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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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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Eric Rohmann

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 26, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

 Today's Caldecott winning author has the unique distinction of being given the Caldecott medal and a Caldecott Honor for two books with vastly different styles. The Caldecott medal is given annually to children's book artists who represent some of the best art being created for children that year. Books with a wide variety of styles created in a wide variety of mediums have been honored throughout the years, but to find this dichotomy existing within the body of work of one illustrator is particularly exciting. Join us today as we take a closer look at 2003 Caldecott winner Eric Rohmann, master of both highly detailed, realistic oil painting, and silly cartoon-style prints:

     
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Top Books by State: Virginia

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 24, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Virginia is one of the oldest states in America, rich with history. This beautiful state features forests, mountains, beaches, national parks, islands, wild horses, lakes, and a surprisingly large quantity of presidential homes. Today we feature two vastly different books, one classic which celebrates the history and landscape of Virginia and another that sets the chilling subject of it’s tale there. Join us today as we continue our Top Books by State series by taking a closer look at books set Virginia:

     
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The Best of Elie Wiesel

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 13, 2023. 7:45 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

Throughout his career, Nobel laureate, professor, and activist Elie Wiesel published an astonishing fifty-seven books, including his best known work, Night, a memoir of his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. Through his teaching and activism, he was instrumental in the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. He taught at numerous distinguished universities throughout his career as a professor, including at Boston University where The Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies was established in his honor. Wiesel dedicated his life to speaking out against the suppression of minorities, speaking out against such injustices as apartheid in South Africa, the Armenian genocide and its subsequent suppression, Bosnian genocide in the former country of Yugoslavia, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, and the persecution of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. He famously said in his Nobel Prize Acceptance speech that “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.” The following passages from some of his most powerful works represent his lifelong dedication to Jewish people and all of humanity:

     
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Top Books by State: West Virginia

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 12, 2023. 7:45 AM.

Topics: Horror, American Literature

Today we continue our literary road trip across America by taking a look at two great books set in the state of West Virginia. Known for its history, forests, rivers, valleys, Cumberland Plateau, and Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. The authors featured in today’s article use that beauty not just as part of the description of the setting, but as a direct contrast to the issues addressed in the plot. Join us as we take a look at two excellent books in our Top Books By State Series: West Virginia:

     
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Newbery Winning Authors Series: Hendrik Willem Van Loon

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 7, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, American Literature, Newbery Award

The John Newbery Medal was first established in 1921 by the Association for Library Services for Children. Often shortened to the Newbery Medal, it was created in order to honor books that serve as a distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Along with the Caldecott Medal, it is considered the highest honor for children’s books in the United States. The qualifications for this medal are such that any children’s book (picture book through young adult) published by an American citizen during a respective year is eligible. Each year a committee of fifteen (though historically the winner was chosen by popular vote. The Newbery Medal was the first ever award for children’s literature and continually recognizes the best and most enduring works published each year. Today in our brand new Newbery Medal Winning Authors series, we take a look at the very first winner of this prestigious award: Hendrik Willem van Loon.

 

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Mordecai Gerstein

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 6, 2023. 12:36 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to an illustrator whose work on a newly published picture book represents the best of children’s book illustration currently produced. Today we feature 2004’s winning illustrator who worked not to create illustrations for children not just through picture books, but through an additional aspect of his professional life where he worked as an esteemed animator creating quality cartoons for children. Mordecai Gerstein took inspiration from real events, mythology, family history, and religion, creating books that celebrate the joyfulness of life while not shying away from the sadness that also is a part of living. Let’s take a closer look at his career and the book that embodied his philosophy in todays edition of our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series:

     
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Top Books by State Series: Wyoming

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 3, 2022. 9:12 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, American Literature

Today we complete the final leg of our literary road trip across America. Together we have examined books that take place all across the US, from West Coat to East Coast, north to south, across mountains, plains, swamps, farmlands, islands, rivers, and lakes. We’ve talked about books set in small towns and big cities, books written for children and books written for adults, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Now we have come to our final state: Wyoming. This western state is known for its vast and beautiful landscape, as a place for ranches, cowboys, and Yellowstone Park. The books we’re taking a closer look at today all make reference to the enduring spirit of the West that Wyoming is best known for. Join us as we take a look at some of the best books set in Wyoming in the 50th and final entry in our Top Books by State series:

     
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Best Quotes from Philip Pullman

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 3, 2022. 9:06 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Children's Books

Sir Philip Pullman is one of the most notable fantasy writers in the world. Born in Norwich, England in 1949. His family moved to North Wales shortly after the death of his father. Not long after, he discovered comic books, leading to a lifelong love of stories. During the course of his studies at schools such as Eaton and Oxford, he discovered formative influences like Milton’s Paradise Lost and the works of William Blake. He published his first book in 1973, producing several works before he began his most well-known work, The Dark Materials series, the first of which was published in 1995. Throughout his career, Pullman has used his platform to speak out on a variety of issues, such as the consistent labeling of children’s books as been either for girls or boys rather than for all children, speaking out against Brexit, and advocating for fair compensation for writers on ebook loans through libraries. Pullman has been awarded the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, among others. He has been nominated for the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Award five times. He was named a Knight Bachelor in 2019. The following passages represent some of the best quotes from Pullman’s impressive and beloved body of work:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: David Small

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 26, 2022. 1:59 PM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to the panel-determined, best-illustrated children’s book of the year. Whether that book honors traditions in a meaningful way or pushes the artistic boundaries of what is common for children’s books differs from year to year, but one can be assured that each year the winner and finalist have accomplished something special. The 2001 Caldecott Medal recipient, David Small, was awarded the medal for his fusion of political cartoons and caricatures into a delightful and educational book for children. Let’s take a closer look at Small’s career in this edition of our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series:

     
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The Creative Legacy of Virginia Woolf

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 25, 2022. 8:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Movie Tie-Ins, Drama

British writer Virginia Woolf is undoubtedly one of the most important literary figures in both English literature and feminist literature. Her novels, essays, criticism, and work toward education reform have made her a frequent subject of study and firmly declared her relevant, even today when we are nearing sixty years since her death. Her work makes her a pillar of both feminism and modernism. Today, on the anniversary of her birth, let's take a closer look at her life and the ways in which she has stayed on the forefront of popular culture and zeitgeist.

     
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