War Rooms

War Rooms

It is probably inevitable The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, a new book about a large family living in New York City, is about real estate.* Karina Yan Glaser’s charming middle-grade contemporary opens about a week before Christmas when the Vanderbeekers learn that...
Virtuous Reality

Virtuous Reality

This summer, I spent some time re-reading Anne of Green Gables, a book that I turned to frequently in my childhood. It was easy to fall into it, but it also made me think of the lessons we learn—the habits we form—when we are young readers. In Lucy Maud Montgomery’s...
Quiet Work

Quiet Work

In Summer Light, Zibby Oneal’s 1985 book about a seventeen-year-old girl’s season of self-discovery, is one of the last young adult novels that I read as a young adult. In it, Kate Brewer, daughter of renowned painter Marcus, has been recovering from mononucleosis and...
Little Pieces

Little Pieces

When I was in (maybe) first grade, children’s book writer Robert Munsch came to my school and performed The Mud Puddle. In the story, Jule Ann puts on clean clothes—pants, shirt, socks, shoes—and goes outside on a sunny day, only to be jumped by a seemingly sentient...
Tall Tales, Short Tales

Tall Tales, Short Tales

I was halfway through Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking when I decided that I didn’t particularly want to re-read it anymore. Pippi, first published in Swedish in 1945, is the story of an irrepressible redheaded girl. She lives in a house by herself with a pet...
Bird of America

Bird of America

In fourth grade, my Language Arts teacher read us The Trumpet of the Swan, a children’s novel by acclaimed American writer E. B. White. The story opens when Montana boy Sam Beaver, on vacation in a remote part of Canada, discovers a nesting pair of swans. The boy...

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