Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Interview with Karen Jameson

Karen Jameson, my good friend and critique partner, is the author of MOON BABIES, illustrated by Amy Hevron (Putnam, 2019). Her new lullaby book, WOODLAND DREAMS, illustrated by Marc Boutavant, releases from Chronicle Books on October 27th. WOODLAND DREAMS is featured on Today.com’s list of 36 Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds 2020 and will be reviewed by the New York Times! In addition, WOODLAND DREAMS is being published in French, Chinese, and Italian.


So, Karen, can you tell us a little bit about WOODLAND DREAMS?

Woodland Dreams is the first of three bedtime stories releasing from Chronicle Books. At the time I wrote it, I was teaching a third grade unit on habitats and was surprised to learn that most of my students had little, if any, knowledge of woodland flora and fauna. That inspired me to create a bedtime story featuring them.

Here’s a little blurb from the publisher’s website:

“In Woodland Dreams, young readers say goodnight to beloved woodland animals as they prepare to sleep. This sweet bedtime book is at once a picture book and a lullaby, pairing familiar bedtime routines with nonfiction elements. From the fox curling up in her den to the turtle dozing off in his shell, Woodland Dreams will send your little one off to sleep with a gentle and loving goodnight.”

With two picture books already published, two more scheduled to come out in the next two years, and even more in the pipeline, I think it’s fair to say that you’ve hit your stride as an author in this genre. Can you talk a little about how you got here?

Since my first four books are bedtime stories, I like to joke that my author superpower is putting people to sleep! Ha! All joking aside, I tried writing different kinds of picture books in the five years prior to my first sale. My stride came after realizing that my authentic writing voice is quiet and lyrical. Bedtime books are a perfect fit.

A big part of getting to this place was being intentional about setting writing goals, marking them in a calendar, and following through.

Do you have any advice for aspiring kidlit writers out there?

Here are my Top 10 Tips for Pre-published Authors:
  1. Join SCBWI. Attend the events that speak to you.
  2. Jump in! Say YES to contests, conference extras, and other opportunities.
  3. Reach out and network.
  4. Join Twitter.
  5. Critique. A good critique group is worth its weight in gold!
  6. Keep studying craft.
  7. Keep revising.
  8. Research editors and agents for a good fit.
  9. Query and submit when your work is polished.
  10. Have fun! The kidlit community is the best!

The illustrations in WOODLAND DREAMS are gorgeous! Did you provide illustration notes?

I was so fortunate to be paired with the talented Marc Boutavant for this project! His painterly woodland creatures and brilliant use of color are breathtaking.

Free of illustration notes, Marc created his own woodland world. I love his interpretation of the story, which included the main character sketching her way through the woods. Her childlike drawings are featured in a gallery-like spread at the end of the book. Genius!

What can we look forward to next?

Look for Farm Lullaby (Fall 2021) and Where Wee Ones Go (Spring 2022), both from Chronicle Books! A nonfiction picture book—not yet announced—will be coming out from a different publisher in 2022, as well. I’m excited about some nonfiction and concept books I have in the works. I’ll keep you posted! Thank you, Lynn!

Karen Jameson is the author of MOON BABIES (Putnam, 2019) and WOODLAND DREAMS (Chronicle, 2020). Upcoming titles include FARM LULLABY and WHERE WEE ONES GO (Chronicle, 2021 & 2022). More stories are in the works! Lover of books, wildflowers, farmers’ markets and everything chocolate, Karen writes from sunny Southern California.

Karen is delighted to give away a copy of WOODLAND DREAMS to one lucky reader (US resident only, please) who posts a comment below by October 28th. Good luck!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

October Recommendations

Novels:

IGNITING DARKNESS, by Robin LaFevers, is the glorious conclusion to the Courting Darkness duology. There’s enough action, intrigue, romance, and betrayal to keep readers up late for many a night. And if you haven’t encountered LaFevers’s assassin nuns before, please go find the book that started it all, Grave Mercy. It’s the first in the His Fair Assassin trilogy, which precedes this duology. It’s all top-notch fantasy! (YA)

