The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

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July marks Audio Book Month, a perfect time to listen to a title that will entertain the entire family. I owe the audio of the day to Alison Morris of Scholastic Book Clubs, who raved about Simon Jones’s rendition of The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud for Listening Library. How right she was. Now […]

Adventure, London, Magic
Featured on July 16

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

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Around this time of year many school children find themselves on summer vacation, often with an assignment to read a number of books over the summer.  I myself was never so happy as a child as when I had unlimited time to read and a pile of new offerings by my chair. Well, if you […]

Adventure, London
Featured on June 9

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond


March has been set aside to celebrate the idea that “Humorists are Artists.” Funny books are among the hardest things to write for children—and often the writers get less respect than their more serious counterparts. I am, therefore, always happy when the Almanac can celebrate humor and humorists. Published in 1958, Michael Bond’s A Bear […]

Animals, Bears, London
Featured on March 26

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

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October has been designed Reading Group Month, organized by the Women’s National Book Association. Today we’ll look at a classic book, ideal for mother/daughter book discussions, and tomorrow a new title. I am always interested in the books that people remember from childhood—children read so many books but which ones stay with them into adulthood? […]

Dance, Great Depression, History, London
Featured on October 15

Theodosia by R. L. LaFevers

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Many states observe Archaeological Month during September, with activities for children to think about this profession as a career. Even to me as an adult, the lure of going on an archaeological dig remains one of my unfulfilled fantasies. The book of the day R. L. LaFevers’s Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos definitely flames […]

Ancient, Archeology, History, London, Science
Featured on September 9

Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

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On September 4, Joan Aiken (1924-2004) was born in Rye, East Sussex, England, the newest member of a family of authors. Her father, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Conrad Aiken, was just one of the creative people in Joan’s life. Homeschooled by her mother, Joan Aiken decided at age five that she, too, wanted to be a […]

19th century, History, London
Featured on September 4

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

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August has been designated Audio Book Appreciation Month. Certainly one of the great changes in children’s book publishing during my career has been the increase in superb audio recordings of novels. Since in August many families spend time in the car going to and from vacation spots, I am going to talk about my two […]

Adventure, London, Magic
Featured on August 17

The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski

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Today marks National Relaxation Day. We are encouraged to leave our stress-filled lives, kick back, put our feet up, and enjoy something. To me that sounds like an invitation to read an engrossing book. For a relaxing day, I would recommend picking up Marie Rutkoski’s series ideal for ten- to fourteen-year-olds that begins with The […]

History, London, Magic
Featured on August 15

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

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July 28, 1866, one year after the end of the American Civil War, a baby girl was born into an affluent English family. She would eventually create the world’s bestselling picture book. Helen Beatrix Potter loved drawing as a child, both images of the natural world and of the multitude of pets her family kept—rabbits, […]

Animals, London, Rabbits, Science
Featured on July 28

The BFG by Roald Dahl
Illustrated by Quentin Blake

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On July 9, 1982, Queen Elizabeth II woke up in Buckingham Palace to find a stranger sitting at the end of her bed. Wearing jeans and a T-shirt, the intruder had actually planned to commit suicide in the queen’s bedroom, but then decided that wasn’t “a nice thing to do.” Instead he simply wanted to […]

Humor, Imagination, London
Featured on July 9

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood

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Today marks both the probable birthday and death day of the most famous author in the English language, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) of Stratford-upon-Avon. In honor of the bard, April 23 has been designated “Talk Like Shakespeare Day.” You can find lots of ideas at Call any tormentor a “jackanapes” or “white-livered canker-blossom.” Instead of […]

Adventure, British, History, London, Theater
Featured on April 23

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

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On December 31, 1999, the Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair, formally opened what was then the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the London Eye. On the banks of the River Thames, this major landmark and tourist attraction has provided a panoramic view of the city for around 3.5 million riders each year. In […]

Autism, Family, London, Special Needs
Featured on December 31

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.