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Newbery Medal Winning Authors Series: Charles Boardman Hawes

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 24, 2024. 11:09 PM.

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

The John Newbery Medal is awarded annually to a children's book that represents the height of achievement in that field of literature. 1924's winner is particularly notable because he passed away before receiving the award. Today in our Newbery Medal Winning Authors series, we look at the 1924 winner, Charles Boardman Hawes, who, in his short life, earned the most prestigious award for children's book writers in America.


History of the Fine Press Movement

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 17, 2024. 8:17 PM.

Topics: Fine Press, Book History

Among book collectors, fine press editions are some of the most sought-after books on the primary and secondary market. Painstakingly crafted and existing only in limited quantities, these books are as beautiful as one might expect for something so lovingly created. Today, we take a look at the roots of the fine press movement as well as how organizations today are dedicating themselves to seeing this time-intensive labor of literary love going in an era where mass printing is easier than ever before and when more and more people are turning to electronic versions of books rather than physical copies.


Best Quotes from Douglas Adams

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 10, 2024. 11:18 PM.

Topics: Science Fiction

English writer and humorist Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in 1952. He became interested in writing at an early age, becoming well-known at his prep school, Brentwood, and publishing many of his first projects in their paper, The Brentwoodian, and their magazine, Broadsheet.

He went on to study English at St. Johns College, where he started his comedy group and was eventually invited to participate in the school’s official comedy group, Footlights. His work with Footlights drew the interest of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, and for a short time, the two entered into a writing partnership that should have given him the writing credits to launch his career. However, his style wasn't popular then, so he did not succeed immediately.

He eventually found work as a script editor for the classic science fiction show Doctor Who, even writing three serials for the program himself. In 1978, his best-known work, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, began its run as a BBC radio program. He went on to adapt the radio show into five beloved novels—his efforts to see them adapted into film led to the production of a well-received BBC miniseries. However, Adams passed away in 2001 and never saw the 2005 film adaptation.

The following passages represent the best, funniest, most touching aspects of Adams' unique voice and perspective:


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Chris Raschka

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 3, 2024. 8:14 PM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to the children’s book illustrator who’s recently published book represents the best art the industry. Celebrated illustrator Chris Raschka has the distinguished of winning this award twice, as well as illustrating a Caldecott Honor Book, which are just some of his many accolades, including a nomination for the prestigious Hans Christen Anderson Medal. Join us today as we take a look at Raschka’s career in our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series:



Adam Worth: The Man Behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Moriarty

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 27, 2024. 4:22 PM.

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

What's a hero without a villain? It's a question asked in both literature and film, but with the immense popularity of villainous characters, it's no surprise. Villains provide entertainment and conflict and serve as foils from which we can see our favorite heroes from a new angle and against whom heroes can pit themselves to show what makes them special and heroic.


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Kevin Henkes

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 21, 2024. 5:15 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Newbery Award

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded to an illustrator who best exemplifies the highest quality of children's book illustrations published the previous year. Today's illustrator has released picture books for readers from the youngest up to middle grade. Though Kevin Henkes often utilizes colorful illustrations for his books and a lyrical style, his 2004 Caldecott Winning book, Kitten and the Full Moon, breaks from his typical style and utilizes black and white illustrations and straightforward writing style for young readers. Join us today as we take a look at Henkes' career in our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series:



Speculative Fiction Writer Octavia Butler: A Reading Guide

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 7, 2024. 5:51 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, American Literature

Octavia Butler was born in 1947 in Pasadena, California. From a young age, her mother encouraged her love of stories and writing, from buying her a typewriter in her childhood to using money for surgery to support her writing. Inspired by racial segregation and the prevalence of the white male protagonist in science fiction, Butler turned her attention to speculative fiction. She studied writing at UCLA and the Clarion Science Fiction Workshop. She sold short stories to anthologies and eventually released a novel that would become the first in her legendary Patternmaster series. Butler published throughout the entirety of her life, even throughout a battle with depression and writer's block. Her impressive body of work earned her both the Hugo and Nebula awards. She is also the first speculative fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She passed away in 2006 at the age of fifty-eight. Her work continues to impress and inspire. Join us today as we look at some of her most important works.


Gertrude Chandler Warner and The Boxcar Children

For most people, the biggest names in mysteries are Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. While those beloved masters are well known worldwide, for many young readers, their first introduction into the genre is through another author: Gertrude Chandler Warner, author of the classic children's series The Boxcar Children. Join us today as we take a look at her life and work.


Collecting Nancy Drew

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 10, 2023. 6:15 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Sherlock Holmes. Miss Marple. Hercule Poirot. All of these detectives are household names, and all of them are adults. While these sleuths are all much loved and timeless, there is something to be said for reading about a character your own age, which is why teen girl detective Nancy Drew has had such staying power in the world of mystery novels.


Best Books Set in Magic Schools

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 3, 2023. 7:29 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Children's Books, Awarded Books

For fans of the fantasy genre, the magic school has long been a beloved trope. The concept of the magic school allows the reader to enter into the world of magic and fully immerse themselves in the way the fantasy world works. From the guiding principles of culture and government to how characters live their everyday lives, magic schools are a gateway into a fantasy novel that allows readers to feel they are also learning along with the characters. From Harry Potter’s Hogwarts to The University in Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind, the magic school continues to captivate readers. Join us today as we look at some of the best fantasy novels set at magic schools:


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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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