WE DREAM OF SPACE, by Erin Entrada Kelly, tells the story of Cash, Fitch, and Bird, who live with parents who fight—a lot. Cash loves basketball, but was kicked off the team for failing seventh grade last year, and he’s in danger of failing again. Fitch is obsessed with his favorite video game, but his temper scares his friends and family—and himself. Bird is a space nerd, obsessed with becoming NASA’s first female shuttle commander, but it’s 1986 and her class is closely watching the lead-up to the launch of the Challenger mission… Bird emerges as a sweet but sensitive, quiet child, one who easily becomes lost in a rambunctious household. The author does a terrific job of presenting this page turner without passing judgement on any of her complex characters. (MG)

THE FABLED STABLES: WILLA THE WISP, by Jonathan Auxier, illustrated by Olga Demidova, features Auggie who works at said Fabled Stables looking after one-of-a-kind creatures, some of which are “magical," some “mysterious," and some “just plain weird.” When a new stall appears, heralding the arrival of a wisp named Willa, Auggie must brave a dark swamp to find and bring her back —before three nasty hunters capture her. The language in this chapter book for ages 6 to 9 makes it fun as a read-aloud, and plenty of whimsical illustrations should appeal to emerging readers. (CB)


Picture Books:

SOAKED, by Abi Cushman, is narrated by one very gloomy bear. It’s raining and his ice cream cone is wet, and his cave is crowded, and he can’t find his umbrella… But when he helps out his friend, a hula-hooping moose, he discovers at least one thing that’s fun in the rain. The pencil and digital illustrations are full of movement and nicely capture the emotions of the dismal bear and his rather more upbeat friends. Bear’s voice should be especially fun as a read-aloud.

WHEN I DRAW A PANDA, by Amy June Bates, is a terrific exploration of the joys to be found in following your own creativity wherever it leads, as opposed to adhering to the “right” way of doing things. A young girl gets upset when she’s told her perfectly drawn circle is “a little wonky,” but finds joy as she describes her “not-perfect” way of working. Luckily, her panda agrees! Delightful watercolor, gauche, pastel, and colored pencil illustrations complete the package.

THANK YOU, MIYUKI, by Roxane Marie Gallierz, illustrated by Sen Soun Ratanavanh, is the third book in this endearing series about the diminutive, always-impatient Miyuki, who lives with her gentle, understanding grandfather. In this installment, Miyuki wants to learn to meditate, so Grandpa shows her in terms she can understand. Also look for Time for Bed, Miyuki, and Patience, Miyuki. All are whimsically illustrated in watercolors and colored pencils.

--Lynn

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Shelf Awareness--The Left-Handed Booksellers of London

YA Review: The Left-Handed Booksellers of London


The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix (Katherine Tegen Books, 416p., ages 14-up, 9780062683250)

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London delivers a fantastic journey through a 1983 England where mythic beings from the Old World threaten the safety of the New.

When Susan Arkshaw turns 18, she leaves her mum and the family farm behind and goes to London to find a father she's never known. She meets the gloriously dressed, "shape-shiftery" Merlin as he is executing her mother's old friend with a pin made of "silver-washed steel." (Apparently "Uncle" Frank was a crime boss and a blood-drinking "Sipper"--said to be the basis for the vampire legend.) When the police arrive, Susan finds there's a special branch devoted to covering up "the ancient weird sh*t" that sometimes bubbles to the surface of her world. Merlin is part of the St. Jacques family, booksellers all with the mission of making sure "most Old World entities are bound" and thus unable to interfere in the "prosaic human world"--that is, "reality." Merlin is left-handed and deals with, in his words, the more "active stuff," while his sister, Vivien, is a right-handed researcher sort who can "weigh the truth." Susan, Merlin and Vivien set off to find Susan's father before the supernatural activities escalate any further.

Fans of Garth Nix's other works, such as the Old Kingdom series or Angel Mage, should enjoy this exhilarating volume. Action, light romance and otherworldly machinations keep the tension flowing as Nix reveals a warm-hearted and clever fantasy. Readers will almost certainly leave this magical London searching for hints of the Old World peeking through our own. --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI.

Discover: In Garth Nix's smart literary fantasy, 18-year-old Susan Arkshaw arrives in London looking for her father and is greeted by all manner of supernatural creatures.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

October's Book of the Month--The Phantom Twin

October’s Book of the Month is THE PHANTOM TWIN, by Lisa Brown. A ghost story just in time for October’s longer nights and Halloween.

