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House at Pooh Corner

The House at Pooh Corner (1928)

The House at Pooh Corner (1928) by A. A. Milne My maternal grandmother, Nan (as we Brits sometimes call our grannies), was a little wiry old lady from the East End of London who loved the seaside, a flutter on the horses and a glass of sherry. Late in life she discovered Winnie the Pooh.  […]

March 31st, 2011

How to Pick a Fantastic Book Group Book

…Or, how I attempt to, anyway. I am the dictator of my monthly fiction book group. For the past 13 years, I’ve selected the novels we’ve read, prepared background on the authors and titles, and tossed out the opening questions. If the book we discuss is lousy, I take the glowers. If it makes for […]

March 31st, 2011

The Three Robbers (1962)

The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer (1962) Before I became a Children’s Librarian, I was familiar with Tomi Ungerer as a graphic artist who designed posters and drew illustrations in the 1960s for ad campaigns. I had seen his work in a book I owned called The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (which I pored over incessantly […]

March 28th, 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997)

I was 13 years old when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published in the U.S. I wanted nothing to do with it. I had no problem reading a book that was marketed as a children’s book but I did, however, have an inherent distrust of adults and their taste in literature. The instant […]

March 23rd, 2011

The Hero and the Crown (1984)

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley When I was a kid, I decided I didn’t like fantasy novels. I can’t remember what did it. Maybe I read a bum story or someone dropped a crack about the genre or — who knows. But I can tell you what happened after that: I spent […]

March 21st, 2011

Book Review: Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan

Stewart O’Nan is a talented writer. He’s also a bit of a literary chameleon, writing on everything from four teenagers who die in a car crash and then observe how life proceeds without them (The Night Country) to a Gothic tale of a Civil War veteran who is slowly losing his town to diphtheria and […]

March 18th, 2011
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1967)

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1967) By E. L. Konigsburg No surprise that as a kid I read a lot, not obsessively, but it’s fair to say it was probably my favorite activity. But as a new children’s librarian I’m discovering just how many “classic” books I haven’t really read, especially […]

March 16th, 2011

Tom’s Midnight Garden (1958)

Tom’s Midnight Garden (1958) by Philippa Pearce I can recollect very little about most of the hundreds of books I read as a child. Most I don’t recall at all, for some I can just about dredge up a title, perhaps, or the author. But there are a precious few that I can remember as […]

March 14th, 2011