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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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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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Virginia Hamilton's Life and Work

By Shelley Kelber. Mar 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Virginia Hamilton was a master storyteller who preserved black oral tradition through her intensive research uncovering riddles, stories, and traditions. Her career would span for more than 40 years, but her first book was published in 1967, a time when most books devoted to the African American experience dealt with issues of segregation and poverty. She termed her novels “liberation literature” and instead of problem storylines, her tales underscored the experiences of ordinary people. Among her works were picture books, folk tales, science-fiction stories, realistic novels, biographies, and mysteries.

     
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Five Powerful Holocaust Books

By Abigail Bekx. Sep 30, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Newbery Award, History

Few things are as horrifying and culturally significant as the Holocaust. For most, it is difficult to comprehend the terrors faced both inside and out of the concentration camps. The works of authors, both fictional and biographical, help readers to gain a small glimpse into life for Holocaust victims, even as no form of media will ever adequately display the horrors.

     
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Top Books By State: Connecticut

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Today we continue our literary tour of the United States by looking at some of the best books from Connecticut. This New England state is known for its beautiful coastal towns, charming cities and villages, and for being home to the illustrious Yale University. But Connecticut is more than just its collegiate connections. It is both rural and urban, coastal and pastoral. Some of the best Connecticut books hone in on these details that make the state stand out. Join us as we take a closer look at two books set in Connecticut thatthrough gorgeous detailembody some of what makes The Constitution State special.

     
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A Lasting Mark: The Legacy of Virginia Hamilton

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 12, 2019. 9:00 AM.

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

Esteemed children's book author Virginia Hamilton was born the youngest of five children in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1934 during the great depression. Her maternal grandfather came to the state on the Underground Railroad, and the family always prized the freedom to pursue education, creativity, and freedom. The encouragement she received in her home environment helped Virginia Hamilton graduate at the top of her class and receive a full scholarship to Antioch College. Hamilton later transferred to Ohio State University where she studied literature and creative writing, actively pursuing the field in which she would eventually succeed. During her lifetime, she won every major award for young people's literature for which she was eligible, and she has left a lasting mark as one of the most awarded writers of American children's literature. 

     
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And the Award Goes To: 2019 Caldecott and Newbery Winners

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 28, 2019. 12:56 PM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Today is one of the most anticipated days of the year for children's book enthusiasts. This morning, the the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, announced the winners of the 2019 Caldecott Medal and Newbery Medal, among other children's literature awards. These coveted prizes go a long way in cementing their authors and illustrators as fixtures in the children's literary landscape. Their books will be found on our shelves and in libraries the world over for years to come. Without further ado, the winners of the 2019 Caldecott and Newbery medals are...

     
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The Man Behind the Newbery Medal

By Matt Reimann. Jan 9, 2019. 9:00 AM.

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

The Newbery Medal is given out each year by the American Library Association (ALA) for outstanding achievement in American children's literature (watch for our post announcing this year's winner later this month!). For over ninety years, it has been a significant authority on the reception and evolution of children's books. Its impact is well known. Winning books receive widespread attention in libraries, schools, and book stores, and the publisher is wont to emblazon the shiny medallion on the cover of every printed copy of the winning book. While the award itself receives ample public attention, the man for whom it is named remains relatively obscure.

     
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Book Spotlight: The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Newbery Award-winning novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill was published in 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers. This middle grade novel appeals to both young and old readers with it's important message and compelling fairy tale feel. The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a magical story that's perfect for lovers of magic, fairy tales, and for Newbery collectors. What is it about this book that captures the imagination and has lead to it's massive success and popularity?

     
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Five Books for Children on Memorial Day

While decorating the graves of the deceased is a common and ancient custom, the American practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers dates back to the end of the Civil War. The first recorded instance took place in Virginia in 1861. Women in Savannah, Georgia did the same the following year, decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers, and in 1863, a commemoration was held in Gettysburg. Honoring soldiers lost in battle became even more common after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. While the practice, originally referred to as Decoration Day, became very common in the south, it did not start taking hold in the north until 1868. It soon spread to a national day, celebrated each year on May 30 and always honored by an address at Gettysburg. The shift toward the Memorial Day name did not come about until after World War II and was made official in 1967.

The following year, the date was officially moved to the third Monday in May to create a three day weekend in spite of protests from the VFW and others arguing that the change trivialized the holiday. And indeed, Memorial Day is often celebrated with cook outs, camping trips, swimming, boating, and massive sales at car dealerships and furniture stores; unfortunately, the core meaning of the holiday falls to the wayside for many people. Here are five books you can read with your children this Memorial Day to keep patriotism as your focus. Some will even help teach them the real meaning behind the holiday—honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

     
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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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