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Two of Seven
Experts tell us to aim for seven—that is the number of times we need to hear, read, or see a message for it to stick. So get ready . . . this is the second time that I'm writing about ALSC's @your library ® advocacy campaign. In the American Libraries June/July 2005 issue, Deborah Davis, manager of the Campaign for America's Libraries in the ALA Public Information Office, notes, “more than 20,000 academic, school, public, and special libraries across the country are participating in ALA's Campaign for America's Libraries, taking advantage of a wealth of tools and resources.” Because of the campaign's success, the ALA executive board voted unanimously in January 2005 to extend the campaign for another five years. ALA's executive director, Keith Michael Fiels, noted that the “@ your library ® campaign has yielded a strong return on investment. The association's contribution to the campaign over the last five years has been $1.7 million. As a result of investments by ALA divisions, LSTA funding committed by a number of states, cash and in-kind contributions by campaign partners, and the value of national television and print PSAs the campaign has secured to date, the return is estimated to be more than $21 million, a 13-to-1 ratio.”
ALSC has spent the last eight months preparing to launch its campaign. Our @ your library ® Campaign Advocacy Task Force, ably chaired by Stephanie Bange, Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library, is working with consultants Peggy Barber and Linda Wallace of Library Communications Strategies and Deborah Davis and Megan Humphrey in ALA's Public Information Office to craft a campaign initially aimed at children in kindergarten through fourth grade and their parents.
We refined our message after analyzing the results of focus groups of children in our target age range in urban, suburban, and rural settings in or near Seattle, Minneapolis, and Chicago. Not surprisingly, they asserted that libraries are a great place for kids, that libraries make you smarter, and that libraries are fun. The survey you answered over the summer gave the task force ideas about what tools you need to make it easy for your library to join the campaign. Some tools will be available to all members and some will be available to purchase and use as incentives in your libraries. The task force is working with a graphic artist to develop a visual logo to go with the message, approaching some recording artists to create a library-focused musical message, and seeking a celebrity spokesperson. Browse the other ALA divisional campaigns at www.ala.org/ala/pio/campaign/campaignamericas.htm while you wait for the soft launch of ALSC's campaign at the 2006 Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio. Look for details in the spring on the date and time of a workshop opportunity planned for the 2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The hard-working members of the task force are chair Stephanie Bange, Carolyn Brodie, Ellen G. Fader, Richard K. Farley, Jos N. Holman, Sue McCleaf Nespeca, Gail Nordstrom, Judy O'Malley, and Linda Staskus. Laura Schulte-Cooper is the ALSC staff liaison.
July 2005 marked the departure of ALSC's executive director, Malore I. Brown. In her four years with ALSC, Malore secured grants and developed and deepened partnerships that have brought visibility and resources to ALSC. We are now the national center for El día de los niños/El día de los libros. We developed a partnership with the Public Library Association to implement the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library ® early literacy initiative. With approval and support from REFORMA, ALSC established the Pura Belpré Award Endowment. Our finances are in great shape and the division has nearly completed a new strategic plan. In honor of her work as our executive director, ALSC board members have made a gift to the Friends of ALSC, and we wish Malore every success in her next endeavor. The board and I continue to work with ALA management to ensure smooth operations in the ALSC office as we begin the search for a new executive director. —Ellen G. Fader, ALSC President
Council conducted its business effectively at this year's Annual Conference and completed work on time. Council actions are on the ALA Web site at www.ala.org/ala/ourassociation/governanceb/council/councilactions/counci... change in ALA bylaws this year to reduce the quorum for membership meetings resulted in action by membership for the first time in several years, and three resolutions came to Council from the membership meetings. Attendance at Annual Conference was a record-high 21,069 registrants and 6,731 vendors for a total of 27,800. This is 1,000 more than the previous record attendance in San Francisco.
Revenue growth remains flat for the fifth straight year, and expenses are growing. The total budgetary ceiling adopted this year for the ALA is $51,669,186.
The membership committee had been asked by Council to examine the dues structure and compare a flat rate to a salary-based structure. The recommendation was that the dues remain a flat rate and that members be allowed to pay dues in installment payments with a small service fee. This method of payment will be available in the coming fiscal year. ALA is also developing an electronic newsletter that will provide regular updates on library-related stories that appear in print and electronic media. The newsletter will be free and will launch in the fall.
