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

Recent Posts:

Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Elizabeth Orton Jones

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 13, 2018. 9:00 AM.

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

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is given to a children's book of exceptional quality that exhibits the highest level of artistic excellence. The illustrators given the award are known for their illustrations, whether it be for their beauty, humor, realism, innovation, or any other number of qualities. To be awarded a Caldecott medal is the highest honor an American children's book illustrator can receive. Continuing our Caldecott Medal Winning Book Series, we take a look at Elizabeth Orton Jones, an author who missed out on the award as a runner up in 1944, only to win the award the following year in 1945.

     
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Happy Birthday, Kay Thompson!

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 9, 2018. 4:00 PM.

Topics: Children's Books

Kay Thompson is perhaps today best known for her work on the beloved children's book series Eloise and for her role in the equally famous film adaptation of the musical Funny Face. Both her literary, film, and music careers represent a bygone sort of old Hollywood glamour. From the music she arranged for MGM studios to her night club acts to the ritzy penthouse apartment that served as home to Eloise, Thompson's life and work serve as a glimpse into a exciting age of New York and Tinsel Town that now exists only in pop culture and memories. But it's the human heart of her work and the precocious spirit of Eloise that makes for an enduring classic. Today would have been Kay Thompson's 109th birthday, so let's take a look at the career of this Hollywood and children's literature icon.

     
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Caldecott-Winning Books Perfect For Fall

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 2, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is the most prestigious award for children's book illustration in America. Books awarded the medal are widely sought by libraries, children, and collectors alike. Though these books make for an excellent read any time of the year, we've picked out a few winners that are perfect to read during the fall. In some particular way, each of these books conjure up the feeling of autumn. Whether it be in their depiction of cool weather and changing leaves or by the way they evoke the feelings of the Thanksgiving season, these titles are perfect for this time of year. So curl up under a blanket with some hot apple cider, and check out our Caldecott recommendations for fall.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Louis Slobodkin

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 25, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal has stood as a pinnacle of excellence and achievement in the field of book illustration for eighty-one years. Caldecott-winning books have long been sought after by teachers, parents, libraries, and collectors. Illustrators talented enough to be awarded the medal receive esteem from their contemporaries and often can rest assured that their work will be remembered. Not many awards can claim such wide recognition outside of the scope of their field, but the Caldecott Medal is truly well known and its importance is acknowledged even outside of the world of children's literature. Continuing our celebration of these incredible illustrators in our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series, we look now at the seventh illustrator to be given the honor, writer and illustrator Louis Slobodkin who was awarded the medal in 1944 for his illustrations in James Thurber's Many Moons.

     
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Happy Birthday, Oscar Wilde!

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 16, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Drama, Literature

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 and today marks the 164th anniversary of his birth. The writer was schooled first in his native Dublin, then later at Oxford where he began to subscribe to the fledgling school of thought known as aestheticism, a philosophy he would adhere to for the rest of his life. He became a sort of aestheticism poster boy, writing in a variety of genres, from poetry and novels to plays and journalism. Wilde even spent some time lecturing in the United States on the subject as well as the tangentially-related topic of interior decorating, a turn which might seem odd at the outset but actually jives quite well with Wilde's notable, larger-than-life persona.

     
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Seven Women Authors Who Used Male Pseudonyms

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 9, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

It's no secret that writers often publish under pseudonyms. Sometimes it's to preserve a personal identity separate from their literary persona. Other times it is to create a distinct brand from one genre to another, like Nora Roberts publishing romance novels under one name and her murder mysteries as J.D. Robb. Stephen King did it when he released his novel under the name Richard Bachman to prove that his success wasn't a fluke and that he could succeed whether or not he used his famous name. Anne Rice has published under her own name, as A.N. Roquelaure, and as Anne Rampling after suffering some backlash over some of her early novels not being initially well received. Daniel Handler wrote his famous Series of Unfortunate Events as Lemony Snickett in order to insert the narrator as a character.

Historically, many women have chosen to use pseudonyms. Due to sexism in the publishing industry, they hoped that a male or gender neutral name could help them succeed in a male-dominated field and world. Some of the most important books in all of literature were written by women who felt they could not publish under their own names. The following seven women writers have each published work under a male or ambiguous name.

     
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Ongoing Scandal Causes Nobel Prize in Literature to Go Unawarded

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 4, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

This spring, the Swedish Academy announced that there would be no Nobel Prize in Literature awarded this year, stating instead that two laureates will be awarded in 2019. At the heart of this issue is photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of committee member Katherine Frostenson, who has been accused of eighteen counts of sexual harassment and assault. He is also suspected of leaking lists of possible winners for betting purposes. While this is not the first time this has happened (in 1949, the Academy famously announced that no candidates met the criteria, delaying the decision to the following year when they selected William Faulkner as the 1949 winner), this is the first time the decision has been made as a direct result of scandals surrounding the committee.

     
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The Importance of The Hunt for Red October

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 2, 2018. 9:00 AM.

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

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy is an an extremely important book in the world of popular fiction for many reasons. Clancy's debut novel performed way beyond the expectations of publisher Naval Institute Press, earning an unexpected paperback edition and securing Clancy a spot as one of America's best-selling authors. With The Hunt for Red October, a publishing superstar was born. The 1984 novel has stood the test of time and is widely considered one of the best depictions of Cold War-era feelings and politics in the thriller genre. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why this book continues to be such a success over 30 years after its initial release.

     
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Celebrating the Legacy of Illustrator Arthur Rackham

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Illustrators, illustrations

English artist Arthur Rackham is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential illustrators from the Golden Age of British Illustration. What really cemented his position as one of the preeminent illustrators of his day were his color illustrations for Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle and J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Some of his notable works include illustrations for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market, and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, which was published after Rackham's death. On the anniversary of his birthday, let's take a look at the enduring legacy of one of England's most beloved illustrators. 

     
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Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie!

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 15, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie is the most popular mystery writers of all time. Her two most well-known characters, Mrs. Marple and Hercule Poirot, are icons in the world of detective fiction, on par with literature's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Christie has served as inspiration for generations of writers who came after her, and her books are still tremendously popular years after the publication of her final novel. In honor of what would have been her 128th birthday, let's take a look at the life of one of fiction's most beloved authors.

     
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