Jane and Isabel, collectively called Jan-Iss, are conjoined twins who share an arm and a leg. They’ve been sold by their parents to a carnival sideshow, where they perform with the other “freaks” who soon make up their real family. Jane is the bossier twin, so when she decides they will undergo surgery to become separated, they do it, despite Iss’s misgivings.

Then Jane dies on the operating table, leaving her twin all alone—and yet not! Promising they will be together “no matter what,” Jane haunts Iss, becoming “not just a phantom limb,” but a “whole phantom person.”

Iss goes back to the carnival and does odd jobs, but she struggles to find her place. A new, custom-made prosthetic arm and leg may hold some answers...

This mildly spooky graphic novel is worth at least one read, and maybe two or three. The accomplished art clearly and cleverly illustrates a heartfelt story—it’s beautifully designed and I’m in love with Brown’s palette and color choices.

Really, don’t miss this one!

--Lynn

Friday, September 25, 2020

Shelf Awareness--I Talk Like a River

PB Review: I Talk Like a River


I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott, illus. by Sydney Smith (Neal Porter Books, 40p., ages 4-8, 9780823445592)

In this moving, deeply personal account, I Talk Like a River explains how one boy navigates "a bad speech day" with the help of his understanding father and a visit to his "favorite place in the world."

The boy wakes each morning with "the sounds of words all around," but some are too difficult to say. One especially unbearable day, his teacher insists that he answer a question. The child's classmates watch his "lips twist and twirl," their mouths "giggling and laughing" while he tries to speak. Fortunately, after school, his dad suggests a trip to the river, a river that moves the way the boy speaks--"bubbling, churning, whirling, and crashing" before it finds its "smooth and glistening" calm after the rapids. The boy finds comfort here because, just like him, "even the river stutters."

By tying the experience of stuttering to nature, award-winning poet Jordan Scott (who is a stutterer) skillfully allows the protagonist to feel part of a grander design, and the hurt caused by a mouth that "isn't working" can be put into perspective. Scott's end notes explain how the river taught him "to think differently about fluency," and his beautiful text attests to his success. Sydney Smith's (Small in the City) astonishing watercolor, ink and gouache art illuminates what is written, and what lies beneath. The impressionistic paintings bring readers close to the boy's pain and allow them to experience, seemingly firsthand, his solace, too. There is plenty for all readers to glean from this boy's "proud river." --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI.

Discover: A trip to the river gives a boy who stutters a new way to look at his relationship with words.

Friday, September 18, 2020

September Recommendations

Novels:

SKUNK AND BADGER, by Amy Timberlake, with pictures by Jon Klassen, is a fun story of mismatched friends. Badger is staying in Aunt Lula’s brownstone while she’s away, doing “IMPORTANT ROCK WORK" and enjoying his privacy. When Skunk turns up on the doorstep with permission to stay, too, chaos--and way too many chickens--ensue. How these two learn to get along is an energetic odd couple story readers seven to ten should appreciate. (Chapter Book)

In MONSTER AND BOY, by Hannah Barnaby, illustrated by Anoosha Syed, there’s "a monster who loved a boy,” even though they’ve never met. The monster lives under the boy’s bed and, one night, the monster decides it’s time to introduce himself. Unfortunately, the boy looks like he’s about to scream, so the monster, well, he swallows the boy. The rest of this first-book-in-a-new-series is concerned with getting the boy out of the monster’s stomach. It’s pretty darn cute. (Chapter Book)

THE BLACK KIDS, by Christina Hammonds Reed, is historical fiction that couldn’t feel more timely. It takes place during the violent protests in Los Angeles which follow the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. Ashley is black, but her three longtime best friends are white, her neighborhood is white, and she goes to an exclusive, mostly white private high school. But, as the city burns, long-hidden issues of race bubble to the surface, and Ashley has to figure out who she is and what she stands for. Timely, yes, but the novel is beautifully written and constructed, and it’s a terrific read. (YA)


Picture Books:

A BOWL FULL OF PEACE: A True Story, by Caren Stelson, illustrations by Akira Kusaka, is the story of Sachiko and her family, who live in Nagasaki, Japan. WWII makes life extremely difficult, and Grandmother’s precious bowl, which has “passed from mother to daughter” too many times to count, is not nearly as full of good food as it was before the war. After a devastating bomb falls on the community, Sachiko’s family will never be the same. This book is for older picture book readers, and the focus is on Sachiko’s survival, the comfort of Grandmother’s green bowl, and hope for the future. The accomplished art—digitally painted--adds quite a bit to the mood and depth of this story.

