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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: Minnesota

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 16, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books

Minnesota is one of the northernmost states that make up the American Midwest. Known for its cold winters, beautiful landscapes, industry, and art scene, Minnesota is is the setting for a variety of novels. Today we take a closer look at two very different novels set in two very different literary versions of Minnesota. While both feature children as the primary protagonist, one features Minnesota in the late 1800's, depicting a life made both beautiful and difficult by nature. Set nearly one hundred years later, the second novel depicts a town torn apart my tragedy, lies and violence. We continue our Top Books by State series by looking at On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, two vastly different books that portray very different versions of the Minnesota:

     
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Top Literary Quotes About Food

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

Topics: Literature

As C.S Lewis famously wrote, “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” As the weather gets colder and more of us turn to both food and reading as entertainment, it's safe to say most of us will be combining the two. Whether your pairing your books with something sweet or salty, the following quotes should lend some inspiration or at least make you hungry. Here are some of the best passages about food in literature. Enjoy them as they are or use this list as a guide for some great books that also address the subject of food.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: William Steig

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the best example of children's book illustration. Today, we take a look at 1970's winner, William Steig, who not only had a massively successful career later in life as a children's book writer, but also was wildly successful in his first career as a cartoonist. Keep reading as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series with Willaim Steig:

     
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Top Books by State: Massachusetts

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 24, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

As one of the thirteen original colonies, Massachusetts has a long history dating back to the very beginnings of America. Massachusetts history begins with Plymouth colony and was the setting for numerous events throughout the making of the nation. The state has been a major player history, academics, and industry throughout the entire existence of the country. While numerous important figures—both historical and literary—hail from Massachusetts, today we continue our bookish journey through the America by taking an in depth look at some of the best quotes from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, a book that was not only a massive hit at the time of publication, but one that has endured to become considered one of the great classics of American literature. Join us as we take a closer look at this pioneering work of fiction for girls as we continue our Top Books by State Series with Massachusetts:

     
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Nine of the Best Quotes from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

J.R.R. Tolkien was born in South Africa in 1892. He spend his early years there, returning to his parent's native England to visit, but staying permanently after the death of his father. It was during this time that he became familiar with the landscape of the country he would come to love, visiting villages and countrysides that would become he basis for the most famous of his creations: Middle Earth, the setting for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, the language and mythology of which would become his life's work. One such place was his aunt Jane's farm, called Bag End, which he later used for the name of Bilbo Baggin's home in The Shire. After his mother's death, he and his brother were raised in Birmingham where Tolkien continued his education. It was during this time Tolkien first became interested in creating languages, an interest that followed him into adulthood and is clearly seen in The Lord of the Rings series, which utilizes several invented languages, most famously, Tolkien's Elvish. He went on to study English language and literature at Oxford where he graduated with honors. After serving in World War I, he began his career in academia, serving as a professor at University of Leeds. He published several notable works of scholarship during this time. He also wrote The Hobbit and the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings. He published the final volume of The Lord of the Rings in 1948. Tolkien's works took on a near-cult popularity during his lifetime, creating a boom in the fantasy genre and inspiring other works and games, such as roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. The books have been adapted into animated films and famously, two sets of trilogies directed by Peter Jackson. They continue to be immensely popular today and a television series based on the mythology of Middle Earth is in the works for Amazon Prime. Today we take a look at some of the best quotes from each of the books in The Lord of the Rings trilogy:

     
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The Life and Work of D.H. Lawrence

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 3, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Literature

This month we celebrate the birthday of writer, playwright, poet, critic, and painter, D.H. Lawrence. While today, Lawrence is acknowledged as a brilliant observer of human sexuality and modernity, in his time he was censored, banned, persecuted and scorned for his art. Let's take a look at this amazing writer who unfortunately did not live to see the impact his work would make on literature:

     
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Top Books by State: Maryland

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

Topics: Awarded Books, Newbery Award, Science Fiction

As one of the thirteen original colonies, Maryland's history is as old as America itself. Know primarily around the country for mining Annapolis, and The Chesapeake Bay, Maryland is a beautiful state with much to offer both in the way of tourism and literature. In today's continuation of our Top Books by State series, we take a look at two books both set in Maryland but that explore two very different sides of the state. Set respectively in a fishing village in World War II or an antebellum plantation, both of these Maryland books belong on everyone's must-read list.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Uri Shulevitz

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

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

Each year, thousands of children's books are published in America to the delight of parents and children alike. While many of those books are wonderful, an ALA committee comes together each year to honor the best illustrated books of the year. The most innovative books are nominated for the Caldecott Medal. In 1969, The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, illustrated by Uri Shulevitz was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series by examining Shulevitz' long and honored career:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Ed Emberley

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

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded every year to a book whose illustrations represent the highest quality in the field. 1968's winner has dedicated his life not only to producing beautiful illustrations for children's books, but also to creating books that teach children how to create their own art. His dedication to art has inspired countless children, including his own, both of whom have followed his and his author wife's path to become illustrators and writers themselves. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators series by taking a look at the long career of the 1968 winner, Ed Emberley.

     
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John Newbery: The Father of Children's Literature

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 29, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Book History, Newbery Award

John Newbery was born in 1713 in Berkshire, England. The son of a farmer, he saw to his own education and through his efforts became apprenticed to a printer when he was sixteen years old. Eventually, the business was sold and Newbery's continued efforts with the new owner, William Carnahan, resulted in him being left the business along with Carnahan's brother when he passed away. Now in charge of the press, Newbery saw a place in the market and used his literary and sales sense to create a not only a new genre of literature but cause it to thrive. His efforts throughout his career to create and publish books for children are why John Newbery is considered to be the father of children's literature and why one of the most prestigious awards for books written for children, The Newbery Medal, was named in his honor.

     
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