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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Steamroller Keep On Rollin’

News! Of a newslike variety, no less.

KidLitConHere’s a question for you: What is the oldest blogger conference in the United States today? If you said Bookcon you are actually not right at all. The true answer is KidLitCon and this year the Con will take place from November 3-4 in Hershey, PA. You can find all the requisite info here including the jaw-dropping number of authors and bloggers. Trust me when I say that if you blog about books for youth, this is the conference you have to attend. At least once.


So many prizes and awards are coming out! It’s just a delight. The latest lovely are the Kirkus Prize Finalists. I was so incredibly thrilled to see my beloved Bronze and Sunflower included. Man, if that book were written by an American it would be on ALL the Newbery discussion boards this year.


Last year I chaired the 2018 Arbuthnot Lecture Committee for ALSC. This year you can suggest a lecturer of your own. Just head on over to this site and tell them the person you feel is most worthy.


Meanwhile, in Minnesota . . . The Kerlan Collection was up to its usual tricks. And by “tricks” I mean “a masterful exhibition highlighting the techniques and media found in children’s book art.”  Lord, you Minnesotans are lucky. Didn’t know what I had when I lived up round that way.


I know that there were people out there that were upset when they heard that Terry Pratchett’s unfinished novels were destroyed by a steamroller. On purpose. But honestly, after the most recent “found” Shel Silverstein manuscript, I just wish every author followed Terry’s example. Crush the lot of ’em!


AAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!  <— [happy augh of joy stemming from this news]


ThurberI am pleased to hear that the Thurber Prize for American Humor committee has just released the finalists for 2017. That said, it would behoove them to extend the prize to books for teens and children, don’t you think?  Should anyone out there know anyone associated with the Thurber House (Lisa Yee, didn’t you stay there once?) I’d be more than willing to offer myself as a committee member in the future.  *stares at phone, willing it to ring with that news*


Roald Dahl. You gotta give him one thing: He wasn’t boring. Now the news has come out that Dahl originally envisioned Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as black but his editor talked him out of it. The thing is, while I think some Dahl characters could have been black and been the better for it (James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, etc.) you do remember that Charlie Bucket lives in EXTREME poverty, right? How would it look if Dahl’s only black character was the poorest character in the history of children’s literature?  You could have done better, Roald.


Elisha Cooper could pretty much write and illustrate a New York Times piece about the small pebble that exists in the pavement in front of his apartment complex and I’d find it interesting. Fortunately, his most recent piece was about the Great North River Tugboat Race which is, in his own words. “a bit of a plodder.” Come for the art. Stay for the writing.


I don’t live in New York City anymore and from what I can tell everything’s just changing left, right, and central. There’s a Books of Wonder where there was never a bookstore before. People are making documentaries about NYPL. But then there’s Symphony Space’s Thalia Kids Book Club, and everything is right with the world again. They’re launching their new season and I just can’t help but highlight some of their cool events. Check it:’

Friday, October 13 at 6 PM

Sherman Alexie: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (10th anniversary celebration)

Join the winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Sherman Alexie to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his iconic young adult novel. Ages 12+


Sunday, October 15 at 1 PM

Cressida Cowell: The Wizards of Once

The author of the How To Train Your Dragon series presents her enchanting new novel, an exciting adventure filled with giants, witches, wizards, warriors, and the mysterious wildwoods. Cowell will be joined by author Claire Legrand (Foxheart) for an afternoon of conversation, art, fun activities, and a reading from The Wizards of Once. Ages 8-12


Saturday, December 2 at 11 AM

Katherine Paterson: My Brigadista Year

Two-time winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award, Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia) comes to Symphony Space for a conversation on her engrossing historical novel about a young Cuban teenager as she volunteers for Fidel Castro’s national literacy campaign and travels into the impoverished countryside to teach her fellow countrymen how to read. Ages 10-14

Tickets are $17 each ($14 for Symphony Space members and groups). Visit for details.


In other news, it’s time once again to encourage your kids to participate in the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. The rules are simple. Kids need to make 90-second versions of Newbery Award winners. The deadline for submissions is January 12, 2018, though, so get cracking, small cinematic geniuses!


Daily Image:


From Jen Corace re: DACA


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. Thank goodness they got that whole “nominating women” thing out of the way.

    (It made headlines when three women were nominated — for the first time ever — in 2015.)