The strategic plan was adopted with additions related to standards, government information, and state chapters.
Public Programs Office
The ALA Public Programs Office (PPO) endowment fund has received a $350,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and $150,000 more in donations from individuals and organizations including the Public Library Association and The Wallace Foundation. As of this printing, ALA must raise at least $266,000 in pledges by September 15, 2005, to meet the next level of the challenge from NEH. Individuals and organizations can contribute online at www.ala.org/ccf or by contacting PPO.
Task Force and Committee Updates
A set of recommendations from the Task Force on Library School Closings was accepted. The Standing Committee on Library Services to Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries has begun its work with a new Web site (www.ala.org/rural).
A new standing committee on scholarships and study grants was established, which will be responsible for scholarship activities currently performed by the Awards Committee.
The ALA Policy Manual was updated to include changes relating to radio frequency identification. The ALA policy on inclusiveness and mutual respect will be amended to be more inclusive concerning people who work in libraries.
All resolutions introduced at the 2005 Annual Conference were aired and addressed. The full text for resolutions are available on the ALA Web site under
2005 Annual Conference Agendas at
Among those passed were:
- Resolution on Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation
- Resolution to Decrease Division Dues for Retired Members (to be addressed by each division on an individual basis)—from membership meeting
- Resolution on the Connection between the Iraq War and Libraries—from membership meeting
- Resolution on Disinformation, Media Manipulation, and the Destruction of Public Information
- Resolution in Support of Immigrants' Rights to Free Public Library Access
- Resolution on National Deaf History Month, March 13–April 15
- Resolution on Workplace Speech
- Committee on Legislation's Resolution on the USA PATRIOT Act and Libraries and the Resolution on the Right of Communities to Provide Broadband Internet Services
Resolutions that did not pass included: Endangered Libraries List; Equal Access to Non-Roman Resource (from membership meeting); Request to the U. S. News and World Report to Evaluate Graduate Schools of Library and Information Science.
Julie Cummins prepared a well-deserved tribute to Susan Roman, former ALSC executive director and director of the ALA Development Office.
ALA-Allied Professional Association (APA)
The budgetary ceiling for the ALA-APA is $253,536. The APA will begin to repay the ALA loan in FY 2008 with a payment of $25,000. Guiding principles for certification programs were approved.
My thanks to Molly Kinney, councilor, who assisted with this report. As always, Council was lively and many resolutions and reports were debated. Youth issues will be well represented this year with a slate of new councilors with youth interests, and I look forward to working with them. —Kathy Toon, ALSC Councilor
Comedy @ your library
Lisa Sizemore's ArtsReach Comedy Club for Kids won the 2005 ALSC/Sagebrush Education Resources Literature Program Award.
In fall 2003, the Louisville Free Public Library gave me the unique opportunity of professional development at Kentucky Center for the Arts through the ArtsReach program. As part of a pilot group of librarians participating in training typically offered only to community centers, the library was able to meet goals to provide skill building in staff for continuum experiences beyond the standard one-visit drop-in programs, immersion arts experiences for children, an expanding library network, and an understanding of potential artists and community center providers. The library also provided support training in grant writing and reporting to raise the skills of professionals in planning, budgeting, and accountability. Additional library goals for grants were weekly team meetings and executing grants as enrichment to summer reading. Another goal was to develop a community partnership; preferably an at-risk audience was targeted as participants, while a few slots would remain open to the public. A budget, timeline, needs assessment, and an understanding of service-area demographics also were provided as part of the proposal.
At first, I was interested in creating a rap-writing workshop for the main library children's department. The obstacle of finding a rap artist or poet to partner with was disheartening. While researching rap programs for kids, I discovered an excellent stand-up comedy program at a Boys and Girls Club in California. It inspired me to try the idea in Louisville.
The ArtsReach Comedy Club for Kids became a highlight of our department's programming for children during the 2004 summer reading program. The grant writing process connected the ArtsReach training to the Louisville Free Public Library's mission and changed the way I thought about providing programs for children. In addition to the training goals mentioned, the program had specific goals to be met: introduce children to the art of stand-up comedy; encourage older children to participate in the summer reading program; and support Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) outcomes to develop multiple-intelligence experiences in the areas of drama and presentation and verbal and linguistic skills.
