Monica Edinger's Blog

July 3, 2015

June 2014. Las Vegas.Evening. A gaggle of ALA-attending librarians trudge along the Strip past feathered showgirls, dodging happy folks with very largedrinks, and loud hen parties full of girls in very high heels.“Next year it is San Francisco.” mutters one librarian. “On Pride Weekend.” she goes on, stone-faced. “I heard that meant that they will be running around with their thingies out.” says another. “Oh jeez.” they all moanas they slip past a sort-of-naked person, enter ahotel, and stoli...

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Published on July 03, 2015 05:04 • 8 views

June 23, 2015

This is an outstanding presentation of a very difficult time in US history. Sheinkin has managed to distill some very complex stuff into a compelling and, at times, compulsive read. Even for me who has a vivid recollection of much that is in the book*, seeing those bumbling Plumbers at work at the Watergate, reading Nixon’s comments, and being reminded of the horror of what we saw on the nightly news and newspapers as to what was going on in Southeast Asia made for a riveting reading experien...

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Published on June 23, 2015 04:15 • 5 views

June 22, 2015

A few days ago Travis Jonker asked,Where Do You Fall On The Book Critic/Book Champion Continuum? Travis suggested that at one end of the continuum were those who were purely critics and at the other those who were purely book champions.I commented:

I define myself as both as a critic and as a book champion. I love reviewing for Horn Book, the Times, and my blogs and rarely write negative reviews. Like you I prefer to focus on what I like rather than what I don’t. And when I really love someth...

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Published on June 22, 2015 03:34 • 17 views

June 18, 2015

I highly recommend Tom Ashbrook’s On Point podcast, “Alice and the True Story behind a Popular Fantasy” featuringRobert Douglas-Fairhurst, author ofThe Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland, andCarolyn Vega,curator of the opening-next-week Morgan Library exhibit,Alice: 150 years of Wonderland.

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Published on June 18, 2015 03:29 • 4 views

June 17, 2015

Somehow I missed that there was a new CGI Peanuts movie in the works. But now I’m up-to-date having just seen the belowtrailer. While I think the idea of Charlie Brown attempting to reinvent himself fits the character nicely, I’m having to get past my own aged preferences for the original (and by “original” I mean Schultz’s comics not the television shows) to recognize that this sort of CGI rendering will probably go over best for today’s kids. Also, while I knew and remembered the overwhelmi...

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Published on June 17, 2015 03:00 • 13 views

June 11, 2015

I’d already been thinking about the issue of teacher charisma when I saw Paula Willey’s terrificBEA write-up in which she, after seeing some especially entertaining authors, wondered:

What do you do if you’re not a natural speaker? Or if you freeze up on stage? In fact, I imagine that most authors are more the cave-dwelling cheeseater type than the camp counselor type. (Literally – a lot of authors honed their public speaking skills as camp counselors or teachers.) It’s not fair, and all I ca...

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Published on June 11, 2015 02:30 • 10 views

June 9, 2015


I’m a big fan of whole class creative projects celebratingworks of literature. Some have come about duetomypassionfor a particular book,notablyAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland, whileothers are due to the kids’ excitement, say the murals we did forThe Graveyard Book and When You Reach Me. The latest of these is a digital storytelling project ofJean Merrill’s The Pushcart War.

It wasupon learning of the death of its author, Jean Merrill, a couple of years ago that I was reminded of her fabulou...

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Published on June 09, 2015 10:47 • 15 views

June 2, 2015

At my godchild’s wedding this weekend guests receivedhighly original gifts,haikus. You went to one of the two haiku writers, told them something about yourself, they thought for a moment, and then typed one out.


Here’s mine:


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Published on June 02, 2015 02:02 • 10 views

May 30, 2015


Brian Selznick is one of the great artists of our time. In what is now atrilogy (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck, and now The Marvels) he hascreated a unique storytelling style, one that blends illustration and text in anengrossinglyoriginalway. It is anaesthetic and emotiveexperience not like that of agraphic novel, but onecloserto a cinematic viewing experience or a theatrical one; the three books are rich with scenes of powerful beauty createdwithpaper, page turns,close-ups,and...

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Published on May 30, 2015 03:48 • 6 views

May 28, 2015

My goodness, does SLJ put on a fabulous one-day conference. Congrats to all, but especially Luann Tothwho leads the planning and organization of this wonderful event. You can see the full schedule here. I was sitting next to uber-blogger Betsy Bird who was doing a sort of live blogging thing — that is, she was writing her blog post live as the different panels and speakers were occurring. Count me as very impressed. I did tweet a bit, but not that much. A few brief reactions:

The first speake...

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Published on May 28, 2015 02:47 • 8 views