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Top Books by State: Washington

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 1, 2023. 8:29 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, American Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful locations in the United States. Lush evergreen forests, mountains, beaches, ocean views, rainy weather, and incredible cities are all hallmarks of the great state of Washington. Today, we focus in on two highly different books whose books highlight this verdant landscape, making the setting just as much of a character as the characters themselves. Join us today in our Top Books by State series as we take a look at two books set in Washington:

     
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The Best of Cormac McCarthy

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 16, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, Awarded Books, American Literature

Cormac McCarthy (born Charles McCarthy) is an American writer known for his gritty, stylistically complex works of fiction in the southern gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres. He attended the University of Tennessee and served in the US Air Force. McCarthy published his first novel, The Orchard Keeper, in 1965.

     
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Top Books by State: Virginia

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 24, 2023. 10:07 AM.

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

Virginia is one of the oldest states in America, rich with history. This beautiful state features forests, mountains, beaches, national parks, islands, wild horses, lakes, and a surprisingly large quantity of presidential homes. Today we feature two vastly different books, one classic which celebrates the history and landscape of Virginia and another that sets the chilling subject of it’s tale there. Join us today as we continue our Top Books by State series by taking a closer look at books set Virginia:

     
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Collecting Katherine Paterson

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 29, 2022. 8:05 PM.

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

For over sixty years, author Katherine Paterson has released children's books on difficult themes like death, abandonment, war, and grief. She has won two National Book Awards, two Newbery Medals, the Hans Christian Anderson Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and adapted into film. Her books are often considered controversial, and some have even been banned from the booklist due to their challenging themes. Paterson’s devotion to these hard-to-approach topics is due to a belief that realism in children’s books is important and is inspired in part by her childhood where she felt isolated and like an outsider due partially to her early childhood spent in China as the child of missionaries who later moved to the US and had to learn English after years of speaking only Chinese. Today, we take a closer look at some of Paterson’s most beloved books featuring characters that overcome personal tragedy and experience great and necessary growth.

     
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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: 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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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: 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 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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