman has a new book coming out (hooray!) and it’s not like her books in the past.  Cushman has embraced her fantastical side in her latest title, Grayling’s Song.  Here’s the plot description: “When Grayling’s mother, wise woman Hannah Strong, starts turning into a tree, Hannah sends Grayling to […]

International Migratory Bird Day or Bye Bye, Birdie


Those canny readers amongst you will notice immediately that the date of this post is all wrong.  What am I trying to pull here?  After all, International Migratory Bird Day (as every good schoolchild knows) is always held on the second Saturday in May.  Yet here I am on June 29th, saying unto you that […]

Newbery / Caldecott 2016: Summer Prediction Edition


The Summer Prediction edition of my Caldecott/Newbery ponderings is always a tricky beast.  If the spring edition is looking primarily at books coming out in the spring, summer, and early fall, then the summer edition is looking at almost the entire year. However, at this point I’m still relying more on buzz than the considered […]

We Are the Book Champions, My Friends


Here’s how I blog. I sit around, twiddling my thumbs, waiting waiting waiting for someone else to write something on a topic that has been bubbling and percolating in my noggin.  Then, when they go that extra mile, I STRIKE!  Today’s example: Travis Jonker’s piece Where Do You Fall On The Book Critic/Book Champion Continuum?  […]

Let’s Put On a Show! The Introvert’s Dilemma


The other day Monica Edinger writes to me, ” I hate performing in public and am far more comfortable shmoozing at dinners and lunches. You seem to be just the opposite.”  An interesting statement, to be sure.  For while I love me a good lunch and dinner shmooze, I certainly won’t pass up an opportunity […]

Cover Reveal: Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin


Folks sometimes ask me if I’ll ever do cover reveals of debuts.  It’s an interesting question.  Often the books that I’m doing cover reveals of are by authors or illustrators that I admire.  If I’m doing a review of someone new, how do I know they’re any great shakes?  I don’t, of course, but sometimes […]

Buttocks — Fiction

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 9.26.05 PM

Full credit (or blame, depending on how you look at it) goes to MK Eagle and Gretchen Kolderup on this one.  It’s a pretty simple post.  Hardly worth mentioning . . . except that at heart I think we’re all 10-year-olds.  And it’s completely librarian related, so I don’t even know if you’ll be as […]

Gary Soto, the Art of Not Writing for Children, and the Public Shame Theater


I was flipping through my most recent copy of Horn Book feeling pretty special since I’ve an article in there (“Apples to Elephants: Artists in Animation”) and when I get to the back I see a mention of a book I’ve never heard of before: Why I Don’t Write Children’s Literature by Gary Soto. If […]