The comedy club, a six-week program for children ages eight to fifteen, met once a week for two hours a day. Jennifer Hunt, an actress with experience instructing drama in educational settings, and I put the grant proposal into action. To address challenging attention spans, we broke up each session into two parts: games (improvisation and acting exercises) and the work (researching jokes and writing comedy routines). We witnessed not only the children's ability for comedy performance advance but their social skills as well. Children from diverse demographics found new friends with similar interests. The kids, mostly comprised of nonlibrary users, began using the library after and between workshops to check out books and complete the summer reading program.
A detailed six-month timeline of activities kept the program on track. Hunt's services totaled four hundred dollars, and two hundred dollars of our department's programming funds went to purchase a copy of the book Funny Bones: Comedy Games and Activities for Kids for each participant. A local comedian volunteered his time, and our general supply budget paid for binders and notebooks for participants.
I kept a journal of the program's progress which made writing the final report for the grant a snap. I spent twenty-seven hours preparing and implementing this program. Was it worth it? Definitely.
The final session was a celebration of their work-in-progress and a reception followed to encourage the community to attend. Our program drew attention from the media, and our kids performed their routines on a morning television news show. Another television station filmed the performance for the evening news. The participants felt like stars! Their esteem and confidence soared, their families were proud, and they had a positive experience at a library that they would never forget. —Lisa Sizemore, Louisville Free Public Library
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
The Northport-East Northport Public Library received a Certificate of Merit from the Library Public Relations Council of Suffolk County (N.Y.) recognizing the library's publication Kids Living in Northport and East Northport: A Guide for Parents. The brochure outlines cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities in the library and community for children and families and includes phone numbers, a map, and tabbed index.
Picture book Here Comes Darrell, written by Leda Schubert and illustrated by Mary Azarian, is set for an October release from Houghton. Darrell helps his neighbors by delivering firewood, digging foundations and ponds, and plowing driveways, but he never has time to fix his own barn roof. When a fierce storm arrives, will Darrell, too, end up safe and sound? Vibrant woodcuts accompany this Vermont story.
Scholastic has expanded its support of the Pura Belpré Award. The children's publishing and media company announced its initial sponsorship of the award at the 2005 ALA Midwinter Meeting and made an additional contribution at the 2005 Annual Conference as part of a broader three-year commitment to help build the award endowment. Scholastic plans to cultivate awareness of the Belpré Award by developing a special promotional video about the award which will debut at the 2006 Midwinter Meeting courtesy of their Weston Woods division.
ALSC Needs You
Want to see your name in print as an author? Interested in helping your division? The Publications Committee is looking for children's librarians to author publications for ALSC. We are also seeking ideas for publications that youth services librarians would be interested in buying for your libraries and professional collections. What publications are you wishing would get written? They can be book ideas, like the book of best practices that you needed when you started your career. They could be shorter pieces, like brochures, that would target such hot topics as the importance of family literacy or different learning styles. Send us your ideas. Please contact Amanda Williams, ALSC Publications Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas or if you are interested in becoming an ALSC author. We look forward to hearing from you!
2006 Arbuthnot Site
The Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library, with the support of The Library of Virginia and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, will host the 2006 Arbuthnot Lecture to be delivered by Russell Freedman. The lecture will be held on the evening of Friday, April 28, 2006. More information about the lecture will be posted, as it becomes available, at www.ala.org/alsc, click on “Awards & Scholarships” and “Literary and Related Awards.
Bechtel Fellow Announced
Sharon Deeds, Youth Services Coordinator, DeKalb County (Ga.) Public Library System, is the 2005 winner of the Bechtel Fellowship. She will examine Mother Goose nursery rhymes during her time at the Baldwin Library, University of Florida, Gainesville. Her topic, “Mother Goose: An Historical and Social Perspective,” will cover the history and importance of the nursery rhyme and its implications on emergent literacy and beyond. The fellowship provides a stipend of $4,000. To learn more, visit www.ala.org/alsc, click on “Awards & Scholarships.”
