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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: Berta and Elmer Hader

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 6, 2021. 8:39 PM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Why is it that the books we read as children have such an impact on our lives? Is it because they offer some of the first reflections of the thoughts and experiences that we encounter early on? Is it because they grant us the opportunity to take in stories in a way that educates and entertains in a format perfectly geared toward that point in our development? Or maybe it's the way children's literature can transcend time and space. After all, even as we grow, it offers us an opportunity to connect with our histories as well as with the children who come in to our lives after we've "grown up."

     
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Top Books by State: Missouri

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 10, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Today we continue our literary road trip by taking a look at some of the best books set in the state of Missouri. Known for its bustling cities as well as the Ozarks, Missouri is a diverse and beautiful natural state of Missouri. St. Louis is one of the largest and most important cities in the Midwest, full of history and landmarks. The Missouri River flows into the Mississippi River here as well, which is especially notable considering the books we're focusing on today. Join us as we take a closer look at the work of Mark Twain in our Top Books by State series:

     
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The Best Quotes from Kate DiCamillo

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 2, 2021. 9:00 AM.

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

Good children's books focus on real, difficult topics. Love, loss, death, separation, forgiveness. The kind of issues we as adults still find ourselves struggling with long after we stop turning to books for children's to teach us the nature of such things. The best children's books address these issues while still offering up beauty and hope in their stories. One of the masters of walking this line is Kate DiCamillo. Born in Philadelphia, DiCamillo's family relocated to Florida in hopes that the climate would be better for her chronic pneumonia. Being forced to spend much of her time indoors as a result of her chronic illness caused her to develop a love of reading and writing at an early age. She studied English at the University of Florida and went on to work in a book warehouse. She published her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie in 2000, which was named a Newbery Honor book and adapted into a film. Since then she has went on to publish numerous novels for children as well as chapter books and picture books for younger readers. Throughout her career, she has been given awarded some of the highest honors in children's literature. Her novel The Tiger Rising was a National Book Award finalist. The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery Medal in 2004 and has also been made into a film. She won a second Newbery Medal for Flora & Ulysses. Her novel, The Magician's Elephant is soon to be adapted by Netflix. Celebrate this amazing children's author by taking a look at some of the quotes that best exemplify her work:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Margot Zemach

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 26, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is given to one book each year that exemplifies the best work being done in children's literature. The Caldecott Medal is the highest honor for American children's books. Today we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrator Series by taking a closer look at the 1974 winner, who not only proved herself by winning this major award, but by receiving nominations for numerous other honors, such as the National Book Award, and the Hans Christian Anderson Award, for which she was nominated twice. Without further ado, the life and work of Margot Zemach:

     
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Top Books by State: Mississippi

Today in our Top Books by State series, we're taking a closer look at one of the vibrant states of the American south: Mississippi. From the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi is a state rich with history and natural beauty. The Delta is considered the birthplace of the blues. Numerous locations throughout the state have important sites relating to the Civil War. Mississippi is also home to a rich literary history as the home state of authors such as Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, and John Grisham. Join us today as we explore some of the best books to come from the state of Mississippi:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Gail E. Haley

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 14, 2021. 9:00 AM.

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

Since it was first established in 1938, the Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually to one book out of a carefully curated selection. The Caldecott-winning illustrators and the illustrations they so lovingly craft are representative of the best and most innovative works produced for children's books that year. These books are desirable for both parents and collectors alike, but also serve as a benchmark of quality, pushing the industry forward to greater heights each year. Continuing our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series, today we look closer at Gail E. Haley, who both wrote and illustrated 1971's medal winner, A Story A Story.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Blair Lent

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 7, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Established in 1938 by the American Library Association, the Cadecott Medal is given annually to “the most distinguished American picture book for children,” a book that represents the best and most innovative work in the field. Looking through the list of winners throughout the years reveals classic after classic, books that are still in circulation in libraries or sold in bookstores today. In 1973, this honor was given to Blair Lent for his illustrations in The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel. Join as as we take a closer look at his career as part of our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series:

     
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The Best Literary Quotes about Winter

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 5, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Winter is one of the best times of year to curl up with a good book. The nights are longer, darker, and colder, and many of us spent the winter months inside trying to keep warm and turning to indoor forms of entertainment. There's just something comforting about a winter evening spent under a blanket while it's snowing outside. The following books all have something to say about the quieter, colder part of the year. If you're like me and want to spend the winter reading, let this list of some of the best literary quotes about winter serve as a potential reading list as you decide which books you'll cozy up to this year:

     
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The Best YA Books by BIPOC Authors

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 31, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books, Movie Tie-Ins

Today more than ever, it is important to shine light on some of the amazing works of fiction being published by BIPOC writers. The world of young adult literature has in recent years become increasingly dedicated to publishing Own Voices novels, or books in which the main character shares experiences, race, and culture with the writer, offering marginalized groups to tell their own stories from their own perspectives. Join us as we explore some amazing young adult novels by Black writers. These books will fit perfectly on the shelves of teens who deserve to see themselves reflected back on the pages of the books they read and also for anyone who recognizes the importance of reading diversely and outside of their own frame of reference.

     
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Top Books by State: Michigan

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 23, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Today we continue our journey through the literary United States by taking a look at some passages from books set in Michigan. Michigan is known for its lakes, frigid winters, industry, though the latter has decreased considerably over the past several decades, for which the state is also known. While Michigan is a beautiful state with much to offer, the following passages focus on the particular details, like the difficulties of winter in Michigan or the smell of a Midwest town after the rain:

     
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