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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is

YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Winner

The winner for YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults was announced at Midwinter! The winner: The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb. From my review: “In 1960, a group of Israeli spies and operatives captured the Nazi fugitive, Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann had been in [...]

Flashback: April 2012

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A look back at what I reviewed in April 2012:  Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown. From my review: “Jennie Lovell’s loved ones left to fight in the Civil War: her twin brother, Tobias; her fiance and cousin, Will Pritchett; and her other cousin, Quinn, Will’s brother. She knew the moment Toby died: could feel it. [...]

Let’s Have a Book Drive!


Here’s the scenario: Something has happened. A library (public or school) is destroyed or damaged, by fire, flood, wind, locust. “I know,” says a well-meaning person. “Let’s have a book drive!” And the books are gathered and sent to the library, so the kids have something. And the people who sent the books — whether [...]

Flashback March 2006

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A look back to what I reviewed in March 2006: Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley. From my review: “Patty Ho is half-Taiwanese, half white. She was born in the United States, but she feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere. At home, there is her ultra-strict mother and overachieving going-to-Harvard [...]

Entertainment Weekly — Kid Lit’s Primary Color

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Entertainment Weekly is one of my favorite magazines, so I was very excited to see this in the April 11, 2014 edition: Kid Lit’s Primary Color: White by Nina Terrero, illustration by David Schwen. A couple of weeks ago, I was doing a Skype visit with a class and the conversation turned to diversity and [...]

Round 4: The Big Kahuna

My prediction: “Far Far Away v Rose Under Fire v (return from grave) Eleanor & Park, Judge Jennifer Holm. And what will win here? I think Eleanor & Park.” How close was I? Boxers & Saints vs P.S. Be Eleven vs Eleanor & Park judged by Jennifer Holm Alas, I wasn’t right enough to really matter — at this point, the odds were against me. [...]

From the Grave

My prediction: “Return from grave guess: Eleanor & Park. See! See what I did? I didn’t pick this earlier in part because I’m convinced it’ll be the book that returns.” And was I right? WAS I RIGHT? Oh, I was. I was.  

Round 3, Match 2

My prediction: “P.S. Be Eleven v Rose Under Fire, Judge Robin LaFevers. I think Rose Under Fire will take this one.” What actually happened?  P.S. Be Eleven vs The Thing About Luck judged by Robin LeFevers. So, going in, half-right! Alas, the wrong half: P.S. Be Eleven moved on to Round 4. I think, much as it’s fun to read the decisions [...]

Round 3, Match 1

My prediction: “Boxers & Saints v Far Far Away, Judge Patrick Ness. I’m putting my money on Far Far Away.” What it was: Boxers and Saints vs Far Far Away! YAY. What advanced: Boxers and Saints. BOO. I am not booing Ness’s decision; no, I’m booing myself and luck in that I didn’t guess the right title. Ah, [...]

Round 2, Match 4

My prediction: “Rose Under Fire v True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Judge Katherine Marsh. Another choice between two books I read; and so I’m picking Rose.” The actual match: The Thing About Luck vs The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp judged by Katherine Marsh. And for the third time, half-right. So all I needed was for True Blue [...]