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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Because it’s not like you can just buy a mitochondria dress anywhere

Yesterday was spent at the New England SCBWI Conference in Springfield, Mass.  Today is being spent moving all my stuff across the street into my brand new home.  As will tomorrow.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.  And the day . . . you get the picture.

To combat this incessant moving, here is a lovely little Fusenews to get the blood pumping to your respective brains.  And, while I’m thinking of it many many thanks to all the lovely people yesterday who watched me blabber for untold minutes and then, inexplicably, felt inclined to watch me blabber onto written pages by buying my books.  A lovelier birthday present I couldn’t have hoped to receive.

And now, the news.


I had a chance to speak to the librarians of the St. Louis County Library system a week or so ago and saw this fabulous method for blind book dates.  I’ve seen this kind of thing before, but look at the attention paid with those little kites.  Somebody truly cared with these. One of the best I’ve seen:



Can someone crowdsource their research process?  Let’s find out!  Consider this a children’s literature version of Missing Richard Simmons except it’s totally okay because the subject in question is dead as a doornail.  Eliza Fenwick appears to have been the Zelig of 18th century Britain.  According to the site Hunting for Mrs. Fenwick, “Eliza knew Coleridge, Charles Lamb and Dorothy Wordsworth among others, and attended the birth of Mary (later Shelley) and the death of Eliza’s mother Mary Wollstonecraft.”  Editors Lissa Paul and Murray Wilcox are on the hunt for further information for this children’s book author.  Are you the missing key?  I, for one, sort of adore this.  It’s like watching A.S. Byatt’s novel Possession happen in real time.


Outrage as a form of publicity?  Nothing would surprise me anymore.  When MIT Press announced that they were publishing a translated edition of the German book Communism for Kids they were shocked that the right-wing newsphere went crazypants on it.  According to PW they had no idea people would get upset, which is probably the case, but even if they didn’t leak the book to Breitbart I bet there’s a publisher out there thinking of titles you could make that would get a lot of press for being controversial in a similar way.


So I did a thing I’d never done before with my partner-in-crime/books Jules Danielson.  A big-time fan of the Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast out of NPR (a.k.a. the only way I know anything about what’s happening outside of children’s literature) I became quite enamored of occasional panelist Margaret H. Willison.  She’s their librarian guest, and she’s quick on her verbal feet.  She also is the creator of the Two Bossy Dames newsletter alongside Sophie Brookover.  If you don’t subscribe, fear not.  You can read the guest piece by Jules and myself featuring material from our book Wild Things and some stuff that didn’t make it into the final, like this little beauty that was originally discovered online by Leila Roy of bookshelves of doom.



Speaking of the Berenstains (you DID notice the authors, didn’t you?) y’all are aware of the Berenstain Bears Conspiracy Theory right?  I’ve run into it more than once this year, and it occurred to me that I never linked to it here.  If you have a chance, check it out.  I sort of love that those bears have inspired a true belief in the notion of parallel universes.


I’m going to delve a LOT deeper into this subject when Banned Books Week rolls around, but until I do I’ll just leave you with this to chew on: Bill Cosby’s ‘Little Bill’ Makes the List of Most Banned Books in 2016.  Why do I suspect I won’t be seeing the cover of one of those books on a Banned Book bracelet or in a display in a library anytime soon?


Me Stuff: You can feel free to skip this but I just wanted to give a HUGE shout out to the blog of author Beth Ain who just wrote the best blog review of the upcoming Funny Girl a gal could ever ask for.  First off, Ain’s blog name is Tin Can Stilts.  I’m mildly jealous because for a long time there I toyed with the notion of making a second blog called Tin Can Phone.  And I could, but “Stilts” might actually be the better moniker.  At any rate, she rocks the review of my book.  Best dang thing I’ve read.  Funny Girl, for the record, has gotten two starred professional reviews but you’ll understand my weakness for the bloggy ones.  In other news I finally fixed my website (don’t ask) so that’s up and running again (if not completely updated).  And, finally, Funny Girl is a PW Summer Reads title.  That means that PW chose only 7 middle grade books you might want to read this summer, and one of them was dear, beloved Funny Girl.


Daily Image:

The true news this week was the nationwide March for Science Protests that happened in cities across America.  These, I am certain, you heard about.  What you might not have heard was how many people dressed up like Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus.  HuffPo, however, did notice and what’s more they linked to pictures. Here’s just a smattering:





There are, I kid you not, a ton more.  Go check them out.  And extra points if you noticed the Lorax shirts in the background.


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. Give me a research question and I shall respond! Eliza Fenwick: I have no idea what the editors already know, but I found some interesting info through google books and worldcat. Have responded on their site.

  2. Naw, I noticed spelling even as a kid. It was always Berenstain. I am absolutely certain.

    • In fact, I always pronounced it “BerenSTAYN.” (We’re talking late 60s here. I’m right, I tell you!)

      See, I wasn’t an adult, so I didn’t know anything about the way it was usually spelled (or pronounced). But we had some Berenstain Bears beginner books… The Honey Hunt and The Bear Detectives…. before those awful “problem novels.” I was reading them myself, so didn’t get the tainted adult pronunciation.