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Month: December 2015

  • My Very Own Library and Scholastic Book Fairs Give Low-Income Students the Chance to Choose Books for Free and Build Home Libraries

    In Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Newark, NJ; Richmond, CA; Wilmington, DE and the Dominican Republic, 25,000 Kids Each Choose 10 New Books to Read and Own NEW YORK, NY—December 3, …

  • Random House Children’s Books to Publish a New Line of Books From Actress, Mathematician, and Bestselling Author Danica McKellar

    New York, NY — Random House Children’s Books has acquired a new line of kid-friendly math books from New York Times bestselling author Danica McKellar, it was announced today by …

  • Girls Who Code Partners with Penguin Young Readers

    Some of the projects in development include a nonfiction book introducing coding for summer 2017, and a series of middle-grade fiction titles and board books. Girls Who Code…is a graphically …

  • Why Reading is More Than Fundamental

    Reading not only sparks a child’s imagination, but paves the way for lifelong learning. Reading tugs [children] outside of themselves, connecting them to a wider world and filling it with wonder. …

  • #DrawingDiversity: ‘Niño Wrestles the World’ by Yuyi Morales

    Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales (Neal Porter Books – Roaring Brook Press/@macmillankids​, June 2013). All rights reserved.

  • Happy 30th Anniversary, ‘Polar Express’!

    Allsburg and the team at Houghton MIfflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers are confident that the anniversary edition features an improved look, while preserving the magic of the original. As part …

  • Read-Alouds for All Ages

    From literary dinners, festive staged readings, and read-aloud sleepovers, there are countless ways incorporate reading aloud into your everyday routine. The benefits are clear: comprehension, vocabulary, and imagination are developed …

  • Winners Announced for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards

    More than 3 million votes were cast for this year’s awards. Several popular authors — including two Children’s Choice Book Award winners — were recognized with this honor for their latest …

  • An Editor’s Response

    Contributed by Yolanda Scott, Editorial Director at Charlesbridge

    I’ve been following the controversy surrounding the text and illustrations of the picture book A Fine Dessert (NPR story here and NYT article here), and I want to comment from my perspective as an editor. I wasn’t the editor of A Fine Dessert, but I could have been. Well, not literally, as the manuscript wasn’t submitted to me, but I mean that I easily could have been the editor of a book that despite my best intentions was accused of propagating stereotypes about slavery. It could have happened because I’m white: the product of a white-dominant society and a white-dominant industry that influence me in ways that I am sometimes blind to.


    When I first read A Fine Dessert, I didn’t stop for a second to think that there might be anything offensive in either the text or illustrations. I was a bit lukewarm on the book, as memory serves, but only due to a concern about the story arc. Mostly, I was intrigued by the recipe for blackberry fool, which I photocopied and brought home to try with my daughter.

    So when the blogs and Twitter started exploding with anger and indignation, I was surprised. And I thought, Thank goodness that wasn’t my book. But I knew in my heart it could have been. My efforts to police my books aren’t enough. I like to think I have been useful in some ways: removing a picture of a raccoon from the clothing of a black baby, changing the name of a scary bull in a picture book from “black bull” to “big bull” (as well as changing its color), and getting rid of the watermelons in a plantation scene. I noticed these problems and changed them, but given the egregious nature of all three, I’m not sitting here patting myself on the back. Instead, I’m scared about what I’m not noticing.

    My knee-jerk reaction to controversies like those surrounding A Fine Dessert is to want to retreat and stop publishing anything that could be considered controversial, or anything that might show my ignorance. And there are some people, understandably so, who would say that it is better for a book not to be published than to be published if it’s flawed. I get that, I really do, but I’m not sure it’s the answer.

    The answer, I think, includes hiring more people of color in publishing, more actively seeking out works by people of color, and finding ways to publish those works with sensitivity. Publishers should also commit to finding appropriate expert readers for works in progress. And we all need to listen better and learn from one another—especially when mistakes come to light. These are not new ideas, but they are important ones that bear repeating.

    There is much work to be done.


    Yolanda Scott is editorial director at Charlesbridge, where she has edited nearly 200 books since beginning her career in 1995. She is a co-founder of Children’s Books Boston, sits on the board of directors of the Children’s Book Council, and is a member of the CBC Diversity Committee. She lives near Boston.

  • Public Libraries Build New Spaces for Teens

    With newly-designed areas for silent study, group work, video and music production, gaming, and more, public libraries are quickly becoming hot spots for teens. [Librarians] are making a concerted effort to …

  • Bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author Jeff Kinney Brings Laughter and Literacy Around the World

    New York, NY — Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, is on an unprecedented global tour to meet and greet international readers of his books …

  • How to Keep Kids Readings Over the Holidays

    Here are a few tips for encouraging young readers to keep at it: Bring books on your trip Listen to an audio book on the road Set an example by …

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