YOU MATTER, by Christian Robinson, is a sweetly reassuring affirmation that everyone, "the first to go and the last,” “those who swim with the tide and those who don’t,” “even if you are really gassy," indeed each and every one of us, matters. Illustrated in Robinson’s signature acrylic paint and collage art, which adds an element of natural history, this is a love letter to our planet and all who inhabit it.

UNSTOPPABLE, written by Adam Rex and illustrated by Laura Park, is the kind of book that should have kids rolling with laughter. It’s the over-the-top story of how a bird and a crab decide to join forces, so together they can both fly AND pinch with claws. They become Crabbird! or (Birdrab! depending on who you ask) and they are UNSTOPPABLE! Then a turtle who swims joins in (Craburtlebird! Birdraburtle! or Crabturd! depending on who you ask) and so on until, finally, they are Congresibirdraburtlebear and they have saved their lakefront and they are UNSTOPPABLE!!!

--Lynn

Saturday, September 12, 2020

2020 SCBWI Central/Coastal California Books

Here are some fabulous 2020 books by authors in the SCBWI Central/Coastal community!


Honey, the Dog Who Saved Abe Lincoln
by Shari Swanson, Illustrated by Chuck Groenink
Katherine Tegen Books, January 14, 2020
Ages 4 and up. ISBN 0062699008

Deeply researched and charmingly told, this is the true story of one extra-special childhood rescue—a dog named Honey.

Long before Abraham Lincoln led the nation or signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he was just a barefoot kid running around Knob Creek, Kentucky, setting animals free from traps and snatching frogs out of the jaws of snakes.

One day, young Abe found a stray dog with a broken leg and named him Honey. He had no idea that the scruffy pup would find his way into Abe’s heart, become his best friend, and—one fateful day—save his life.


Sweet Tamales for Purim
by Barbara Bietz, illustrated by John Kanzler
August House, February 11, 2020
Grades K-2. 32 pages. ISBN 9781947301610

Many Jewish families helped settle, diverse communities in the desolate, desert terrain of the Old West. Although Sweet Tamales for Purim is a work of fiction, it is inspired by a true event. In 1886, the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society of Tucson planned a Purim Ball for the entire community. Barbara tells the story from the perspective of a young girl, who along with her friend, Luis plan to create a Purim festival for their town.


Jacob Riis’s Camera: Bringing Light to Tenement Children
by Alexis O’Neill, illustrated by Gary Kelley
Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane, March 18, 2020
Grades 3-6. 48 pages. ISBN 978629798660

This revealing picture book biography of pioneering photojournalist and social reformer Jacob Riis showcases how this once homeless Danish immigrant brought to light one of the worst social justice issues plaguing New York City in the late 1800s – the tenement housing crisis – using newly invented flash photography. Back matter includes author’s notes, timeline, sources, suggestions for further exploration, and a selection of Riis’s photographs.


Giant
by Greg Trine
Malamute Press, April 2020
7-10 years. 168 pages. ISBN 9781733958936

The fairytale got it all wrong…
The big scary giant didn’t die…
Because falling and dying are two different things…
Yes, the Giant fell, but did he die? Not at all, not even close.
This book, GIANT, tells his story—the giant’s story.
About how he fell from the sky and lived to tell the tale. This tale.


Evie's Field Day: More Than One Way To Win
by Claire Annette Noland, illustrated by Alicia Teba
Cardinal Rule Press, May 1, 2020
Grades K-2. 32 pages. ISBN 9781733035903

Evie loves to run, jump hop, and win. She even has ribbons and trophies to prove it. So, when field day comes around, she is sure she will add to her winning collection. When Evie finds herself ahead of the pack, she is faced with an important decision.

Does she choose the chance at a trophy or the chance to be a good friend? Join Evie as she navigates the playground and learns the ins and outs of sportsmanship.


Unbeatable Betty: Betty Robinson, the First Female Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist
by Allison Crotzer Kimmel
HarperCollins, June 9, 2020
Preschool-3. 40 pages. 9780062896070

An inspiring picture book biography of the first woman to win a gold medal in track and field. Young readers intrigued by the Summer 2021 Olympics in Tokyo will be inspired by this story. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It’s a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children.