ALSC members are welcome to suggest titles for the 2006 media awards and for the 2007 Wilder Award. Send recommendations with full bibliographic information to the committee chair listed below. For more information about each award, visit www.ala.org/alsc, click on “Awards & Scholarships” and “Literary & Related Awards.”
- Geisel Award ( NEW! ), Caroline Ward, email@example.com
- Newbery Medal, Barbara Barstow, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Caldecott Medal, Gratia J. Banta, email@example.com
- Sibert Medal, Kathy Simonetta, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pura Belpré Award, Barbara Scotto, email@example.com
- Carnegie Medal, Susan Pine, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Batchelder Award, Karen Breen, Kbreen@optonline.net
- Wilder Award, Roger Sutton, email@example.com
Save the Date!
The next ALSC National Institute will be held at the Hilton Pittsburgh, September 14–16, 2006. More information will be posted in the coming months on the ALSC Web site at www.ala.org/alsc, click on “Events & Conferences.”
ALSC is pleased to announce its 2005 scholarship recipients.
Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship: Jonathan Hunt, Hughson, Calif., attending San Jose State University; and Wendy Torrence, Mount Gilead, Ohio, attending Kent State University.
Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship: Melissa Brumstead, Jackson, Wy., attending Simmons College; Donna Colson, Southwick, Mass., attending University of Rhode Island; Latonya Pegues, Dallas, attending Texas Woman's University; and Danielle Winn, Atlanta, attending the University of Western Ontario.
Congratulations to all!
There was an editing error in the “New York News” item on page 8 of the June 2005 ALSConnect. The sentence “Customers with valid cards from either of the two library systems [Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library] are now able to borrow materials from QBPL [Queens Public Library]” should have read “Customers with a valid QBPL account will now be able to borrow materials using cards from either of the two other library systems [BPL or NYPL].” Our apologies for any confusion caused.
ALSC is seeking nominations and applications for its professional grants and awards:
- Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award ( NEW! )
- ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Grant
- ALSC/Sagebrush Education Resources Literature Program Grant
- Penguin Young Readers Group Award
- Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship
- Distinguished Service Award
- Distinguished Service Award
ALSC professional awards recognize our hardworking members. Consider nominating a colleague or yourself. For more information and applications, visit www.ala.org/alsc and click on “Awards & Scholarships.” To request a form by e-mail, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for all applications is December 1, 2005.
ALSC's many electronic discussion lists keep members up to date on the latest news from the division and in areas of special interest. To learn more, visit www.ala.org/alsc and click on the “Stay Connected” link.
Día's New Home
ALSC is now the national center for El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Day of the Child/Day of the Book), the annual celebration held every April 30. Through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, ALSC will annually coordinate with other national organizations, including REFORMA—the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, to promote the Día celebration, which brings together children, books, languages, and cultures. For more information, visit www.ala.org/alsc, click on “Projects & Partnerships.”
ALSC sincerely thanks our latest contributors to the Friends of ALSC and the Pura Belpré Award Endowment Fund. To learn how you can support ALSC, visit www.ala.org/alsc, click on the “Support ALSC” link at the top right of the page.
Ellen G. Fader
Dorothy V. English
Barbara A. Genco
Lillian N. Gerhardt
Lerner Publishing Group
Claudette S. McLinn
Diane G. Person
Mary Jane Anderson
Elizabeth Cloyd Blanchard
Rusty True Browder
Lolly H. Gepson
Emily C. Holman
Nancy J. Johnson
Mary S. Malnar
Marguerite L. Nelson
Nancy J. Snyder
Ruth M. Stroud
Children's Book Press
Linda Chavez Doyle
Eliza T. Dresang
HarperCollins Children's Books
Lectorum Publications Inc.
Random House, Inc.
REFORMA, El Paso (Texas) Chapter
REFORMA, Orange County (Calif.) Chapter
REFORMA, Puerto Rico Chapter
Marilyn Miller, 2005 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, delivered the following acceptance remarks at the Membership Meeting on June 27.
I am truly humbled and pleased to receive ALSC’s Distinguished Service Award. It is both an honor and a privilege to be joining the list of those who have previously been selected and who comprise an honor roll of excellence and commitment to our cause of serving children.
