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Authors & illustrators

The end of an era

One of my all-time favorite opening lines is in a biography, entitled The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West. It begins,"Mark Twain was born fully grown, with a cheap cigar clamped between his teeth." Only one person was in attendance at this 1865 event, "…newspaperman and frontier jester named Samuel Langhorne Clemens."

Inspired by the Newbery

Last week I had the chance to meet with a special visitor from Indiana. Laura, her grandparents, and I met at the Central Arlington (VA) Library (an attractive and hospitable place with welcoming staff).

Share a Story Shape a Future 2010

Don't miss a day of this year's Share a Story — Shape a Future 2010 Blog Tour. This year the theme is "It takes a village to raise a reader." Each day you can start your "tour" from the homepage of the blog tour.

The tour runs from March 8 — 12, 2010.

The homepage of the blog tour outlines the schedule (excerpted below), and includes many links and read aloud resources. Enjoy!

Alice in Wonderland - the book that keeps inspiring

This morning I read a review in the Washington Post of Tim Burton's new movie, Alice in Wonderland. And I continue to think about the film — and the book that inspired it.

Read across America - and for a lifetime

Celebrate the 105th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel (much better known as Dr. Seuss) on March 2nd, with a favorite book or two, some children, and a welcoming place to read aloud.

The Read Across America celebration would have pleased Dr. Seuss a great deal I think. After all, he is credited with making books for beginning readers funny, fast-paced, and pleasing to children

Exhilarating, exciting, electrifying - online or print?

Once there were word webs to explore synonyms with children.

Now there is a neat website called Visuwords, an online thesaurus and dictionary. It's fun to see words bounce and connect. There's even color coding to identify the parts of speech. (Thanks to a Reading Rockets colleague for the link!)

Disturbing images - can we protect our children?

Should children be subjected to the horrendous images that surround us in newspapers, on television, on the Internet? How can we avoid having them see pictures of the death, devastation, and other horrors?

One child's Newbery goal

As I've already written, I was a member of the 2010 Newbery Selection Committee. This award has been given annually since 1922 to the "most distinguished American children's book published the previous year."

Anyway, because I was one of the 15 Newbery Committee members, this Spring I will have the honor of meeting a very special reader.

Book awards make good news

I'm writing this from Boston where I attended the American Library Association midwinter meeting and where the Youth Awards were announced. Actually, I was part of the process.

Curl up with... a Kindle?

I got a Kindle for Christmas, and before too long it found its way into the hands of Molly (9) and Anna (7).

If you're unfamiliar with Amazon's eReader, the Kindle, or eReaders in general, they're portable electronic devices that allow you to download, store and read books wirelessly. Different from a laptop, most eReaders are not backlit, which means you can't view the screen in the dark but you can read in bright sunlight, something you can't do with a laptop. Most eReaders rely on something called eInk, which uses a low-power, high contrast "electronic paper."

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"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." — Lemony Snicket