"This powerful volume provides a specific but inspiring tale of athletics, feminism, resilience, and teamwork. This vivid portrait is sure to encourage young readers and listeners to pursue their dreams." —Kirkus


Trick-Or-Treat with Tow Truck Joe
By June Sobel, illustrated by Patrick Corrigan
HMH Books for Young Readers, July 14, 2020
Grades Preschool-2. 12 pages. 9780358063674

The cars and trucks of Motor City are dressed up to trick-or-treat in this holiday adventure from the world of Tow Truck Joe. Joe and his pup, Patch, find surprises around every curve—and readers find surprises under every giant lift-the-flap—in this rhyming board book that’s more beep than boo!


How to Live on the Edge
by Sarah Sheerger
Carolrhoda Lab, Aug 4, 2020
Grades 8-12. 312 pages. ISBN 9781541578890

"How to Live on the Edge" is the story of two sisters whose shared history impacts them in dramatically different ways. Cayenne and Saffron lost their mother to breast cancer when they were very young. The women in their family have a history of dying young. Cayenne figures she'll meet the same fate, so she might as well enjoy life now, engaging in death-defying risks like dodging trains and jumping off cliffs with her boyfriend.

When Cayenne receives a series of video messages her mother made for her before dying, she isn’t sure she wants them. Her aunt Tee has been her true mother figure. But then Aunt Tee tests positive for a BRCA gene mutation—the one that doomed Cayenne’s mom—and decides to get a mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing cancer. As Cayenne helps her aunt prepare for the surgery, she finds herself drawn to her mother’s messages, with their musings on life, love, and perseverance. For the first time, Cayenne starts to question what it truly means to live life to the fullest, and consider what she's willing to sacrifice to stay alive.

Booklist calls "How to Live on the Edge" "an important addition to young adult literature”.


The Pirate Princess
By Alva Sachs, illustrated by Patricia Krebs
Three Wishes Publishing Company, July 22, 2020
32 pages. ISBN 9780979638053

Madison and her friends, Jonah, Sofia, Hannah, and Jackson were going to play outside, but it was raining. Somehow, this rainy day turned into an exciting adventure. Join us, matey, for an amazing journey on the high seas. Land ho! Become a part of the pirate crew and follow the map in search of buried treasure!


Lulu and the Hunger Monster
by Erik Talkin, illustrated by Sheryl Murray
Free Spirit Publishing, August 24, 2020
K-4. 40 pages. ISBN 9781631985461

In his new children’s picture book for 5-10 year olds, Erik Talkin explores the world of Lulu, a brave girl who is trying to help herself and her mom face a monster called hunger. Through colorful language and vivid illustrations, it empowers both those kids who might need help and also their friends to build empathy, and create real world solutions together. Find out more at hunger-monster.com or eriktalkin.com.


Dinomighty
by Greg Trine/Doug Paleo, illustrated by Aaron Blecha
Etch/HMH Books for Young Readers, September 1, 2020
Grades 3-7. 224 pages. ISBN 9780358331568

A wildly funny full-color graphic novel about dinosaur heroes on a quest to fight for good over evil.

On their own, they are four mild-mannered dinos, but together they are . . . DINOMIGHTY!

Everything is pleasant and good in Dinotown . . . until Teri-Dactyl discovers a cryptic email that says the precious Golden Egglettes are in danger! Dinomighties unite! But can they spring into action fast enough to save these valuable jewels from evil baddies?

Readers of Dog Man, Hilo, and The Bad Guys will love the outrageous and zany humor paired with the action-packed adventure in this exciting graphic novel series.


Quiet No More
by Nikki Barthelmess, sequel to The Quiet You Carry
North Star Editions, October 13, 2020
Grades 10-12. 352 pages. ISBN 9781635830637

College freshman Victoria Parker is moving on with her life after surviving her father’s sexual abuse and six months of foster care. She’s navigating the adult sphere for the first time and balancing old friendships with new adventures. But when Victoria’s long-lost aunt shows up, asking Victoria to lie about her father’s assault so he’ll get a lighter sentence, Victoria’s fractured past collides with campus politics as she figures out whether and how to share her truth as a survivor.