An award like this demands reflection on a lifetime in a career. Reflection brings hosts of memories. In my case, memories of idiotic mistakes I made, funny occurrences, lovely happenings, good books shared, challenges that kept me developing and enlarging a philosophy of service, doubts that I could ever be as competent as I wanted to be. However, whatever happened throughout my career, I knew I was doing what I was meant to do: providing service, consulting, and finally teaching and research, so I could do a small part in keeping alight that torch of service to the young.
There are marvelous “doers” in our history. I hope you know about many of them. I learned about ever so many when I edited a volume for Greenwood Press titled Pioneers and Leaders in Library Service to Youth. As I worked on this collection of biographies of librarians and others who worked in the youth field from the late nineteenth century through the end of the twentieth, I was awestruck by the commitment, talent, persistence, and love for their work that permeated the professional lives of those youth services librarians.
Most of you here this morning have those same traits. You persevere with myriad challenges: too many youngsters to serve effectively, not enough money to do all that you know needs doing, not always having the support of citizens you would have if they really understood what you are trying to do. But you persevere because you know what you do is good. You survive because you love the challenge of meeting a child’s need for knowledge and for fun, and you revel in the smiles and the thanks.
I honor this award and I will always be appreciative of the opportunities I had to work in ALSC and to make so many good professional friends. My very best wishes to each of you as you become ever more involved in your profession and in ALSC.
Each year four deserving children’s librarians receive the chance to attend ALA Annual Conference for the first time through the Penguin Young Readers Group Award. Following are three of this year’s winners’ reflections on the Chicago conference.
I would like to use this opportunity to encourage children’s librarians who have never been to ALA’s Annual Conference to apply for the Penguin Young Readers Group Award. (The application is on the ALSC Web site). Everything about this conference is overwhelming, from the amount of programs offered and the number of exhibitors present to the logistics of traveling to and getting around a large city. It is definitely worth it. Everywhere I went I was able to chat with librarians from across the country, many of whom share similar issues and questions. Program sessions on emergent literacy and programming, managing children’s services, and advocacy, as well as author lectures, provided many ideas and inspiration that I could share with my colleagues and the children. Attending the exhibits provided the opportunity to talk one on one with vendor representatives with whom I’ve only previously had phone contact and meet representatives from new companies in whose products my library has interest. The staff at Penguin was welcoming and interesting, and it was an honor to be their guest at the awards banquet, a highlight of the conference. I thank ALSC and Penguin Young Readers Group for providing us the opportunity to experience such a remarkable conference. —Kristine M. Casper, Huntington (N.Y.) Public Library
I really enjoyed my experience in Chicago. Because I had never been to ALA, I was very excited at what might be awaiting me there. It definitely exceeded my expectations. In addition to attending wonderful programs and seeing the exhibits, I was also able to meet so many interesting people! Being a new member, it was great to see other members and the work they do on committees. I certainly plan to keep my membership for a long time to come. Although there was much to enjoy, the highlight of my visit had to be the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet. It was wonderful to hear the winners’ speeches and share in the exciting night! I am very thankful to the members of ALSC and Penguin Young Readers Group for the opportunity to attend. —Sarah Pardi, Jersey City (N.J.) Free Public Library
My first ALA Conference was full of inspiring programs and conversations, and I will share two of my favorite moments. On Saturday, I attended a luncheon to hear Elizabeth Partridge talk about her new photo biography for young readers, John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth, due to be published this fall by Viking. Partridge spoke about how difficult it was to write about Lennon because so much is written already—true and untrue. In her book she focuses mainly on Lennon’s childhood and teen years because the book is written for teen readers who may be trying to make sense of their own lives. Saturday night, I found myself at the W Hotel having dessert with Gennifer Choldenko. I told her that upon my return, I would be attending a fundraiser for an autism advocacy group, and she immediately offered to send me three autographed copies of Al Capone Does My Shirts. I was deeply touched by these authors’ passion for what they do, and their hard work and generosity inspired me to return to my library to continue my work connecting great literature with young readers. —Alison O’Reilly, Hauppauge (N.Y.) Public Library
Jeri S. Kladder
Main Library/Center for Discovery (children's room)
Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library
ALSC Membership: twenty-nine years
Where did you attend library school?
