May Literary Holidays

May is a great month for books. Let me give you the holidays to prove it.

May is Get Caught Reading Month, which started in 1999 as a way to encourage the love of reading. Bonus: It can be a great time to read outdoors and make your reading visible to the world. 

Children’s Book Week, which started April 30, continues through May 6 this year. This is one of the longest-running national literacy initiatives, beginning in 1919. The official posters for Children’s Book Week are collectible items, and this year’s poster was created by Jillian Tamaki with the slogan “One World, Many Stories.”

The picture book illustrators chosen for each year’s poster are great choices for celebrating Children’s Book Week. Take a look at Tamaki’s They Say Blue as well as Last Stop on Market Street (written by Matt de la Pena), illustrated by Christian Robinson, the 2017 poster illustrator. Hooray for Books! is a delightful picture book about a turtle finding its favorite book, written and illustrated by Brian Won, the 2016 poster illustrator. Continue reading “May Literary Holidays”

April Literary Holidays

April is a hard month for literary holidays because there are so many! Without further ado, here they are:

Since 1967, International Children’s Book Day has been celebrated on April 2nd, which was selected in honor of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. This day gets a different international sponsor each year and they get to choose the theme. This year the sponsor is Latvia and the theme they chose is “The Small is Big in a Book.” Here are three interpretations of Thumbelina in honor of the day:

Continue reading “April Literary Holidays”

March Literary Holidays

Aside from calendar noted holidays in March like Purim and Saint Patrick’s day, there are a few literary days of note that might peak your interest.  

On March 2nd there is Read Across America day, which also happens to be Dr. Seuss’ birthday. It was created by the National Education Association as a day to devote to getting children excited about reading. Dr. Seuss’ birthday was selected as the day to encourage reading on. So enjoy Oh, The Places You’ll Go! or Green Eggs and Ham both by Dr. Seuss. Or branch out from Dr. Seuss and try one of the books listed here Our Favorite Children’s Picture Books of 2017 or Race and Social Justice Books for Children K-5.

Continue reading “March Literary Holidays”

New African American Fiction

February is Black History Month, so the Reader Services department created a list of recently published African American fiction that we are loving — and we think you will, too. Here is a sampling of some of the books on the list which includes general fiction, mystery, fantasy and romance. Definitely something for every reader!

Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union is a romance set in the Civil War that centers on a young black woman and freewoman, Elle Burns, who goes undercover as a pro-Union Loyalty League spy. Things get complicated for Elle when she falls for another spy of a different race. Library Journal said: “Courageous, passionate protagonists fight for justice, freedom, and the right to love in an exceptional story that both educates and entertains and beautifully launches a unique series.”

Naima Coster’s debut Halsey Street looks at how gentrification impacts one family in Brooklyn, Continue reading “New African American Fiction”

Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin

From l to r: Michael Wallenfells, Ursula K. Le Guin, Misha Stone, Duane Wilkins, May 2013, Central Library

Ursula K. Le Guin died in her home in Portland, Oregon on January 22nd at the age of 88. There have been so many marvelous essays and remembrances of her from Margaret Atwood, Karen Joy Fowler, Nisi Shawl, Nicola Griffith, Margaret Killjoy, John Scalzi and more. I don’t feel as though I can add anything new to the chorus, other than to share what Ursula K. Le Guin meant to me.

I encountered Le Guin on my father’s bookshelves, where Continue reading “Remembering Ursula K. Le Guin”