• CHILDREN

2011 Newbery and Caldecott medalists

The American Library Association has announced the 2011 recipients of its top awards in children's literature.  Clare Vanderpool's debut novel Moon Over Manifest, a quirky coming-of-age tale set in a Depression-era Kansas railroad town, was awarded the John Newbery Medal for "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." 

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  • CHILDREN

Secrets of Second Grade

Seven-year-old Bean (she only hears her full name Bernice Blue when getting into trouble) lives with her bossy eleven-year-old sister, Nancy, and her mom and dad in a house on Pancake Court. She's the kind of kid that gets along with everyone--at the center of the neighborhood action.  So when Ivy, a little girl the same age, moves in across the street, why wouldn’t Bean say hello?

 

Where Bean’s hair was usually in tangles, Ivy’s long red curly hair was always in place. Beside Ivy wore dresses and her nose was always in a thick book. Bean only wears a dress when her mom makes her and big books make her restless. And then there is  the “kiss of death” --her mom keeps saying that they should be friends because Ivy “seem[s] like a nice girl.” Well,  that's the last kid that Bean would want to be friends with. Verdict: “Boring.”

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  • children

Black History Month: Reading for Kids

Our regular contributor and on-call children's librarian Lisa Von Drasek sent in a few wonderful titles to share with the young person in your life to mark Black History Month. (For additional related recommendations see our Five Books list of Black History Month reading).

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April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.