My MLS is from Wayne State University in Detroit. I did postgraduate work at the University of Michigan and then lots of extra postgraduate work at Drexel University in Philadelphia while waiting for a job opening.
What attracted you to library service to children?
I avoided public library service like the plague in my early classes—I was going to be a special science librarian in some prestigious place like the Batelle Corporation. However, my first public library job as children's librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia was like coming home—a perfect fit. I've never regretted the choice. I love the literature. I love pushing books! I love creating readers from young people who don't yet know how wonderful reading can be. I love the grown-up people in children's literature, children's publishing, and children's library service. They are committed, passionate, helpful, sharing, creative, and fun! I can't imagine another career and lifestyle that could possibly fit me as well. I even love the singing and creative dramatics and booktalking of programming for all ages (well, babies are a challenge for me).
Why did you join ALSC?
Because ALSC does so much for me and I wanted to be in the thick of “what's happening.” It is important to refresh the passion with people of like interests from time to time. And I believe it is important to keep our organization vital by “giving back.” Why reinvent the wheel if some professional has already done what you are trying to do? The collegial and creative atmosphere amongst children's librarians helps me be a more effective children's librarian and I hope I contribute to newer librarians coming up through the ranks as well.
On which ALSC committees have you served?
My first appointment was to the Organization and Bylaws Committee. What a great place to learn how the organization works! Kathy Simonetta was a perfect chair to get me started. I loved working on and chairing the Publications Committee . . . what a dedicated, hard-working crew. Then, my big dream of being elected to the 2002 Newbery Committee! The depth of the experience is life-changing. We still get together at conferences to talk books almost five years later! I have recently been elected to chair the 2007 Newbery Committee and look forward to building a strong 2007 Newbery “family” and having some rousing book discussions with them long after our year is over. My current position as chair of the Children and LibrariesAdvisory Committee has been so much fun—I highly recommend it.
Which committee service did you enjoy most?
Every one of them. I've learned so much about how ALSC operates. But I've also learned about how other libraries operate. Each appointment has brought me new friends and new viewpoints and has stretched me in different directions. I think I'm better and more capable for having had the experiences.
Is there a Newbery/Caldecott Banquet that stands out in your memory?
How could I not say the 2002 banquet in which “my” winner Linda Sue Park ( A Single Shard) presented her Newbery Medal to her father (it was on Father's Day—not a dry eye in the house) and gave her father credit for her becoming a reader, a writer, and a Newbery winner. However, Stephen Gammell's non-speech was memorable because it was just like him—not formal, just comfortable and rambling—a lot like his winning illustrations in Song and Dance Man. There have been many other authors and illustrators who convinced me to reread and reconsider my lukewarm opinion of their winning book. Authors and illustrators who gave me a deeper understanding of their winner. And one or two who validated my early opinion that they had created a winner.
What is the biggest change you see in ALSC and in youth services since you first joined?
ALSC's biggest change is in the struggle to keep up with the electronic explosion in all its facets. Do print award committees consider electronically published books? Can committees operate with virtual members? The biggest change in library service to children? More competition with the demands on children's time. An explosion in the number and kinds of materials published for children.
What are you working on at your library?
Making selections for the best books list of juvenile fiction for our annual BOOKTALK: Connecting Teachers with the Columbus Metropolitan Library, a program we do every year during teacher inservice days; incorporating Ready to Read Literacy Skills into our preschool storytimes; and gearing up for the Wild Readers Summer Reading Club and all the children's programming we do.
Who/what is your favorite children's author/book and why?
Avi is fabulous! The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is so fun. Everything Avi does reads aloud so well. I love his Don't You Know There's a War On? and Who Was That Masked Man, Anyway? But there are so many great authors out there. Christopher Paul Curtis, Angela Johnson, Mildred Taylor, Patricia MacLachlan, Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary. . . . And I haven't even gotten to the illustrators.
What three words best describe you?
Opinionated (I have an opinion on just about everything), passionate (about children's literature), and open-minded (I love to hear all aspects of a position before making up my mind—and then I'm open to being convinced otherwise). What are your hobbies? Reading (obviously), traveling (the road less traveled, it has made all the difference), and reading some more.