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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Gleeps! Whiskers! Golly!

  • Good old brackets.  They’re the greatest gift basketball ever gave to children’s literature.  I’m certain you’ve all been following the Battle of the Kids’ Books over at our sister blog here at SLJ.  That upcoming schedule sure looks like a doozy.  3/12 Doll Bones vs Eleanor & Park judged by Lauren Oliver?  Lauren, baby, my condolences.  3/13 Far Far Away vs Flora & Ulysses judged by Sara Mlynowski?  You can bet I’ll be there that day to watch THAT bit of logic.  But if it’s even more brackets you seek, NYPL is doing some Literary March Madness doozies of their own on Instagram.  Around March 9-12 they’ll be posting the childrens/YA brackets.  Hat tip to Morgan Holzer for coming up with the idea for #LiteraryMarchMadness in the first place.  So what’s it going to be?  Shel Silverstein vs. Dr. Seuss?  Beverly Cleary vs. Judy Blume?  The choices are entirely yours.  Good luck with all that.
  • This is not the first time I’ve come across a particularly interesting blog post from the site Teach From the Heart.  I don’t know that many straight up teacher blogs, but what I’ve seen coming out of this site is consistently thought provoking.  Particularly the recent piece Dear Google, You Should Have Talked to Me First which tackles the sticky, thorny subject of Accelerated Reading.  As of this writing, 253 comments and climbing, folks.

Many of you know my true and abiding love of that old Hardy Boys knock-off series The Three Investigators.  Far superior to their contemporaries in every way, The Three Investigators combined good old-fashioned boys detective action adventure heroics with the sensibility of Scooby Doo and the bizarre presence in many of their titles of Alfred Hitchcock (Jim Averbeck take note!).  Sondra Eklund pierces the veil surrounding the trio’s first adventure The Secret of Terror Castle (how can you resist a title like that?) and the results are fabulous.  I mean, the bad guy in the series was named Skinny Norris.  Tell me that’s not the best character name you’ve heard in a while.  Sounds like an escapee from Goodfellas.

  • Ever wondered how to pronounce my name?  Um . . . no.  No you haven’t.  As names go mine is probably one of the easiest to figure out.  Still, that didn’t stop me from putting in an explanation about said name when offered me the chance to appear on their site.  Hear my pronunciation n’ such here, if you’ve a desire to do so.
  • Petition time!  Folks, there’s a children’s literary collection out there that needs you help.  Apparently UC Berkeley has slated their Tolman Children’s Library for closure.  Fortunately some concerned souls found out about this and decided to prevent the event  If you’ve a minute to spare, they would like to get 300 signatures at this time, but they’ve only hit the 200 mark.  So head on over to the petition for Save the Children’s and Young Adult Literature Library in Tolman Hall and see what you can’t do to give them a bit of a boost.  Children’s collections everywhere are facing similar cuts.  It’s nice to feel like you might be able to prevent at least one of these somewhere, somehow.
  • I’ve been quoting the “He seemed to be a permanent bridesmaid” line Vicky Smith came up with in regards to Brian Floca’s win of a Caldecott quite a lot lately.  This was one of the many bon mots on display at the relatively recent Children’s Book Boston gathering, as reported by PW.  Great little piece for those of you wondering how the big ALA Awards get chosen.
  • Me and Business Insider.  We’re like peas in a pod.  I don’t know how financial mags keep hooking me into their productions considering the sheer lack of funds in my own personal life.  First the Forbes article and now this.  Recently BI (I assume someone somewhere presumably calls it BI, right?) asked NYPL if someone like my pretty self could recommend some books that adults should revisit in their waning days.  Or, as they put it, Kids Books Adults Should Read Again As an Adult.  They took the bulk of my suggestions and even integrated some of my comments and news items along the way.  They didn’t mention everything I liked, but I was very impressed that they kept my mentions of Suzuki Beane and Who Needs Donuts.  Well played, guys!

Daily Image:

Know a children’s literary enthusiast in need of some hipster insider children’s lit clothing?  Look no further than this little offering from BustedTees:

Granted it’s clearly making a more specific reference to the movie adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (a movie that I need to rewatch one of these days, if only to confirm that it was as creepy as I recall) but we won’t hold that against it.

Thanks to Alison Morris for the link!

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Even Jorn Tromolto could not mispronounce your name.

  2. The Three Investigators!! Somewhere in my mom’s basement is a complete set of the old library-bound hardcovers I inherited when I was a kid from somebody who outgrew them. I so badly wanted my dad to turn our backyard into a junkyard so I could have some kind of headquarters in an old RV. My dad probably would’ve been up for it, too. My mom, though…

    DO revisit The Secret of NIMH! Do it today. Preferably immediately. It is as creepy as you remember. And far more beautifully animated than you remember. It’s on my couple-times-a-year movie rotation. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get myself a NIMH shirt.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      One of these days I’m going to collect all the authors that loved them some Jupiter Jones and we are going to set out to revitalize and re-establish the 3 Investigators in the public mind, where they belong to this day. Doggone it.

      I remember the beautiful animation. But it was the tone that stuck fast in my head. No one could ever match it in tone.

  3. Betsy! I’m so honored! You quoted my review in the Fuse Eight title! (Quoting Pete Crenshaw, of course.) I’m so excited!

    My co-worker and I are taking turns ordering the books via Interlibrary loan. I just put the 6th one on hold. More commentary on their adventures to follow! 🙂

  4. And, yeah, how cool would it BE when you’re a kid to have a headquarters that you enter via a secret tunnel?