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Adrienne Rivera
Adrienne Rivera received her MFA in fiction from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She currently lives in southern Indiana.

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Top Books by State: Kansas

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 10, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins

The next stop on our literary journey throughout America in our Top Books by State series is Kansas. This Midwestern state is primarily known for its location in the heart of the Great Plains. While Kansas is one of the country's largest producer of wheat, corn, soybeans, and sorghum, it's not just farmland. The state is home to several metropolitan centers namely Wichita and Kansas City. Today, Kansas is mostly associated with farmland, but at the time of it's entry into the union, the decision of whether or not to be a free or a slave-holding state led to great turmoil, the result of which was the nickname “Bleeding Kansas.” However, Kansas ultimately sided politically with the northern part of the United States, leading to its official state nickname of “The Free State.” Join us as we take a look at two of the best books set in (or mostly in) Kansas:

     
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The Art and Life of Eric Carle

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 8, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Art

Few children's book illustrators create work as recognizable as that of Eric Carle. His work has been published across the world, translated into sixty-six languages. His dedication to creating fun, playful books for young children has spanned over four decades and has resulted in books that generations of children have not only loved, but have grown up to share with their own children. Let's take a closer look at the life and work of one of children's book illustration's most celebrated artists:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Evaline Ness

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to one of the best illustrated children's books published that year. Additionally, a handful of other worthy books are given the Caldecott Honor as runners-up.The winner of the 1966 medal has the unique of being named a Caldecott Honor recipient not for three years in a row before she finally was given the medal for Sam, Bangs and Moonshine. Join us today in our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series as we take a look at the art and career of Evaline Ness:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Beni Montresor

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 27, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Literature

The Caldecott Medal for outstanding children's book illustration is awarded every year to the illustrator who has proven themselves to be at the forefront of what is possible in the world of children's literature. 1965's winner is notable not only because his art style was vivid and unusual, but also because he was inspired almost entirely by his work in another field. Beni Montresor's illustrations, often done in a variety of mediums, were heavily influenced by his work as a set designer for ballet and opera. This lead to illustrations both dynamic and compelling, a clear testament to his love of the dramatic that led to such success in his primary career as a set designer. Today we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series by taking a closer look at Beni Montresor's artwork for the book, May I Bring a Friend?

     
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Top Books By State: Kentucky

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 11, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Next up on our state-by-state tour of America is Kentucky. This southern state is most internationally known for being the headquarters of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain, but within the United States, we know there's a lot more to it than that. Kentucky is right on the Mason Dixon line, marking the end of the north and the beginning of the south. Kentucky is bluegrass music and bourbon, the Kentucky Derby and college basketball, moonshine and coal mining, and so much more. It's both rural and metropolitan. Eastern Kentucky is home to part of the Appalachian Mountains while further north west is Louisville, one of the most important cities in the area. Kentucky is a beautiful place to live and a wonderful place to visit. Today, we continue our Top Books by State series by looking at some of the contradictions found within the Bluegrass State:

     
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Top Books by State Series: Maine

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 6, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror, Awarded Books

Maine, the northernmost state in New England is known for its beautiful woodland, mountain, and coastal landscapes, lobster harvesting, lighthouses, and rich history. The state has a rich literary  history as well, beginning with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and continuing on to today where numerous writers call Maine home or choose to set there novels in the beautiful and still quite wild state. Come with us today as we take a closer look at some of the best books set in Maine for our Top Books by State series.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Nonny Hogrogian

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 4, 2020. 10:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the children's book that best showcases the skill and innovation found in the world of children's book illustration. Today we are taking a look at writer and illustrator Nonny Hogrogian, who was not just the recipient of the 1966 Caldecott Medal, but the 1972 medal as well. Throughout her career, Hogrogian has not only written and illustrated books for herself, but has illustrated numerous books for other writers. She has also helped shape the world of children's literature from behind the scenes too with her work as a production assistant and editor. Let's take a look at Hogrigian's incredible life and career as we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series:

     
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Tim Russert: Journalist and Author

By Adrienne Rivera. May 7, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

As the long-time host of Meet the Press and commentator on presidential elections, Timothy Russert was a household name during his lauded career at NBC. Russert is credited with popularizing the terms “red and blue states” to refer to states that primarily tend to vote Republican or Democrat, respectively. During his time as a journalist with NBC, he covered numerous presidential elections and the Iraq war. Let's take a closer look at the career and books by this legend of televised political journalism.

     
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James Patterson: Master of the Thriller

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 22, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

For fans of mystery and thriller novels, there is perhaps no bigger name than James Patterson. With over 147 books under his belt, Patterson is often considered the most prolific writer working in the field. Since the publication of his first novel in 1976, The Thomas Berryman Number, Patterson has produced a steady stream of mysteries and thrillers popular with both adults and young adults alike, While Patterson has come under fire for his extensive collaboration with co-writers, a practice which many suspect has not called for Patterson to do much of the writing, he has maintained a presence on the New York Times Best Seller list for years, with numerous books topping the charts. From his Alex Cross series to the Women's Murder Club series, his thrillers have made him a must-read author for decades. Even non-readers likely have a familiarity to his work due to numerous television and film adaptation based on his novels. Let's take a closer look at some of the best novels by this author and philanthropist for those wishing to add to their collection or break into this massive body of work for the first time.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Maurice Sendak

Every year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the illustrator of a children's book that represents the best and most innovative work being done in the field. Critically acclaimed and—more importantly—beloved by children, these books often go on to hold important places on the shelves of libraries and families for years. Even so, it is fair to say that while many of the books achieve a notable status and have great staying power, it isn't often that the illustrators themselves become household names. However, there are a few exceptions. Join us as we take a look at the winner of the 1964 Caldecott Medal: the legendary Maurice Sendak.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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