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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: 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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Alice Adams: Master of the Short Story

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

Topics: Awarded Books, American Literature

Short story writer and novelist Alice Adams was born in 1926 in Virginia. She studied at Radcliffe College during which she also attended writing classes at Harvard University. She worked clerical positions in medical offices for many years and throughout her marriage. Toward the end of her marriage, a therapist suggested she quit writing and continue with her marriage. Adams applied the exact opposite advise and to great success. Throughout her career, she published numerous novels and short stories, twenty-five of which were originally published the prestigious magazine, The New Yorker. Though Adams' novels were never particularly critically acclaimed, she absolutely shone the short story form. She is one of only four authors to be granted the O. Henry Special Award for Continued Achievement, along with such other masters of the form as Alice Munro, John Updike, and Joyce Carol Oates. Consider starting your own collection of works from this amazing writer, who passed away in 1999 at the age of seventy-two.

     
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Top Books by State: Louisiana

Today we continue our Top Books by State series with a close look at some of the best books from Louisiana. Louisiana is an eclectic mix of small town, big city, and bayou, making it a popular destination for American and international tourists alike. Perhaps best known for its annual Mardi Gras festival, New Orleans is a vibrant mix of culture, reflected in its music, food, and people. Its Cajun and Creole cultures have their roots in French, African, and French Canadian cultures respectively and there is also an influence from Haitian immigration. Let's take a look at some of the best books to come from Louisiana:

     
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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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