"A sensitive and satisfying story of surviving sexual abuse."—Kirkus Reviews


Woodland Dreams
by Karen Jameson, illustrated by Marc Boutavant
Chronicle Books, October 27, 2020
Preschool-K. 32 pages. ISBN 9781452170633

Say goodnight to all your favorite woodland animals as they prepare to sleep, each with their own special nighttime routine. Watch as every animal returns to their warm and cozy woodland home, from the fox curling up in her den to the turtle dozing off in his shell. And once every creature is tucked in tight, shhh... It's time to say goodnight.

“A sonorous, soporific invitation to join woodland creatures in bedding down for the night. . . . Jameson displays a rare gift for harmonious language and rhyme. . . . Sweet fare for bed- or naptimes, with a light frosting of natural history.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Love Can Come in Many Ways
by Terry Pierce, illustrated by Suzy Ultman
Chronicle Books, October, 20, 2020
Baby-3. 18 pages. ISBN 9781452172606

Love Can Come in Many Ways celebrates the many diverse ways animals, and humans, show their love. Beneath each of the felt flaps is a wealth of snuggles, hugs, and loving engagement. “A smile, a kiss, a word of praise, love can come in many ways.”


Santa and the Goodnight Train
by June Sobel, Illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
HMH Books for Young Readers, October 6, 2020
Preschool-3. 32 pages. ISBN 9780358362661

Next stop, the North Pole! It’s Christmas Eve, and the Goodnight Train is on a roll, racing mischievous Santa through a winter wonderland. Hear the jingle bells, taste some candy canes, and spy a flying hoof or two on a merry ride to Dreamland—with one magical detour—in this Christmas companion to The Goodnight Train and The Goodnight Train Rolls On! Ho-ho-hold on tight for this unforgettable holiday ride!


That Monster on the Block
by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, illustrated by Luke Flowers
Amazon/Two Lions, October 1, 2020
Preschool-3. 32 pages. ISBN 9781542005333

Monster is excited to see what kind of creature will move into Vampire’s old house on the block. He even starts practicing his welcome growl for the new neighbor. But when the moving truck pulls up, it’s not a greedy goblin, an ogre, or a dastardly dragon that steps out. Instead, it’s something even more terrifying than Monster could have imagined! Monster quickly rallies the other neighbors to unite against the new guy on the block. But what if the new neighbor isn’t exactly as bad as Monster thinks? Join Monster as he confronts his fears in this charming and lighthearted look at what it means to accept others who are different from us.


Now I'm a Bird
by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, illustrated by Renia Metallinou
Albert Whitman & Company, October 1, 2020
Preschool-3. 32 pages. ISBN 9780807523292

Julianna didn’t mean to be a bird. It just happened, feather by feather. “It’s a rare and beautiful condition,” explains the note her mom sends to school, though it doesn’t help with the teasing. But Julianna’s wings take her to places she hadn’t imagined, with a birds-eye view that gives her a new perspective and the courage to find a flock of her own. Told with kid-friendly humor and heart, this is a unique story about embracing the wild and wonderful parts of ourselves and others.


The Efficient, Inventive (Often Annoying) Melvil Dewey
by Alexis O’Neill, illus. by Edwin Fotheringham
Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills & Kane, November 10, 2020
Gr 2-5. 40 pages. ISBN 978-1684371983

The man behind the Dewey Decimal Classification system, used in libraries world-wide, was quirky and controversial. Obsessed with efficiency, enamored with decimals, and determined to start a school for librarians at Columbia in spike of opposition, Melvil Dewey was both loved and hated by his peers for many reasons. But his impact on libraries was significant and lasting. This fast-paced picture book biography includes helpful back matter: an author’s note, timeline, fun facts about simplified spelling, how the Dewey Decimal system works, and sources.


Purple Daze: A Far Out Trip, 1965
by Sherry Shahan
Authors Guild, December 2020
YA novel in verse. ISBN 9781735842011

Purple Daze: A Far Out Trip, 1965 is a story about love, friendship, and rock and roll. It's a story that plays out on a stage shared by riots, assassinations, and war in the City of Angeles, 1965. Six unforgettable characters' experiences and feelings are expressed in highly personal journal entries, notes, letters, and interconnected poems. This innovative novel in verse captures the all-too-real perspective of teens during a time when they are all breaking away from authority and social convention, and forging an unknown future.