Book Buzz Blog
The African-American dolls on display at the Headquarters Library in Fredericksburg include a ballerina, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and an African queen. Collector Myra Dicks even has a Jackie Robinson action figure in its original box. Kids who are fascinated by the dolls will enjoy meeting Miss Hickory, Tottie, Traction Man and other great doll characters from children’s books.
Stonewall Hinkleman is a typical twelve-year-old boy whose parents are ardent Civil War re-enactors. This means that every weekend he’s dragged (his word) to another Civil War battle site. His father reveres an ancestor, Cyrus Hinkleman, who fought and died in the war, despite the fact that, as Stonewall puts it, “He was shot in the butt… Which can only mean one thing. He was running away when he was shot.” Dressed in a scratchy wool uniform and dragging a bugle that he barely knows how to play, Stonewall sulks around wishing he could play his Game Boy.
She's been compared to Hans Christian Andersen and that clever fable maker Aesop. For children (and adults!) in today's world, her carefully crafted stories sing with a timeless rhythm and an honest truth. Her family's Russian-Jewish roots have given her the jumping-off place for many a tale (And Twelve Chinese Acrobats, Firebird, and Baba Yaga), but some stories seem to drawn from the heart of the world itself.
Jane Yolen, born in New York City on February 11, 1939, showed a talent for writing early on when she wrote and composed the words and music to her grade school pageant, starring as the lead carrot. She seems to have never slowed down during her years in high school: news editor of the school paper, Spanish club vice president, singing with the a capella choir, and captain of the varsity basketball team. Summers spent at a Vermont camp run by Quakers influenced her deeply. Several of her later books (The Gift of Sarah Barker and Friend: The Story of George Fox and the Quakers) relate to this period of spiritual growth.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead has won the 2010 Newbery Medal!
When You Reach Me, set in 1979, is about a twelve-year-old New York City girl who is in the midst of reading A Wrinkle in Time when she begins to receive a series of mysterious notes from an anonymous source that seem to defy the laws of time and space.
Rebecca Stead is also author of First Light, about New York City boy who accompanies his parents on a research trip to Greenland where he meets a mysterious 14 year-old girl named Thea who lives below the ice.
I'm here in blustery, snowy Boston with about a thousand librarians and publishers gathered in the convention center to find out what books have won the prestigious awards for young people's literature. There’s a buzz of speculation as people ask each other, “What do you think will win?” or “What is the book you gave your heart to this year?”
The action-packed books in the new Amazing Adventure Books list are perfect for a snowy winter afternoon. These stories are guaranteed to keep you glued to your seat as you experience the perils of crash landing in an icy wilderness, battling with pirates over treasure, or speaking with lions as you try to find your kidnapped parents. Browse the list and check out a new adventure today.
The youngest people on your holiday giving list would appreciate a copy of Chris Gall’s “Dinotrux,” a proven hit with little boys (and girls, too, I’m sure). According to Gall, many millions of years ago, dinotrux ruled the earth. Part dinosaur and part truck, creatures like Semisaur and Garbageadon terrorized the cave men for millennia, until finally rusting away. The trucks we see today are merely their tame descendants.
When Minfong Ho was a small girl, she listened. She listened to her parents who taught her all those necessary things that parents do. Their words were Chinese, and their words went straight into her heart, giving her wisdom and strength.
When Minfong became a little older, she played in the streets, marketplaces, and temple fairs of Bangkok. All around her, she heard life being experienced: the shouting, the playing, the prayer, the love, and the daily work. It was time to grow, a time to learn how to do the practical things. Minfong came to think of Bangkok’s Thai language as the language of doing; the language of her hands.
Two kinds of young readers are hard to buy books for: the reader who reads everything, and the reader who reads nothing. For the first kind of reader, finding out what the child has read lately can help avoid the disappointment of a second or third copy of a book that the recipient has already read. For the second type of reader, try informational books.
Nonfiction appeals to kids who don’t read much, because these books tend to have strong visual elements and often allow readers to jump around in the text depending on what interests them most. Believing firmly that you can’t make kids read but have to meet them where they are, I suggest the following stellar nonfiction for reluctant readers on your list.
What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by creating a festive — and edible — holiday decoration that has been a Christmas tradition for centuries: gingerbread!